New Music

China’s traditional music is played on the pipa, erhu and guqin (see qin). It is based on musical and rhythmic patterns that are transmitted orally; it is a music which does not know the concept of a ‘composer’. The exclusive reign of this type of Chinese music ended around the turn of the last century, with the arrival of foreign missionaries, foreign armies and foreign merchants who brought to nineteenth-century China the musical fare of their own culture. In the wake of this foreign invasion, a new type of ‘Chinese music’ arose. It makes use of violins, organs, pianos and clarinets. It is performed according to strict notation. It is linked with the name of a particular composer. This music was, if anything, both a new type and concept of music to China. But it was soon to be assimilated into the Chinese musical universe to such an extent that a song like ‘Frère Jacques’ would be considered a ‘Chinese folksong’.
China’s New Music appears at the same time as New Music in the West—at the beginning of the twentieth century. Stylistically, however, it comes in very different guise: New Music from China includes works written in many different idioms: classicist, romanticist or modernist. Thus, New Music from China is not called such because it employs techniques also known in New Music in the West, but simply because it uses Western instrumental and compositional techniques which were new to China at the beginning of the twentieth century.
It is politics that has caused the diversity of styles in China’s New Music. European modernism has not fared well in modern China.
Music, like all other artistic products, was supposed to ‘serve the masses’—at least since Mao formulated this dictum in his 1942 Yan’an Talks. Therefore, the sounds of modernism have been suppressed: during the anti-Rightist campaigns, in the Cultural Revolution and also during the Spiritual Pollution Campaigns of the 1980s and 1990s (see socialist spiritual civilization). Chinese politicians prefer the more mellow sounds of pentatonic romanticism, created by many a Chinese composer to the present day.
Kouwenhoven, Frank (1990). ‘Mainland China’s New Music (1): Out of the Desert’. Chime 2: 58–93.
——(1991). ‘Mainland China’s New Music (2): Madly Singing in the Mountains’. Chime 3:42–75.
——(1992). ‘Mainland China’s New Music (3): The Age of Pluralism’. Chime 5:76–134.
Liu, Ching-chih and Wu, Ganbo (eds) (1994). History of New Music in China: The Development of Chinese Music. Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong.
Liu, Jingzhi (Liu Ching-chih) (1998). Zhongguo xin yinyue shilun [Essays on China’s New Music], 2 vols. Taipei: Shaowen.
Mittler, Barbara (1997). Dangerous Tunes. The Politics of Chinese Music in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China since 1949. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
Utz, Christian (nd). Database of Contemporary Music in Taiwan. Available at http://www.t0.or.at/New Musicutz/Taiwan
BARBARA MITTLER

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • New music — may refer to: Contemporary classical music New Music America The NewMusic, a weekly television newsmagazine in Canada. New Musik, an English synthpop group New Music (1980s music terminology) An umbrella term used by the U.S. music industry to… …   Wikipedia

  • New Music —   [englisch/amerikanisch, njuː mjuːzɪk; wörtlich »neue Musik«], New Age …   Universal-Lexikon

  • New Music (music industry) — New Music Stylistic origins New Wave, Punk rock, post punk, Ska, Motown, Reggae, Rockabilly, African Music Cultural origins Late 1970s, Early 1980s, United Kingdom Mainstream popularity Widespread in the United States …   Wikipedia

  • New Music Economy — is a term describing the emergent social, technical, political and economic context of the creative industries. This shift in context has been fueled by concurrent evolution within an ecosystem of interdependent technologies, institutions, and… …   Wikipedia

  • New Music America — was an American festival of experimental or Downtown new music. The festival began at The Kitchen in New York City in 1979. In this first year, the festival was actually called New Music New York.[1] In 1980, the festival was held in Minneapolis …   Wikipedia

  • New Music Weekly — is a nationally distributed trade magazine for the radio and music industries. NMW has dedicated sections of each weekly magazine towards the progression of Top40/Pop, Country, AC/Hot, and College music. Features include editorials, highlights of …   Wikipedia

  • New Music Download — was a fortnightly podcast presented by Tom Ravenscroft for Channel 4 Radio. It ran between January and June 2008, replacing the Slashmusic podcast that ran from August 2006 to June 2007[1]. It was produced by Hermeet Chadhar. Contents 1 Music 1.1 …   Wikipedia

  • New Music Television — / New Music TV (NMTV), presented by Marc Almond (of Soft Cell) was a weekly series of 26 half hour music programmes first aired in the UK at 11:30pm in July 2001 on ITV1 and ITV2. Each show featured six videos from artists and bands around the… …   Wikipedia

  • New Music Canada, Vol. 1 — Compilation album by Various Artists Released 2004 number TRCD 3010[1] Genre …   Wikipedia

  • New Music Manchester — refers to a group of English composers and performers who studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music (now the RNCM) and Manchester University in the 1950s. The Manchester School is principally identified with the composers Harrison… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.