MUSI 207China Chapter 4
The Music of China Update: Chapter Presentation Self Reflection (bonus) • Chapter Presentation (p. 88-114) • Importance of Written Language and History • Highly Specific Musical Systems with Codifications at Many Levels • Music and Politics
Importance of Written Language and History A non-alphabetic ideographic script meant that Chinese could be used by neighbors with totally different languages, and that classics written centuries earlier could be understood by contemporary readers. This led to a great regard for history, high status for scholar-officials, and an imperial state system based on bureaucracy. Each dynasty had its own historical records, much of which provided musical documentation.
Highly Specific Musical Systems with Codifications at Many Levels This includes stock character types in theatrical genres, particular musical styles used in specific contexts, instruments used in standardized ensembles, solo instrumental traditions, each with its own special notation, repertoire, and idiomatic technique.
Music and Politics Music and politics have long been interconnected. Confucius (551-479 B.C.E.) believed that proper music (i.e., ritual music played in unison with long, broad rhythms, slow tempo, and simple melodies) was capable of promoting proper behavior, while “extravagant music” (i.e., loud, fast music) could stimulate excessive, licentious behavior. Mao Zedong also believed in music as an important educational tool for the propagation of state ideology, rather than the expression of virtue.
For next class FinishChapter 4 (p. 114-131) Chapter Exam is due Friday Review some of the D2L PowerPoint presentations.