UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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British Journal of Music Education
Name(s) of Author/Editor(s): 
Wai Chung Ho and Wing-Wah Law
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Country of Research Data: 
Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei
In the past, the music curricula of Hong Kong (HK), Mainland China and Taiwan have focused on Western music, but with the advent of music technology and the new tripartite paradigm of globalisation, localisation and Sinophilia this has begun to change. Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei share a common historical culture and their populations are mainly Chinese, but their recent socio-political experiences have been diverse. This paper aims to explore the secondary school cultures of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei by examining the similarities and differences between their musical practices and the ways in which they have delineated this tripartite paradigm. Data are drawn from questionnaires completed by 5,133 students (1,750 from HK, 1,741 from Shanghai, and 1,642 from Taipei) attending grades 7 to 9 and interviews with their 46 music teachers between March and August 2004. The survey data show that students from the three communities much prefer Western classical and popular music to their respective forms of local traditional music and to traditional Chinese styles. Though most music teachers recognise the importance of teaching traditional Chinese music, local traditional music, and other world music in schools, they believe that it is difficult to teach different types of music in the classroom. This article argues that globalisation is leading to a common cosmopolitan culture of Western musical learning in school; the emergence of traditional Chinese music, local music, and socio-political movements challenge globalisation in school music education. 
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