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

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Asia-Pacific Journal for Arts Education
Name(s) of Author/Editor(s): 
Daniel Chun-hoi Ng
Volume No.: 
Issue No.: 
Year of publication: 
Country of publication: 
Hong Kong
Country of Research Data: 
This paper focuses on the life stories of three Chaozhou xianshi musicians who were born in China between the 1920s and 1930s. It aims to examine how the musicians’ early involvements and aesthetic experiences in music have provided them an impact of lifelong commitment for their art. In addition, this paper delineates issues related to the conflict of continuity and authenticity versus change and development in traditional music, through the narratives of three musicians of Chaozhou xianshi music. The discussions of the paper are mainly based on three semi-structured interviews undertook at the musicians’ homes.  The three musicians initially were each exposed to a different learning environment. However when they first met each other in Hong Kong during the 1960s, they became good friends and remained influential as xianshi musicians through 1960s to 1990s. They thus offered different historical and social perspectives about China and Hong Kong both individually and collectively through these decades of change in the 1930s to the 1990s. The three respected musicians when they were young had been inspired by the musicians of the previous generations. When they have become accomplished musicians, their art and enthusiasm again inspired the younger generation. Crucial to the heritage and the development of this musical art is the transmission process and the profound aesthetic experiences they discovered in xianshi music. The conclusion of this paper seeks to draw lessons for musicians, music educators in the Asia Pacific region today.
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