MUSI 484, EAST 413
Introduction to Chinese Music
This course explores the multifaceted musical culture in China from the time of Confucius in the fifth century BCE to the present. We examine the different types of traditional music including court ritual music, music for the literati, and vernacular operas as well as contemporary music that draws from popular culture and globalization. In analyzing these different types of music, we focus on the institutions and individuals who shaped China’s musical culture and the interactions between music and social and historical changes. In addition, we investigate how musicians in the West studied and appropriated Chinese music. By the end of the course, you will have learned that “Chinese music” is a fluid concept, reliant on how we define China—an empire, a nation, or a culture, and how we define music—a sacred object that links heaven and earth, a path toward self-cultivation, or a form of art. You will be able to identify and articulate the biases that often cloud our study of extra-European music and analyze and understand Chinese music on its own terms.