Ensembles are frequently identified by the material

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: City in 1973 by Barbara Dane for Paredon Records. It contained the music and songs of three artists: Nobuko Miyamoto, Chris Iijima, and Charlie Chin, and we will listen to an example from the album in the lab. The songs were western in musical style, but “Asian American” in terms of the political and social content of their lyrics. Fundamentally, America is a multiethnic society of immigrants from all over the world, who “listen to music with cultural and ethnic ears.”3 When Asian American musicians explicitly or implicitly mix Asian and American elements in their music, they not only offer us new sounds, but they also challenge American ears and minds with what the music means. Is it a personal expression of the musician’s individual sense of ethnic identity or aesthetics? Does it profess as one of its goals to address and reflect the experience of Asians in America in general? Is it an attempt primarily to create something that will appeal to an audience and hence be a commercial success? Does its reference to Asian ethnicity make any difference in the music aesthetically? Or is it the beginning of a new American musical genre that will eventually take its place alongside jazz and Tejano? Only critical listening, and the passage of time, will tell. As “the Chinese century” continues to unfold against a backdrop of increased global awareness and interaction, it will be very interesting to see how the historical gap between the East and the West narrows. The integration of elements from one of the most ancient civilizations with what is most progressive musically on a global basis as well as within the United States specifically will certainly produce important new contributions to the world’s music in general, and perhaps even be the catalyst for a uniquely new Asian American music genre. STRUCTURAL CHARACTERISTICS Click here to access the Listening Example or copy the following URL into a new browser window: http://www.rhapsody.com/members/0yr6v2/playlists/mp.173695017 STRUCTURAL CHARACTERISTICS OF TRADITIONAL CHINESE MUSIC 3 IBID. Crossroads: Music of American Cultures (Barkley) Kendall Hunt Publishers, 2013 8 The immensity of China’s geographical size, population size, ethnic and cultural diversity is a complex subject even for scholars who have made it their life’s study, and therefore it is inaccurate and inappropriate to make broad generalizations. Nevertheless, a few comments can be made regarding structural characteristics. Origins of Chinese Music and Influence of Confucian Philosophy According to Chinese mythology, the founder of music in prehistoric China was Ling Lun, who created bamboo flutes to replicate the sounds of birds, including the sacred, mythical bird known as the phoenix. The flutes had five notes, and thus Lun is credited with inventing the ancient five tone pentatonic scale that remains an important element of Asian music today. It is believed that the man known to us as Confucius (Kong Fuzi) was born in 551 BCE to a poor but noble warrior family in the area of present- day Shandong. Due to his intelligence, talents and hard work, he rose in social standing to become an important politician and elder. His principles were officially codified into a system known as Confucianism. Confucian philosophy has, for thousands of years, been the most profound influence on Chinese culture. Confucianism proposes that music should be a way of expressing the aesthetic values of balance, restraint, and subtlety. Rituals involving music should be performed in very specific ways and with the proper attitude that reinforced order and hierarchy. Certain sounds, movements, and numbers have symbolic meaning that underscores their importance. Inappropriate use of this symbolism is dangerous or unlucky. The number five, for example, is considered important because of its association with the five elements: earth...
View Full Document

This document was uploaded on 02/16/2014.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online