Reflection on the first three lectures The course Chinese music, aesthetics and cross-cultural context has aroused great interest of me within the first three lectures. With the help of the previous readings, I was able to get absolute involved in the following highly-organized lectures and make critical thinking towards the ideas that conveyed. Throughout the time, I was not only trained to acquire basic knowledge about Chinese history and music, but also taught to discover some philosophical ideas through culture and music. Because all the three main ideas, which is
Chinese music, aesthetics and cross-cultural context, have run through the previous progressive explanations, the reflection of my harvest will be methodize into those three aspects with one critical thinking part added. 1 . Broadened perspectives towards music and prevention of stereotype due to ignorance The discussion about the criteria for defining music broadens my perspectives and gives inspiration. Because music involves not only sound, but also deeper expression and communication, the definition of music is much beyond the components such as melody, harmony and rhythm.
It actually embodies unique ensues and distinctiveness of people, performs within certain culture and address certain theme such as worldview and value. Therefore, the subject of both composition and appreciation, the standard for definition as well as the cultural and historical background should all be considered. What I receive most about music from the diversified discussion is that music will never be an isolated part of society but will always reflect the world. What’s more, before learning the course, I firmly believe that music comes from heaven, which is in need of talents and inspiration.
Besides, what seems to be compelling is the judgment we could heard no matter by the host address of TV show or concert that music is the only universal language regardless of nationality. However, such stereotype due to ignorance was proved to be wrong and eliminated through my process of learning. For example, when we comes to the definition of music and were showed varied pieces of music, everyone holds different idea in expressing the emotion in each piece. With subjective¶y’ instead of certain meaning in music, it is improper to regard music as a universal language. A sense of belongingness and Self-identification from Chinese music Traditional Chinese music is one of the core points throughout first three lectures. As a multivalent nation with diverse musical culture presenting by diverse sound, China represents pluralistic and inclusive. We appreciated Fijian Nanny with feature Of melodramatic, Ghanaian Sizes with interactions among performers, Cantonese music with improvises as well as Cachou music with unique mode. Embedded in Chinese society, culture and ethnic, Chinese music is varied but unique, filling me with a sense of belongingness.
In addition, the history and development of modern Chinese music are emphasized in readings. When confronting foreign culture in the 20th century, the significance of identity of Chinese music was highlighted and the argument of whether Chinese shall refer to European system was highly impressive. Although efforts such as the “society for the promotion of Chinese Music” was made, the establishment of National Music School based on European system eventually made European music preferred in quite a long time.
However, the success of A shepherd’s flute – the first Chinese piece laded by piano – can be an inspiration that our own culture is the most attracting and valuable. As a result, we must take the responsibility for developing and spreading the music of China, which is also the requirement of Ethnomusicology. 3. Diverse standards and expressions from the aspect of aesthetics Aesthetics is a deeper and more abstract theme worth excavating in this course. Firstly, aesthetics represents differently through time.
Taking 1 8th century as an instance, the dramatic change of aesthetics is from Modernism to Postmodernism after the industrial revolution. The way of music turns from clear and repeating climax to ambiguity and absence of focus, waiting to be interpreted by audience themselves. In addition, the aesthetics in different areas differs. Let alone the concept among architecture, painting and music varies, aesthetics just in the area of Chinese music exists quite branches and standards. For example, the aesthetics of Fijian Nanny means slow tempo, long melody, stress on vowel and vocal qualities as well as thee accompany of vertical flute.
On the contrary, the aesthetics of Ghanaian Sizes is balance, owing by group, growing gradually to fast and complementation. It can be clearly seen that standards and expressions Of aesthetics change in both time and space. 4. Enlightenment of the connection of music, politics and philosophy in cross-cultural study As a reflection of the society, music can be comprehended together with politics and philosophy, which is the most meaningful and comprehensive study under the theme of cross-culture.
Taking elegant music of China as an example, it is music of scholar and elites for serious pursuit of high ideals rather than emotional appeal or entertainment. We can see from the regulations of elegant music since the end of West Chou Dynasty that music is tied to the nation and has the function of politics which is resolving conflicts of parties and promoting the concept of harmony. Not only do we insist that music plays a significant role in politics and philosophy, but politics and philosophy do in return influence the aesthetics of Chinese music.
For example, Chinese music is mostly dominated by Confucianism and Taoism thoughts and aesthetics. “To listen only to six pitches” is an ancient saying conveying the idea that music does good to personal cultivation. Moreover, Zinc wrote the first book on music aesthetics as a politician and ideologist, conveying the idea that scholars should be able to rely on music to control emotion. 5. Critical thinking: questioning the ideas conveyed was encouraged to form my own judgment independently to evaluate all kinds of ideas instead of relying on commonly accepted beliefs and values.
Therefore, am going to share some ideas which may go against the idea conveyed on the lectures. The first issue is about universal truth on the first lecture. When it comes to the appreciation and aesthetics of music, Professor eased an idea that there is no universal truth in the process of appreciation. However, as far as I am concerned, this comprehension focuses too much on receivers and diversity of individuals. Taking the macroscopically view, isn’t there any universal aesthetics since the early time and among all the people?
Isn’t the twelve-tone equal temperament attracting to all as the basis of music? It is kind Of meaningless to talk about it under the condition that We still cannot prove yet, but it could be better if the Ideas on the lecture could be more inclusive and diverse. The second issue I would like to discuss is bout the old guy and Gunning in the movie Hero. I once studied and explore spirituality and social change through the movie. In my point of view, the scene may not be wrongly directed.
Historically, Gunning in the pre Sin period is mostly used for accompaniment and singing. In other words, it is supposed to be played either in a banquet with other instruments or in a solo with vocal until the Warring States period. So the scene of Hero makes sense if we take the physical condition of the guy which is old and blind into consideration. Simply playing is not the top performance of Gunning at that time. On the contrary, simply playing can be used as a way Of begging, especially for an Old and blind guy like him.
He did not offend the commonly accepted views at that time, although it is quite different from the views of the later ages. Conclusion In conclusion, do enjoy the course and get command of the theoretical framework of music as well as the linkage to the culture’s philosophy, society and cultural preference. A sense of belongingness responsibility also arouse from Chinese music. I would communicate more and spare no efforts in the process of future study.