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 methodized 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 uniqueness 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 subjectivity instead of certain meaning in music, it is improper to regard music as a universal language.
2. 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 multiethnic nation with diverse musical culture presenting by diverse sound, China represents pluralistic and inclusive. We appreciated Fujian Nanyin with feature of melismatic, Jiangnan Sizhu with interactions among performers, Cantonese music with improvises as well as Chaozhou 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 played 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...
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