Ancient China had matured in rites and music. A great deal of music practice enriched the official etiquette and people’s daily lives, which helped to form a rich and complete system of Chinese traditional music.
However, since the early 20th century, Chinese music has been facing the conflict between traditional music and Western civilisation. The mass dissemination of Western music has had profound impacts on Chinese traditional music. In the process of specialization, the traditional instrumental music has undergone a fundamental transformation in notation, transmission, instrumental ensemble and even musical thinking. The new national orchestra, under the formulation of the Western symphony orchestra, is one of the results of this influence.
This lecture will briefly introduce the traditional instrumental culture and make a review and reflection on the professionalisation of Chinese instrumental music in the 20th century.
Xianyan WANG, Associate Professor of China Conservatory of Music and a visiting scholar at SOAS University of London. His research focuses on Chinese traditional music.
Based on rich fieldwork experience in Chinese traditional music, he has been to Nepal, Laos, Japan, Mongolia, Russia, Burma, India, Iran and other countries many times to conduct field investigations, from which he has developed a comprehensive perception of music culture and social context in the process of globalisation.