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The Piano And Cultural Modernity In East Asia

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows that Western music has become an important part of modern Asian culture and that already in prewar Japan the piano had become a symbol of cultural modernity. The fundamental questions to be addressed in this chapter are: Why did Western classical (art) music (piano in particular) become such an important part of modern East Asian culture? Why was it privileged above all other forms of high culture? How was it perceived by those who learned it? The chapter aims to show the prime position accorded to piano in East Asia; to explain how this has happened by looking at historical perspectives; to ask why this has happened by bringing in theoretical perspectives; and to explore through this case study the concept of modernity in a non-western context, asking whether it is a case of multiple modernities, or colonial modernity, or both.

Keywords: cultural modernity; east Asia; Japanese colonial influence; piano

10.1163/ej.9789004184343.i-316.47
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004184343.i-316.47
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