Pianos and Politics in China: Middle-Class Ambitions and the Struggle over Western Music

Synopsis

In China, a nation where the worlds of politics and art are closely linked, Western classical music was considered during the cultural revolution to be an imperialist intrusion, in direct conflict with the native aesthetic. In this revealing chronicle of the relationship between music and politics in twentieth-century China, Richard Kraus examines the evolution of China's ever-changing disposition towards European music and demonstrates the steady westernization of Chinese music. Placing China's cultural conflicts in global perspective, he traces the lives of four Chinese musicians and reflects on how their experiences are indicative of China's place at the furthest edge of an expanding Western international order.

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