While attention has been paid to various aspects of music education in China, to date no single publication has systematically addressed the complex interplay of sociopolitical transformations underlying the development of popular music and music education in the multilevel culture of China. Before the implementation of the new curriculum reforms in China at the beginning of the twenty-first century, there was neither Chinese nor Western popular music in textbook materials. Popular culture had long been prohibited in school music education by China’s strong revolutionary orientation, which feared ‘spiritual pollution’ by Western cultures. However, since the early twenty-first century, education reform has attempted to help students deal with experiences in their daily lives and has officially included learning the canon of popular music in the music curriculum. In relation to this topic, this book analyses how social transformation and cultural politics have affected community relations and the transmission of popular music through school music education. Ho presents music and music education as sociopolitical constructions of nationalism and globalization. Moreover, how popular music is received in national and global contexts and how it affects the construction of social and musical meanings in school music education, as well as the reformation of music education in mainland China, is discussed. Based on the perspectives of school music teachers and students, the findings of the empirical studies in this book address the power and potential use of popular music in school music education as a producer and reproducer of cultural politics in the music curriculum in the mainland.
Popular Music, Cultural Politics and Music Education in China