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HERD Judith Ann

Change and Continuity in Contemporary Japanese Music: A Search for a National Identity

Edition: Ph.D., Dept. of music, Brown University, 394 p.

Date: 1987

Region: JAPAN


Type of media: Grey

Language: English


Comment: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses: The Humanities and Social Sciences Collection, Copyright UMI - Dissertations Publishing 1987

To claim that contemporary music in Japan is easily comparable to contemporary music in the United States or Europe is to deny the complexity of the role music plays in each culture. While contemporary music in Japan and Western countries is undeniably similar in many respects, there are particular patterns and characteristics evident in Japanese contemporary music which have evolved over nearly a century and over more than three generations. Borrowed musical styles eventually were transformed over successive generations into entities with distinct Japanese characteristics, allowing many of the diverse features of traditional Japanese arts to coexist harmoniously with Western-derived genres. The response of Japanese composers to Western music from the Meiji Period to the present has taken the pattern of transculturation in an attempt to maintain their cultural identity amidst the importation of Western political, economic and social institutions. This study examines the transculturation process through the achievements of the pre-World War II nationalist, postwar neo-nationalist, experimental, and new avant-garde Japanese composers.