Deconstructing Chinese Art Music’s Paradigms and Paradigm Shift

Helan H L Yang*, Arturo Irisarri Izquierdo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This article examines how the notion of paradigm and paradigm shift could be applied to deconstruct the trajectory and discourse of Chinese art music in the twentieth and twenty-fist centuries. Firstly, it examines what defines the paradigm of Chinese art music, how it is distinguished from that of traditional Chinese music, and when such paradigm shift took place, for example, in the 1930s. Secondly, it examines how the paradigm of new Chinese music was connected to colonialism and how colonial undertones ingrained the musical development and discourses that shaped the new paradigm of Chinese music afterward. Thirdly, it examines how politics, ideology, and paradigms were intertwined with examples from the Maoist period. Fourthly, it examines the post-1980s art music scholarship, focusing on literature pertinent to piano music, revealing how scholarly trends and new paradigms were manifestations of the political system and dominant ideology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationParadigm Shifts in Chinese Studies
EditorsShiping Hua
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9789811680328
ISBN (Print)9789811680311
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2022

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese art music
  • Western music in China
  • Chinese new music
  • Chinese music scholarship
  • Chinese piano music
  • State ideology
  • Paradigm shift


Dive into the research topics of 'Deconstructing Chinese Art Music’s Paradigms and Paradigm Shift'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this