This paper presents a comparative study of extra-musical learning in the music classes of the schools of Hong Kong and Taiwan, where education is geared towards democracy and citizenship at a time of unstable national identity for both communities. Taiwan has been undergoing a process of indigenisation since 1945, whilst Hong Kong's sovereignty was returned to the People's Republic of China after 1 July 1997. This paper argues that the transmission of extra-musical learning is essentially a response to the particular needs of these two Chinese historical-social contexts, which require their music curricula to be securely grounded in the ideology of a culturally based education for 'citizenship'. Despite different approaches to western-based musical knowledge in schools, Hong Kong and Taiwan attempt to promote a sense of national identity and an essentially Confucian set of moral values as a central goal of school music education. The promotion of ethno-cultural nationalism in Taiwan's music education is regarded as a democratic goal for the Taiwanese state, though in practice, the educational systems of both Taiwan and Hong Kong are coloured by the global context.
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