Music education in Taiwan: The dynamics and dilemmas of globalization, localization and sinophilia

Wai Chung HO, Wing Wah Law

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


The article examines the complicated interplay of globalization, localization and sinophilia that, along with associated social changes, determines reforms in Taiwanese music education today. Students are expected not only to be tri-lingual, in so far as they are obliged to learn English, Mandarin and a local language, such as Southern Fujianese, Hakka or an aboriginal dialect, but they must also become tri-cultural with respect to western classical music, traditional Chinese music and indigenous Taiwanese music. The findings of our questionnaires suggest that the processes of globalization, localization and sinophilia are unequal determinants in the transformation of Taiwanese music education. The survey, which was conducted among 2596 primary and secondary school students (1309 from Tainan and 1287 from Taipei) between May and November 2000, shows that schools are less inclined than the Taiwanese government to promote local music. Students in the survey much prefer western classical and popular music to local Taiwanese and traditional Chinese styles. They show little interest in promoting Chinese culture or in singing Taiwan's national anthem. By examining the major concerns of music education from the perspective of the complex dynamics of globalization, this study illuminates the tensions and dilemmas facing the music curriculum of Taiwan today.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-360
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Phytoremediation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Plant Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cultural transmission
  • Curriculum reform
  • Music education
  • Social transformation


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