National Identity in the Taiwanese System of Music Education

Wai Chung Ho*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

2 Citations (Scopus)


National identity in Taiwan is a topic that has attracted much recent attention from Taiwanese scholars and policy makers. This chapter examines the current debate between the discourses of nationalism and associated social change that determine the cultural diversity of Taiwanese music education today. In particular, it explains the complicated interplay between socio-politicization, localization (also called indigenization or Taiwanization), and the pursuit of national identity in both musical culture and music education in Taiwan between the 1990s and 2000s. In developing a new national identity, the Taiwanese state promoted the Taiwanization of public education in order to rebuild awareness of Taiwanese history and culture. The enactment of the “Law on Territorial Waters” in early 1999 clearly defined the jurisdiction of national identity, as a result of which the government announced lifting the restriction on using the title “Taiwan” in national organizations. The Taiwanese state has redefined the meaning of “national identity” by building “the spirit of Taiwan” into school music education through the introduction of local and ethnic identities in Taiwanese songs, opera and puppetry. In so doing, music education also reconstructs a greater Chinese identity by promoting traditional Chinese culture and music in the curriculum. Taiwanese national identities are reconstituted through the practice of diverse musical styles in music education as a part of the ongoing negotiation of boundaries between Taiwanese-ness and Chinese-ness in the twenty-first century, which remains a challenge for school music education.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPatriotism and Nationalism in Music Education
EditorsDavid G. Hebert, Alexandra Kertz-Welzel
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781409430810, 9781315599731
ISBN (Print)9781409430803, 9781138268784
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'National Identity in the Taiwanese System of Music Education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this