The struggle between globalisation, nationalism and music education in Hong Kong

Wai Chung HO*, Wing Wah Law

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The year 2008 marked the 11th anniversary of Hong Kong's return from the UK to the People's Republic of China. In this decade, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has repeatedly emphasised the importance of the development of national identity and patriotism in school education, and has at the same time introduced diverse cultural values into the school curriculum. This article explores the dynamics and complexity of the relationships between the state, globalisation and nationalism in Hong Kong that are re-shaping music education in response to contemporary socio-political changes. It argues that Hong Kong school music education has made a gradual cultural shift towards globalism and nationalism, and away from the Westernism that has dominated Hong Kong music education since before the change of sovereignty on 1 July 1997. The article concludes with a discussion of how music education might juggle two pairs of relationships in the curriculum: between global and national cultures; and between the education of cultural values and nationalism in Chinese music. There is pressure to rethink teacher education in terms of the need to be aware of the socio-political environment in which it operates, and within which it makes music education socially relevant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-456
Number of pages18
JournalMusic Education Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Education
  • Music

User-Defined Keywords

  • globalisation
  • Hong Kong music education
  • nationalism


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