Chinese instruments and the creation of a national music

The next time you hear a performance of “traditional” music, consider that the “Chinese” sounds in your ear, like the borders of the modern People’s Republic, are scarcely a century old. Often they are much newer; yet they are propagated and presented as traditional. This occurs through the musical equivalent of a military occupation: government oversight of music schools, venues, broadcasting, the recording industry, and other prominent incubators and outlets of cultural activity.

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