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Action, Criticism & Theory for Music Education

Page 8 of 28

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available. Although world musics have been widely discussed by music educators, their restricted expertise and resources have limited their educational effect. As a result, traditional curriculum and thus music education have not reacted sensitively to the musics of the popular, traditional, and contemporary cultures existing in the real world. This is especially serious in some places (especially those deeply influenced by Western classical music) where prejudice against popular music still exists among many people who value Western classical music as the most important music to be taught at school. Such people have totally ignored the fact that many classical traditions were developed initially as popular culture among their contemporaries but were only later identified as classics after their popularity faded; for example, the development of both Western and Chinese operas. At the same time, the contemporary repertoire is nearly totally absent from general music classes and even more seriously absent in performance activities. Similar situations exist in other countries, to various extents. The model proposed here thus draws the attention of music educators to the need to seek a balance of popular, traditional, and contemporary music in order to strengthen and develop this dimension to a full extent in music curriculum.

Localization, Nationalization and Globalization The dimension of localization, nationalization, and globalization of music underscores local music as being of first importance in the music curriculum, followed by music at the national level, and finally the global level in relation to other musics in the world. Localization refers to local pop, traditional, and contemporary music. Nationalization includes nationally known pop, traditional, and contemporary music. Globalization refers to the study of pop, traditional, and contemporary music in comparison to musics around the world. Local music forms the foundation of students’ education. Music widely recognized within one’s nation projects an overview of the country’s music. At the global level, the study of world musics provides students with a wider perspective of the world’s cultures. Before proceeding to further discussion, two points need clarification. First, the term “globalization” in this dimension does not mean a uniform or standardized kind of music but, to the contrary, recognition of the

importance of the diversity and varied

characteristics of musics around the

Leung, C. (2004). Building a New Music Curriculum: A Multi-faceted approach. Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education. Vol.3, #2 (July 2004). http://act.maydaygroup.org/articles/Leung3_2.pdf

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