As an ethnomusicology major, I am fascinated by how global cultures view music. One culture in particular, the Chinese, view music in such a manner that I believe would change the minds of scholars here in the west if adopted. First, for me to set up my argument, I must delve into the story of how it is believed that music came to be created in China. Legend states that music in China developed when Huangdi founder of the Chinese Empire instructed a man by the name of Ling-lun to travel the Kwen-lun mountains. This is where I believe that the Chinese philosophy of music could help western scholars. Theorists in the west tend to have a scientific, mathematical approach to music theory, but there is little questioning why.
Chinese Music Theory and Its Implications for Western Music
Japanese musical scales - Wikipedia
Music theory is the study of the practices and possibilities of music. The Oxford Companion to Music describes three interrelated uses of the term "music theory":. The first is what is otherwise called " rudiments ", currently taught as the elements of notation, of key signatures, of time signatures, of rhythmic notation, and so on. Music theory is frequently concerned with describing how musicians and composers make music, including tuning systems and composition methods among other topics. Because of the ever-expanding conception of what constitutes music see Definition of music , a more inclusive definition could be that music theory is the consideration of any sonic phenomena, including silence, as they relate to music. This is not an absolute guideline; for example, the study of "music" in the Quadrivium liberal arts university curriculum that was common in medieval Europe was an abstract system of proportions that was carefully studied at a distance from actual musical practice.
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Japanese musical scales
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East Asia can be viewed as one of the big four among the generally urban, literate cultural areas of the world. Around each of these major regional cultures one can find many satellite musical systems known as national forms. In most cases, the fundamental musical concepts of such national forms reflect the basic ideals of the cultural core. Its documents on music theory from the 18th to the 20th century combine South and East Asian concepts with indigenous insights.