This paper explores the characteristic, cultural specificity, and the local and global significance of Asian music and its interaction with other music cultures. In addition, the effect of globalisation on Asian music is discussed with respect to Asian pop cultures such as Korean pop. The Significance of Music in the Asian Society That Asian culture is quite beautiful and luring is an undeniable fact. Of greater and unparalleled beauty and significance are the recorded and cherished Asian cultures, which are handed down from one generation to the other. These cultural aspects of Asia are not only rich with evidences of past and current cultural struggles but also show the triumphs of Asian cultures over natural forces that would otherwise erode these cultures at the slightest opportunities (Philip & Wong, 1997).
Like in other regions, Asians store and chronicle their stories of struggle and triumph in music, which is in turn carried from one generation to the next. This music document and preserve the events, cultures and the feelings of the people of Asia. Thus, Asian music is more that the strumming of strings and the beating of drums that one hears when music is played.
There is more to every musical culture as what one hears in Tokyo or India is quite different from what one hears in Angola or Mexico. The significance of music to Asians is supported by the popularity of music festivals in the region and the awe and reverence with which Asian performing artists are held. In addition, the fact that Asian children are exposed to music at an early age points to the importance and the integral nature of music in life in Asia (Philip & Wong, 1997).
In fact, Asian children are encouraged and trained to take up instruments before they even start to read and write. The Asian Youth Orchestra exemplifies the reverence with which music is regarded in Asia. That music is significant and loved in Asia is further supported by the varieties of music in Asian and Asians’ embrace of music from other regions such as Europe and the United States of America. There are several uses to which music is put in Asia, which make it a rather popular aspect of Asian cultures.
First, music as an art is a fundamental human function to satisfy man’s desire to be creative and critical. Humans also have to fulfill the instinctive desire to make and interact with sound and take pleasure in it. Asians have thus always found music an integral and significant part of their lives not only for enjoyment but also for creation, performance and emotional response purposes (Broughton & Ellingham, 2000).
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