Week 1-Popular Music As Culture

Hello, I’m Miranda Cheng. I trained in classical piano and have been teaching piano for more than ten years since I was 20 years old. When the time I was in my undergraduate studies, I entered the music department at the National Taiwan University of Arts, from where I majored in piano performance. I learned a large amount of knowledge about music there, including History of Western Music, Music Aesthetics and Music Theory such as Harmony, Music Form, and the Counterpoint, etc., I not only absorbed a lot of knowledge of music theories, but also gained a lot of stage experiences during these four years. In addition, I got the MA of Music Education in National Taipei University of Education where I’ve learned famous theories of music pedagogy and skills of doing the research in Music Education. All the subjects are very useful when I engaged in music teaching career in the following years.

First of all, I think, we have to realize what culture is. For me, culture means the ways of life of human beings, which can relate to customs, beliefs, arts, etc. among different groups of ethics. Therefore, without doubt, music is part the life and has been existing since we human beings arrived the earth. As to popular music, it may refer to one kind of music that widely spread to large audiences in a group of people during a particular time Some information suggests that popular music can be enjoyed and performed by people with little music training It is in contrast to art music such as classical music. As far as I am concerned, when popular music becomes the part of culture, it brings the huge economic value, and even affecting other industries such as tourism or the relating produces.  There are many genres in Popular music which can be classified to Electronic,Folk, Hip-hop, Jazz, Latin, R&B and soul, Reggae, Funk, Rock etc. and sometimes they may be difficult the  boundary. As a classical music learner for years, there are only some specific types of popular music such as Jazz, Folk, R&B or crossover music attracts me a lot. Although I am not interested in all kinds of popular music, I will still try to understand their style and important roles in music history so that I won’t have a bias to those I don’t really like.


If the music performances can be regarded as a part of the music production, then I think I have lots of experiences of taking part in these activities since childhood. I have many experiences of performing piano on stages. However, the repertoires of my performances are usually classical music which including pieces of Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt, Chopin etc. I also attended the piano and accompanist competitions and was assigned as the accompanist of female choral during college. I held my piano recital at the age of 22 at the concert hall of the University. I have made my own album and recorded the music I performed in concert, however, it is not for the purpose of music business, so I think I do not have the opportunities to engage myself in the music distribution. As to the music consumption, I think almost everyone has experiences in consuming music. I have bought hundreds of cassette tapes,CDs and DVDs when I fell in love with classical music. However, after the Youtube and iTune appeared, I seldom buy music products but still go to live concert or music festival.


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