2008 Volume 10 Issue 1 Pages 77-89
The purpose of the present study is to provide insight into the nature of music education and the characteristics of the music curricula in China and Japan during the postwar period. It examines how music education has transformed from its function of ideological education during the Second World War and how the foundations of the music curricula were constructed in these two countries. This historical study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the complexity of Chinese music education from a comparative viewpoint Both China and Japan have placed emphasis on the acquaintance with music knowledge and skills, and advocated aesthetic education of music. However, in China musical curriculum appeared to be subject knowledge-centered while in Japan musical curriculum appeared to be musical activity-centered. Moreover, it is found that in China music education continued to play an important role in political education during the postwar period and the music curriculum lacks substantial content of musical aesthetics. It is found that the substantial difference between China and Japan may be the recognition of the nature of music which caused differences in musical curricula during the postwar period.