\"\"
Piano Forum logo

the Chinese and Korean "invasion" ???? (Read 5182 times)

Offline faulty_damper

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3931
Re: the Chinese and Korean "invasion" ????
«Reply #50 on: October 24, 2013, 05:19:08 AM »
Dima,
You said that Asians found the new music exciting and whatnot.  That's generally not true, except in the case of Tchaikovsky and Chopin.  Also, what you say about struggling with harmony, that applies to almost all music students, not just Asians.

I also never said Chinese hated Western music, just that most of it did not, and still does not, appeal to them.  However, that's not to say that many of the rising class didn't fake liking it because Western music was associated with prestige and power, so going to concerts was a sign of wealth and prestige.  It still is.

As one Chinese mother of a Western classically trained violinist complained about the music her son played, she said it was very "busy".  He was a violinist for a string quartet and she found Beethoven's string quartets to be very busy.  I agree that this is true and completely understood why it is true.  So many melodies compete for attention, when Chinese music often only has a single melody that is supported harmonically.  It was like four people talking at the same time. That's just rude and disrespectful. ;)

Offline j_menz

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 10150
Re: the Chinese and Korean "invasion" ????
«Reply #51 on: October 24, 2013, 05:26:28 AM »
I also never said Chinese hated Western music, just that most of it did not, and still does not, appeal to them.  However, that's not to say that many of the rising class didn't fake liking it because Western music was associated with prestige and power, so going to concerts was a sign of wealth and prestige.  It still is.

Since we are talking about art music, that would be equally true is you replaced "Chinese" with "westerners".

Chinese music often only has a single melody that is supported harmonically.  

As does most western music outside the classical (and artier jazz) traditions.

I might also add that Chen Mingzhi, a professor of music at the University of Beijing during the Maoist years, was profoundly interested in western music in general and polyphony in particular.  He wrote a textbook on it, and some wonderful Preludes and Fugues.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1786
Re: the Chinese and Korean "invasion" ????
«Reply #52 on: October 24, 2013, 05:37:32 AM »
-
No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline kalirren

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 144
Re: the Chinese and Korean "invasion" ????
«Reply #53 on: November 01, 2013, 05:26:14 AM »
If I had to point to one factor that influences the recent East Asian dominance in American music schools, it's not the Communist music system (South Korea isn't communist!).  It's not even on that side of the Pacific.

The bulk of American kids just aren't precise.  This is true in general of the US national character - Americans are just not precise in mindset.  You ask an American to do something, they'll go ahead and do what they think you mean by it, then come back to you and try to sell you the result of their effort.  You ask a Japanese or a Korean person to do something, they'll ask you how you want your i's dotted and t's crossed before they even start.

You see this in music, you see this in chess.  One of the things American chess masters say when they give simultaneous exhibitions in China and Korea is that the kids there don't drop pieces anywhere near as often as the American kids do.  The culture values and expects precision, and it just so happens that such a culture is good for young chessplayers, who need precision more than they need insight.  The same holds for music, where before we can struggle with insight, we must struggle with clarity, and the application of sustained effort that it takes to develop technique over time.  When clarity is the first major hurdle for someone to become a music student at university level, the discipline naturally selects for the precise student.  And more and more of them just happen to be Asian.

Yes, there are other factors - the Western emphasis on well-roundedness even from early age that goes all the way back to Greece, the association of arts with a liberal tradition instead of a conservative one, the Asian/Russian devotion to talent from early age, the "evaporative cooling" effect where only their best leave the home country to come here, whereas we have to deal also with our mediocre students.  But I think this one factor, that Americans fundamentally do not value precision, and almost do not believe that it can be cultivated, matters more than all the rest.  It's why so few Americans can compete.
Beethoven: An die Ferne Geliebte
Franck: Sonata in A Major
Vieuxtemps: Sonata in Bb Major for Viola
Prokofiev: Sonata for Flute in D Major

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1786
Re: the Chinese and Korean "invasion" ????
«Reply #54 on: November 01, 2013, 06:02:38 AM »
-
No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline enochy

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 28
Re: the Chinese and Korean "invasion" ????
«Reply #55 on: December 11, 2013, 03:35:46 AM »
Asians try too hard.
I'm Korean... :/

Offline mjames

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2454
Re: the Chinese and Korean "invasion" ????
«Reply #56 on: December 16, 2013, 01:38:56 PM »
I don't mind.

I've got quite the fetish for Asians
The more the better
:D

Got a thing for Scandinavians too.

 

Offline vansh

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 66
Re: the Chinese and Korean "invasion" ????
«Reply #57 on: December 16, 2013, 06:21:06 PM »
Along with discipline ("no girlfriends until you're married!") I think it also has to do with committing the child to something at a very young age. I mean, what kid knows they want to be a professional gymnast when they're 5? But my understanding is that's about when they start hardcore training for it.

For me, I started playing piano when I was 6. Actually, I know I started way before that (have vague memories of it), but the teacher ended up recommending for me to wait a few years because I was very fidgety and not really able to just sit there and play. I would then take piano lessons more or less continuously (though some breaks whenever we moved to a new city) until I graduated from high school. Did I actively "choose" to play piano? I don't think so, though I certainly am glad that I did stick with it now.

As already mentioned by others, I think part of it is the difference in Western versus Eastern (or at least Asian) philosophy with regards to kids. Western philosophy is more about the kid going out and figuring out his own destiny, whereas Eastern philosophy is more about the kid helping the family, bringing honor to the family name, etc. Thus parents see what the kids do sort of as an extension of themselves, just as someone here view their BMW or Mercedes or Ferrari. Having a kid that can do X is a status symbol to humblebrag to friends about for "face" in the same way someone here might pull up in a fancy car ostensibly without making a big deal about it (but of course, hoping everyone will notice).

Also, Eastern (again, or at least Asian) society highly value education, so kids are in highly structured academic programs from a very young age. School doesn't get out until near dinner (rather than mid-afternoon in the US), and then there's prep classes to take in the evening, and any "free time" is supposed to be used for studying, etc. It's very different from the Western philosophy of letting the kids run off and play after school is over to discover the world for themselves.

One reason why piano might be particularly competitive is that things Western are considered high status or culture. Just being able to speak English well is considered a sign of a good upbringing -- that your parents has enough means to send you to English prep classes, etc. So I'm not surprised about the piano since it's a Western instrument.

I'd be curious as to how well those students do when they actually get to a Western conservatory. A lot of the discipline is imposed on students from without, i.e. from parents and societal pressures, so how do they fare once they're in an environment without those pressures and they must have the discipline on their own? I've heard many stories about kids rebelling once in that environment because they don't really know how to handle the personal freedom that they're given; while in Western culture the stormy years are likely the adolescence of middle school and high school, for Asian culture it's likely in the late teens/early twenties when the kid decides to pursue a different career than what the parents wanted, or date a blondie, or whatever.
Currently working on: Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody 2 (all advice welcome!), Chopin's Revolutionary Etude, Chopin's Fantaisie Impromptu

Offline j_menz

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 10150
Re: the Chinese and Korean "invasion" ????
«Reply #58 on: December 16, 2013, 10:27:35 PM »
no girlfriends until you're married!

I doubt your wife will let you have any afterwards, either.  ;D
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline mjames

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2454
Re: the Chinese and Korean "invasion" ????
«Reply #59 on: December 16, 2013, 10:45:06 PM »
I doubt your wife will let you have any afterwards, either.  ;D

Lmao.
J
Stop being so funny.
I might fall in love with you.

Offline j_menz

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 10150
Re: the Chinese and Korean "invasion" ????
«Reply #60 on: December 16, 2013, 11:43:11 PM »
I might fall in love with you.

You'll need to get rid of the "lol no not Busoni" bit from your signature if you expect reciprocation.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline mjames

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2454
Re: the Chinese and Korean "invasion" ????
«Reply #61 on: December 17, 2013, 12:10:25 AM »
You'll need to get rid of the "lol no not Busoni" bit from your signature if you expect reciprocation.

100 years too soon for me to even attempt his transcription, wish I had the ability to do so. I'll think about it in a few years time.

Offline abielikesu

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 55
Re: the Chinese and Korean "invasion" ????
«Reply #62 on: January 06, 2014, 07:04:59 AM »
I imagine that is not too visible at junior level.
My son goes to a well known European musc conservatoire, and most of the students are white Europeans. There are also a few Asians, Russians and 2 Americans ( one from USA and my son from Colombia).
The joy of music making!