УДК 372.878

Ethnic reform of Chinese flute education in the context of multiculturalism

Ян Кэхуэй – бакалавр Океанического университета Китая.

Abstract: Chinese folk music culture has a long history, and at this stage, folk music education in the context of the Chinese mother tongue should take as its main task the transmission of the traditional music of the nation. With the increasing development of society, the popularity of the Chinese flute performing art is gradually increasing. Using the flute to express the charm of Chinese classical music, to promote Chinese folk culture and to establish a unique style of performance of Chinese flute works is currently the key development direction for the Chinese flute education career.

Аннотация: Китайская народная музыкальная культура имеет долгую историю, и на данном этапе народное музыкальное образование в контексте родного китайского языка должно взять в качестве основной задачи передачу традиционной музыки нации. С развитием общества постепенно растет популярность исполнительского искусства китайской флейты. Использование флейты для выражения очарования китайской классической музыки, пропаганды китайской народной культуры и создания уникального стиля исполнения китайских флейтовых произведений является в настоящее время ключевым направлением развития китайского образования в области флейты.

Keywords: flute, music education, ethnic music education, Chinese folk music, multiculturalism.

Ключевые слова: флейта, музыкальное образование, народное музыкальное образование, китайская народная музыка, мультикультурализм.

1. The development of the flute education career in China

1.1 The backwardness of the flute education concept

The development of the art of flute in China began in the 1930s. During this period, Chinese flute composers shifted their focus to folk music, and the excellent folk music works they created have become a hallmark of the development of the Chinese flute. However, there are still many contradictions in the development of flute education in China. Chinese music culture in general has been influenced by Western musical concepts, including performance styles and music teaching methodologies, but teaching methods adapted to the current state of Chinese flute education have not been widely developed and applied. For many years, Chinese flute music education has concentrated on the training of playing skills, without much attention being paid to the study of music education theory. Although the art of flute has developed greatly in China, the lack of a teaching system to match it has led to the low quality of flute music education, which in turn has led to Chinese flute education remaining at the level of simply developing playing skills for a long time. Music education without theoretical support cannot produce high level talents.

1.2 Lack of penetration of national culture

The construction of a music education system for Chinese music culture needs to be carried out in all aspects of music education. Ethnic music is the label of national culture, and China has a wealth of traditional wind instruments with unique timbres that make the charm of Chinese musical styles amplified. At present, most Chinese flute music education is based on Western music pieces. A reform of flute music education in China cannot be successful without the infiltration of Chinese folk culture. Taking Chinese piano music education as an example, the study of Chinese piano works takes Western music works as the beginning of development, learns Western music education concepts and blends them with localised Chinese music education concepts, thus creating new works that meet the aesthetics of Chinese national culture, a comparison can conclude that the infiltration of national culture in the field of flute education is relatively lacking.

2. The importance of ethnographic reform in flute education

Chinese folk music culture has a typical regional, traditional and broad development [2].

Traditional Chinese music education models are mainly conducted through folk music performances, and modern music education is mostly centred on mainstream Western music culture, with no in-depth study of the musical culture of the ethnic group. In the whole music education system, there is a great difference between Chinese and Western music culture, and Western European music culture has impacted on Chinese music culture. When analysing various musical forms, the theoretical terms of Western European music are mostly applied, which makes music learners unconsciously alienate our traditional music culture according to the Western music culture system, while our own musical elements are gradually assimilated. For example, the creation of flute artworks requires a different flavour in order to enrich the musical properties and artistic style of the music. Of course, modern flute teaching strives to nationalise the art of the flute, not only to pass on the fine traditions of the Chinese nation, but also to integrate the different aesthetic characteristics of Chinese and Western music in order to create a more unique and innovative performance [3].

In the music education programmes developed in China, attention is paid to the selection of outstanding foreign musical works while reflecting the national character, and two principles are followed: (1) to actively explore the musical works of ethnic minorities among the musical works of China (2) to widen the selection of foreign musical works as much as possible to avoid homogeneity. However, in practice, as the authors who write the textbooks are educated by the Western music education system, making the various elements of the music textbooks they write still adopt the Western music system, while Chinese folk songs and operas must be analysed and interpreted using traditional Chinese musical structures and musical forms, making the development of ethnic music education subject to certain resistance, therefore, attaching importance to music education in the context of the mother tongue and reconstructing the native language music system has become an urgent task in the field of music education at present.

3.Initiatives to develop the nationalisation of flute education

3.1 Establishing a systematic education system

To establish a systematic education system, both theory and practice need to be promoted. In the current social conditions, flute music has become a new subject in the field of music education in China. Whether the teaching system is perfect or not directly determines the quality of flute music teaching. In order to enhance the nationalisation of the Chinese flute art, it is even more important to establish a sound flute teaching system, which is the basic guarantee to decide whether the flute can be widely disseminated in China[4]. On the other hand, a thorough adjustment of the original flute syllabus, which is based on a Western system of musical knowledge, must be made in every detail towards nationalisation, and a flute course with Chinese national characteristics should be added to the maximum extent possible.

3.2 Strengthen the integration of the national culture of the flute

With the development of the times, Western music culture has played a driving role in Chinese music education, but in the face of Western music art with its rich historical bearing, it is an inevitable choice for the Chinese flute education cause to adhere to Chinese ethnic music heritage. On a theoretical level: courses on the history of Chinese folk music and the appreciation of traditional Chinese music need to be strengthened so that students can fully experience the artistic style of folk culture and thus generate inspiration and references for flute performance. Art universities should conduct extensive lectures on traditional music, allowing experts in folk music education to meet students face-to-face; traditional music education should also be added to the music curricula of primary and secondary schools, and individual ethnic minority regions, according to their own regional characteristics, can write their own teaching materials on local folk music, including opera music and folk music, so as to cultivate students' interest and folk music through local music education Thinking. The use of the flute to express Chinese folk music works, to create a different musical feeling, and ultimately to bring folk music works to the world stage with a new look, is a new direction for the development of the art of the flute in China. These new musical works not only preserve the elements of Chinese folk music well, but also reflect the charm of the art of the flute and enrich the musical forms in China.

3.3 Enhancing teachers' awareness of nationalistic education

Chinese students learning Western instruments is never a mere imitation, but a renewal of Chinese musical art and bringing Chinese musical culture up to date, combining the strengths of both China and the West to achieve the most desirable state of artistic performance. The development of Chinese flute music education must be fused with the best elements of Chinese music and culture, but this all needs to be taught by flute teachers with a strong sense of nationalisation and is an important step in advancing the degree of nationalisation of the art of the Chinese flute. As a flute teacher, it is essential to have a deep knowledge of Chinese history and culture, to appreciate the Chinese character and to feel the charm of the art of flute. As there is a great gap between the music of China and the West, it is important to combine this with the localised Chinese musical art in terms of playing techniques, musical language and musical aesthetics. This requires regular training activities in schools to ensure that flute teachers are able to incorporate nationalised concepts, nationalised spirit and nationalised thinking into their flute teaching, so that they can both absorb the unique style and timbre of the flute art and spread the Chinese national music.

4. Conclusion

Music and culture are the best vehicles for promoting the human spirit, and the musical language of the nation expresses the most sincere human emotions in the purest way. With the gradual and frequent musical exchanges between China and the West, this has provided a good way for the art of flute to integrate with Chinese folk music, which is inseparable from the diversity of Chinese folk music culture and is a passive choice made by the art of flute to adapt to China's folk music culture during its long-term development in a multi-ethnic Chinese environment. Good music educators need to master a wide range of musical art forms, which in turn naturally highlights the musical characteristics of their own ethnicity in the process of music performance and music education. It is an inevitable trend that Chinese and Western musical cultures and musical forms will learn from each other, influence each other, penetrate and integrate with each other. However, it is still a question of preserving and developing flute music in a better way, while maintaining the original artistic identity of the Chinese nation. In the process of flute art education, the transmission of Chinese music culture requires the joint efforts of more music educators to preserve the characteristics of their own ethnic music and to integrate it with the world's music culture in the process of teaching, so as to promote Chinese ethnic music culture and thus enrich the entire ethnic music culture.


  1. Gerke Yang Yu-Lun. A preliminary study on the art and teaching development of Chinese flute performance //. Nanjing Art Institute.2009.
  2. Jiang Lei. The Ethnic Music Heritage of Flute Art Education in the Context of Mother Tongue//. Journal of Shenyang Normal University (Social Science Edition) .2013. №37(01) .C .183-185.
  3. Zhu Dongmei. The relationship between solid basic skills practice and delicate musical expression in flute teaching // Popular Literature and Arts .2018 . № C.220.
  4. Wei Wei,Wei Huang. On several basic issues in flute performance and teaching //. Journal of Tianjin Conservatory of Music .2018. № C.51-60.

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