HJAA00671U History of Music in Japan from the Mid-Nineteenth Century

Volume 2013/2014
The 2010 Curriculum for the BA programme in Asian Studies with specialisations in Indology, Japanese Studies, China Studies, Korean Studies, Southeast Asian Studies and Tibetology or

The 2007 Curriculum for the Elective Studies in Japanese studies

The enforced opening of Japan in the 1850s and the modernization policies pursued by the Meiji government after 1868 brought profound changes to the practice of music in Japan. Western music was introduced and disseminated through the military and the education system as well as through missionaries. The practice of indigenous Japanese music also changed profoundly as a result of government policies and social and economic changes. In the course of the 20th century developments like the development of mass media (gramophone, film, radio broadcasting) and the emergence of an urban consumer society brought further changes in musical practices.

This course will look at the most important developments in the history of music in Japan. Themes and possible topics for student assignments will include the different genres of traditional music of Japan, the introduction of Western music in Japan, including popular forms such as jazz and tango, the development of popular songs, music and the emerging middle classes, the search for a “Japanese style” of music etc. In part, the topics treated in class may be selected according to students’ interest and students are encouraged to contact me in advance to discuss these.

Questions of theory and methodology will also be included, and one of the main aims of the course will be to learn what the history of music can contribute to our knowledge of the past in general.

Learning Outcome
BA 2010-ordning:
Japansk realia 1 (fagelementkode HJAB00671E)
Japansk realia 2 (fagelementkode HJAB00731E)
Japansk realia 3 (fagelementkode HJAB00761E)

BA tilvalg 2007-ordning:
Japansk realia A (fagelementkode HJAB10041E)
Japansk realia B (fagelementkode HJAB10071E)

George, Mary W. 2009. The Elements of Library Research: What Every Student

Details to be announced. Required introductory readings

If you have not yet done so, please read before the course starts:

Gordon, Andrew. A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present: Oxford University Press, 2009 (2003).

Cook, Nicholas. Music: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Wade, Bonnie C. Music in Japan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

It is also advisable to read an introduction to the study of history, such as:

Jordanova, Ludmilla. 2006. History in Practice (2nd ed.), London: Hodder Arnold.

Kjeldstadli, Knut. 2002 Fortiden er ikke hvad den har været: en indføring i historiefaget, Frederiksberg: Roskilde Universitets Forlag.
Passed the course Introduction to Japanese History and Cultural History
Lecture with discussion
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 384,5
  • Total
  • 412,5
Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assesment