The Future of Cultural Policy in East Asia – the Discourse on Classical Music from a Postcolonial Perspective

© RUB, Marquard

Cultural policy has to do with the self-understanding of the people of a region and their regional and national identity. Contrary to its universal image, classical music has been found to be associated with nationality and social class. German music, seen as universal, was linked to German national identity in the 19th and 20th centuries; Vienna’s identity as a musical city was constructed in order to demonstrate Austrian cultural hegemony. Postcolonial theories analyze the history, process, and impact of European colonialism; this also includes the various counter-reactions of colonized people against colonialism. Their focus is primarily on the effects of European imperialism on forms of perception, including perceptions of the future, and ways of knowing within non-European countries, as an expression of Western domination. Under this imperialism, non-Westerners also take Western perspectives to understand and represent themselves as well as their society. Non-Western artists and authors experience and discursively negotiate art and cultural politics from a Eurocentric point of view. Furthermore, civic political participation in cultural policy is an important topic, not only in East Asia, but globally. The future of the arts, which have received policy support, is an important example of cultural policy and civic political culture. In fact, far from the image of a dichotomy between “Western” and “traditional”, there were historical examples of the fusion of Western and indigenous music that are very suggestive for the future of cultural policy in East Asia. The aim of the proposed dissertation project is therefore to create a basic understanding of the influence of Eurocentric thinking on a global scale and to deepen possibilities of decolonial thinking.