World Music as Evolving Tradition
Cultural Expression in Contemporary Music Practices
Keywords:J-pop, K-pop, Taiwan, technologies, world music
Cultural expression in contemporary music practices goes beyond standard definitions of musical tradition. As a genre, pop music worldwide is significantly influenced by Western practices and does not generally include instrumentation or musical forms found in traditional musics of the country of origin. Nonetheless, contemporary artists still express culture-specific themes and articulate their relationship with globality and different cultures via other means, such as lyrical content, visuals, performance and applied technologies. This article examines three contemporary Asian case studies within the popular music idiom: Biung (Taiwan), Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (Japan) and Girls’ Generation (South Korea). We compare their expressions of cultural specificity in a national and global context, arguing for such popular music practices to be more broadly considered in the study of world music.
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