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Educating Through Music

From an "Initiation into Classical Music" for Children to Confucian "Self-Cultivation" for University Students
Zhe Ji
p. 107-117


Confucian discourse in contemporary China simultaneously permeates the intertwined fields of politics and education. The current Confucian revival associates the “sacred”, power and knowledge whereas modernity is characterized by a differentiation between institutions and values. The paradoxical situation of Confucianism in modern society constitutes the background of the present article that explores the case of a private company involved in promoting classical Chinese music to children and “self-cultivation” to students. Its original conception of “education through music” paves the way for a new “ethical and aesthetic” teaching method that leaves aside the traditional associations of ethics with politics. By the same token, it opens the possibility for a non-political Confucianism to provide a relevant contribution in the field of education today.

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Bibliographical reference

Zhe Ji, « Educating Through Music », China Perspectives, 2008/3 | 2008, 107-117.

Electronic reference

Zhe Ji, « Educating Through Music », China Perspectives [Online], 2008/3 | 2008, Online since 01 July 2011, connection on 12 December 2017. URL :

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About the author

Zhe Ji

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