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Musicians from a Different Shore


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Table of Contents

Introduction: A Rising Scale in Relative Minor
Chapter 1. Early Lessons in Globalization
Chapter 2. The Roots and Routes of Asian Music
Chapter 3. Playing Gender
Chapter 4. Class Notes
Chapter 5. A Voice of One's Own
Conclusion: Musicians First
Selected Biography
About the Author

Promotional Information

Why do so many Asians devote their lives to playing Western classical music?

About the Author

Mari Yoshihara is Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.She is the author of Embracing the East: White Women and American Orientalism.


Examining the subject of why so many Asians devote their lives to playing Western classical music, Yoshihara (American studies, Univ. of Hawaii, Manoa; Embracing the East: White Women and American Orientalism) looks at the issues surrounding Asian and Asian American culture and whether training and performance of Western classical music really are driving forces. She offers a historical background of post-World War II Asian culture to explain the convergence of politics, commerce, and everyday life that led to the prevalence of classical music in middle-class homes. Discussion and interviews with numerous musicians-including Kent Nagano, a conductor affiliated with the Berkeley Symphony, the Opera National de Lyon, and the Halle Orchestra in Manchester, among others-are intertwined throughout with various explanations for the phenomenon. An involving mix of personal information and research data on the topic, this book will be of interest to the secondary through graduate school educational market, as well as public and academic libraries.-Bradford Lee Eden, Univ. of California Lib., Santa Barbara Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"It provides an excellent overview of the role that Asians have come to play in the world of western classical music. It is beautifully written, extremely lucid, and well researched." Timothy D. Taylor "A comprehensive cultural, historical and ethnographic study of Asians and Asian-Americans who pursue Western classical music in the United States...a probing authoritative survey." Publishers Weekly "Ms. Yoshihara excels at sketching out the biographies of these musicians, who also speak for themselves in large chunks of interviews reproduced verbatim...Their accounts of navigating professional and cultural pitfalls in Asia, Europe, and North America make Musicians a worthwhile purchase for anyone who's struggled with similar issues of identity, authenticity, and achievement." The Far East Review "An excellent and thoroughly realized new book...what is most remarkable about Yoshihara's study is the precise layering she finds...superbly researched, Yoshihara adds vital resonance to this subject." Philadelphia City Paper "This enlightening and informative book studies music in a social and subjective context. The art of music is here regarded as expression and communication. This multicultural study is highly recommended for students and general readers." Multicultural Review "Invaluable... Yoshihara's book illuminates the often-ignored and hidden dimensions of classical music's political economy through extensive interviews with musicians and will be of interest to scholars of oral history eager to understand how unwritten narratives unfold at angles oblique to the written canon of classical music scholarship... Oral historians will find many parts of this book noteworthy." - The Oral History Review

An associate professor at the University of Hawaii, Yoshihara (Embracing the East: White Women and American Orientalism) delivers a comprehensive cultural, historical and ethnographic study of Asians and Asian-Americans who pursue Western classical music in the United States. At age three, she began piano lessons in Japan. After moving to California at 11, she started more rigorous musical training. Passing up the conservatory, she chose to major in American studies at the University of Tokyo, eventually returning to the U.S. as an academic. This study is the result of her in-depth interviews with 70 orchestra members, soloists and university and conservatory faculty, as well as her own experiences of master classes, auditions, a recording session, workshops and some 100 concerts. Describing Asian musicians' personal histories, roots, gender dynamics, experiences and goals, she dispels common misconceptions, such as the assumption that Asians have a natural affinity for Asian music. Yoshihara's scholarly background and musicianship merge in this probing, authoritative survey. The extensive bibliography lists sources in both English and Japanese. 18 b&w illus. not seen by PW. (Oct. 28) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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