An Investigation of Taiwan''s Acceptance of Jazz Music


An Investigation of Taiwan''s Acceptance of Jazz Music
The main research objective of this thesis is as follows: first to investigate how Taiwan’s public has accepted jazz music, a product of foreign culture. Has there been any change over time in people’s recognition of the artistic qualities of Jazz? Have people’s attitudes changed? Have they identified differently with jazz at different times? Over the past fifty years, there have been massive transformations in social structure, in politics, and in the economic environment. Jazz is a western form of entertainment that arrived in Taiwan with the presence of American troops. Through these different stages of historical development, how did jazz become a first-rate form of entertainment that won the hearts of so many people? The rise and fall of jazz in public favor is the field of inquiry of this research.This thesis is divided into three large sections. They are: 1) The acceptance of new aesthetic principles and the historical development of jazz; 2) The historical development of jazz in Taiwan; 3) The status of Taiwanese acceptance of jazz music (how and to what extent have they accepted this foreign form of music). The 1st section─concerned with the acceptance of aesthetic principles and with the development of jazz─aims to give an orderly exposition of the acceptance both of aesthetic principles and theories, and of theories related to the broadcast and popularity of this form of music. In addition, the diachronic historical development of jazz music as well as its musical features will be covered.The emphasis in the 2nd section is on examining the development of jazz in Taiwan. Here, jazz is not simply seen as a form of music but also as an activity that involves intimate social interaction. It has been over fifty years since the nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek arrived in Taiwan. This thesis will look at jazz activities and events in the particular periods of Taiwan’s post-war history. The examination started with materials gathered from newspaper articles, and these were supplemented by interviews and other materials. Newspaper editorials will be used to assess the level of public acceptance of jazz music in a certain period. Taiwan’s post-war history is divided into three main periods, and the people, bands, and audiences of the jazz scene, as well as other related external forces and historical factors, will be discussed for each period. In this manner, the development of jazz in Taiwan and its interactive relationship with society and politics will be traced.The third section of this thesis enters into an investigation of the level of acceptance of a form of foreign culture in Taiwan. The foundation is the acceptance of aesthetic principles, and newspapers, magazines, concert programs, websites, books, and performance activities will serve as evidence for the viewpoints of Taiwanese people about jazz as well as their recognition of this form of music.There are at present no monographs devoted to the history of jazz in Taiwan or to the level of acceptance of the Taiwanese public. Therefore, it is hoped that the research analysis presented in this thesis can begin building a history of jazz music in Taiwan that investigates the process by which a foreign art form was accepted by Chinese people. It is also expected that this thesis will gather materials on the history of jazz music to be used in future research in this area, and will arouse governmental and academic circles to pay closer attention to this interesting and significant topic.
Soochow University