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China bans great sacred "classical" music


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According to this news site:

"A smaller piece as part of a bigger programme might be OK, but a big work like Mozart's Requiem would definitely be out."
Until recently the government seemed to give its backing [to sacred "classical" music]. The China Philharmonic Orchestra played Mozart's Requiem for the Pope in Rome earlier this year as proof of Beijing's sincerity in seeking to win the Vatican's diplomatic recognition.

But attitudes in the top leadership to religion and western culture in general are thought to be divided. Some regard an explosion in evangelical Christianity across the country as having social benefits, while others regard it as an alien threat to Communist Party control.

The article mentions a number of well-known Western groups that had to cancel or alter performances. This will also affect this non-profit Christian arts group, which has sponsored such performances in the past.

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This is disappointing, but the idea of "banning" something in China is a very loose notion. Note that the Academy of Ancient music is called a victim of the ban in the lede, but that "The performance will go ahead but has been made "by invitation only" to get round the ban." That's about par for the course here -- there's almost always a way. Live music performances of almost every kind involving foreign musicians were canceled for most of the summer "due to the Olympics," and stuff is just getting re-started now. I don't mean to downplay that any restriction on what kind of music you can play is a bad thing, of course, but we'll see...

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