Where Do Most Of Young Musicians In the World Live And Study?

You guessed right. According to popular statistical sources, the most populous country in the world, China, bousts the largest population of musicians. About 36 million students study piano, and around 100 millions study to play one, two or more instruments. In comparison, the US piano students count about 6 million.

China's interest and commitment to Western music is comarable to none. This becomes even more interesting when you learn how recent the history of Western music in China is.

Chinese culture is one of the oldest in world. Chinese science, engieneering, philosophy, literature (prose and poetry), painting, sculpture, crafts and music had blossomed since two thousand years BC. China has given many gifts to human civilization over the millennia, but it did not take the gift of Western music until last century.

Although the first orchestra resembling Western orchestra formation appeared in 1879, it consisted of traditional Chinese instruments and lacked Western repertoir. In 1907, an Italian Mario Paci started The Shanghai Public Band.

Only after the collapse of Emperial dynastic rule, China turned to Western culture with fresh interest. Only in 1920ies a blend of Chinese and Western music becomes popular and Western style music education takes roots. At first slowly and then with the avalanche power, Western music conquers China - or is it vice versa? Chinese classical musicians conquer the world!

Many look up to China for the future of Western music. While in Europe and the US it is becoming more or less music for the few, moved to the margins by popular types of entertainment, in China it is really the art of the masses.