Within a little less than a century, contemporary music has acquired a real presence in Taiwan, and while this may be admittedly modest, it is undeniably well established in view of the country's turbulent history.
Since the end of the 19th century, Taiwan was created within a context of successive cultural and political upheavals - from the creation of the term “Taiwanese” by Japanese colonial powers, to a forced return to “Pan-Chinese culture” at the time of the Kuomintang (KMT) dictatorship, then on to a Sino- Taiwanese culture, and eventually leading to the notion of “Taiwanitude” - resulting in a strong sense of self-examination by its inhabitants,
Through the course of time and events, a shift has occurred for Taiwanese composers of contemporary music, in which an imagined identity becomes a political identity, and a cultural identity becomes an artistic identity. Contemporary music has been engrained within the heart of the historical complexity of Taiwan, yet not without some obstacles for composers.
Far from moving towards a diluted international style, Taiwanese contemporary music, which has blossomed in symbiosis with civil society, takes on the most notable traits of its society, made up of a certain dynamism and the absence of a priori. Without forgetting their diverse roots, Taiwanese contemporary music composers have assimilated Western technique and savoir- faire in order to render their own form of innovative genius which truly expresses Taiwanese originality, while showing great promise for works of future generations.