Margaret Mehl

Published On


Page Range

pp. 31–62


  • English

Print Length

32 pages

1. Global History, Musical Modernity, and the Globalization of Western Music

Chapter 1, ‘Global History, Musical Modernity, and the Globalization of Western Music’ discusses the concepts of global history, globalization, modernity, and musical modernity, and relates them to the themes explored in this book. The global historical context is then described in more detail. The introduction of Western music to Japan has usually been treated in isolation, or from a bilateral perspective rather than as a part of a global process. While Western music was disseminated to varying degrees in most parts of the world, Japan was unique in the nineteenth century in that its government took the adoption of Western music to the extreme of privileging it over indigenous music, which was increasingly marginalized.


Margaret Mehl

Associate Professor at University of Copenhagen

Margaret Mehl is a historian of modern Japan with a special interest in musical culture. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen, having previously held appointments at the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Stirling, and Berlin. As well as a doctorate from the University of Bonn, Margaret Mehl holds a Dr. Phil. (Habilitation) from the University of Copenhagen. She has lived and worked in Japan as a researcher on several occasions, where she has had affiliations with the University of Tokyo, and with Waseda University. Margaret Mehl has published widely on the history of historiography, education, and music in modern Japan. Her previous books include History and the State in Nineteenth-Century Japan (which has been translated into Japanese), Private Academies of Chinese Learning in Meiji Japan: The Decline and Transformation of the Kangaku Juku, and Not by Love Alone: The Violin in Japan, 1850–2010. When she is not reading, writing or teaching, Margaret Mehl enjoys playing her violin and has performed in amateur orchestras and chamber ensembles in several countries.