A Comparative Study of Polyphonic Techniques in Chang-Lei Zhu's "Ballade for Solo Piano"

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In Chinese contemporary piano music, large-scale piano compositions featuring innovative polyphonic musical languages are rarely found. Chang-Lei Zhu's Ballade for Solo Piano represents his development of contrapuntal techniques passed on from J. S. Bach and Dmitri Shostakovich in their polyphonic works for solo keyboard or piano. This study focuses on an analysis of Zhu's Ballade as an idiosyncratic composition that makes a significant contribution to the Chinese contemporary piano music repertory. Comparative analysis is made of Zhu's Ballade and J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier Books 1 and 2, as well as Dmitri Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues for Solo Piano, Op. ... continued below

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Rong, Xing August 2019.

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  • Rong, Xing

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In Chinese contemporary piano music, large-scale piano compositions featuring innovative polyphonic musical languages are rarely found. Chang-Lei Zhu's Ballade for Solo Piano represents his development of contrapuntal techniques passed on from J. S. Bach and Dmitri Shostakovich in their polyphonic works for solo keyboard or piano. This study focuses on an analysis of Zhu's Ballade as an idiosyncratic composition that makes a significant contribution to the Chinese contemporary piano music repertory. Comparative analysis is made of Zhu's Ballade and J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier Books 1 and 2, as well as Dmitri Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues for Solo Piano, Op. 87. Zhu, a living Chinese composer born in 1976, uniquely writes the twenty variations of his Ballade based on the opening theme, a single melody in ten subphrases. This research lays out the close relationship of the opening theme with twenty variations in the Ballade. This study also illustrates how Zhu is an innovative voice in Chinese contemporary piano music literature. This comparative study constitutes the first scholarly study of Zhu's Ballade. Chapter 1 is an introduction to my comparative study. In chapter 2, comparisons on selected excerpts are conducted between Zhu's Ballade and J.S. Bach's WTC, Books 1 and 2, as well as Dmitri Shostakovich's Op. 87. Taking into consideration the pedagogical function of the Ballade, this study includes how the work can be used in Zhu's Ballade in piano pedagogy as an addition in chapter 3.

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  • August 2019

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  • Aug. 29, 2019, 10:25 a.m.

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Rong, Xing. A Comparative Study of Polyphonic Techniques in Chang-Lei Zhu's "Ballade for Solo Piano", dissertation, August 2019; Denton, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1538807/: accessed September 17, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .