An Analysis of the Attempted Amalgamation of Western and Chinese Musical Elements in Huang Anlun's Piano Concerto in G Minor, Opus 25b, a Lecture Recital, Together with Three Recitals of Selected Works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Mozart, Schubert, and Schumann
Description: While China possesses one of the world's richest musical heritages, it remained unaffected by Western music until early in this century. Subsequently, there was a movement of nationalism in music approximately three decades after the introduction of Western music. This movement, aimed at utilizing Western compositional techniques to create musical works that still would be uniquely Chinese, continues even today. Huang's piano concerto was written in 1982, just a few years after the Cultural Revolution. At the time, most Chinese composers were "handicapped" by their lack of knowledge of Western contemporary music and by their limited study of both Western and Chinese traditional forms. Huang Anlun, a composer-in-residence at the Central Opera House in Beijing, traveled to North America to study at the University of Toronto and Yale University. Subsequently his music is widely performed and well received around the world. After presenting background information on Western music in China and an introduction to basic Chinese music theory, this study has analyzed Huang's piano concerto, with a particular focus on identifying, comparing, and analyzing elements of Western and Chinese music. After a survey of the formal structure of the concerto, this study has discussed Chinese modality and Western harmony--the two most important factors in the conception of Huang's concerto. A comparative study between Chinese folk songs and the thematic materials in Huang's concerto is followed by a discussion on "imitations" of Chinese instruments. The study has also examined Western compositional techniques incorporated into this concerto, such as thematic transformation, contrapuntal writing, cyclic procedure, as well as atonal and serial techniques. Through a detailed analysis, this study attempts to demonstrate how Huang has blended Western and Chinese musical syntaxes to create an artistic work that is also uniquely Chinese.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Pei, Yushu
Partner: UNT Libraries