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A golden mountain rediscovered : Sizhu and the modern Chinese orchestra van Deursen, John F.

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to provide information to the conductor who intends to program Chinese orchestral music with the Western orchestra. In Chapter One, a background understanding of the unique circumstances that led to the development of the Chinese orchestra is discussed, including an outline of key political, social, and musical events, and an outline of important aesthetic concepts that have made a profound impact on Chinese music. These events have all been discussed independently and some, particularly the political and social upheaval experienced in China from 1911-1949, have been written on extensively. Yet no studies have drawn these elements together in particular reference to the founding of the orchestra. In Chapter Two, modal harmony and form in Chinese music is introduced, followed by an analysis of three pieces that demonstrate the development of the Chinese orchestra from its sizhu roots into the modern ensemble: Jinshe Kuangwu , by Nie Er; Yangming Chunxiao , by Tung Yung-Shen; and Qin Bingmayong , by Peng Xiuwen. Finally, a conductor's guide to the works is presented, including a detailed study of all three with respect to conducting techniques and pertinent orchestration issues.

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