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Composition Portfolio

This portfolio consist of five works: an octet (for flute, erhu, yangqin, guzheng, two violins, viola and cello), a trio (for violin, cello and piano), a piano suite, a song cycle and a duet (for flute and harp). The aim was to demonstrate an ability to write in different genres, utilizing different styles and musical techniques, and to find ways of exploring how to combine some elements of Chinese music with Western composition techniques. The octet for mixes the traditional Chinese musical instruments erhu, yangqin and guzheng with Western flute, violin, viola and cello. Chinese folk music elements are the main thematic materials, but the aim was to fuse the elements of folk music with techniques of modern Western music. The Piano Trio traverses a spectrum of musical emotion ranging from gracefulness and lyrical melody to sadness before emerging again into lightness. The second movement uses Chinese heptatonic modes. The Piano Suite consists of five short pieces. Contrasting moods are evoked including passion, liveliness, comedy, naughtiness and dreaminess. Technically these pieces were inspired by the piano music of Debussy and Ligeti. The vocal work is a song cycle with four components. Two of the songs use a combination of voice, Chinese instruments and Western instruments. Falling Maple Leaves in Autumn is a duet for flute and harp, evoking a scene of leaves falling slowly in the autumn frost and wind. Cultural interaction is a feature of contemporary concert music. The works in this portfolio aim to show how blending Western contemporary techniques with traditional Chinese instruments and techniques can generate a new artistic vitality.
Type of thesis
Cao, Y. (2016). Composition Portfolio (Thesis, Master of Music (MMus)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10643
University of Waikato
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