UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Xiaohe He (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Mark Engebretson

Abstract: My composition Chu is based on a historical Chinese story of Xiang Yu, which happened during the end of Qin Dynasty over 2000 years ago. It is a three-movement work with dance based on the story. Each movement bears a different title. The first movement is Deadly Folk Song; the second is Until death, faith; the third is Sacrifice beside Wu River. The essential purpose of this composition is to fashion a coherent musical depiction of these events by creating the dramatic atmosphere of the story through orchestration and texture, simulating Chinese national instrumental sounds, and imitating the rhythm of Beijing opera. Historically, there were many versions of the Chu story presented in various art forms. In my work, I sought to make a new version for this story using contemporary composing techniques. This composition shows not only my view and emotion about this story, but also my personal narrative method of my composition. These methods contain different kinds of implications that lead the audience following the storyline. This paper describes the relationship between ancient music, art, and opera, and presents my interpretation of the Chu story. Furthermore, the performing techniques of Chinese national instruments are illustrated to compare these sounds and the sounds of my own work. After completing the composition of these three movements, I realized that it broke the rules of the ancient Chinese music. But at the same time, it kept the charm of the ancient Chinese forms of expression. My goal is to guide the audiences to imagine the Chu story acoustically. This work reveals my long-term interest about how to embed ancient Chinese music elements in contemporary music; in other words, how to make a contemporary Chinese music. After finishing composing such a story, I want to refine my exploration of Chinese musical contexts, abstract these Chinese themes and fuse them into spectral music.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Chamber music, Electronic music, Imitation image, Peking opera, Xiangyu
Xiang, Yu, $d 232 B.C.-202 B.C. $v Songs and music
Mixed media (Music) $v Scores

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