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Yan Jianan

National features of music of Chinese composer Xu Changjun

This article examines the reflection of national music traditions in the works of contemporary Chinese composer Xu Changjun. The selected circle of compositions includes Sword Dance for liuqin solo, Phoenix Concerto for yanqing and the orchestra, Fusion for the Folk Instruments Orchestra, Concerto-Capriccio Ode to Pangu for huqin with the Chinese Folk Instruments Orchestra, Silence for a Chamber Orchestra. The compositions are analyzed from the point of view of the influence of technical and acoustic features of Chinese musical instruments on the mode, intonation, harmony and texture of the composer’s works. To this end, the article gives a brief description of the structure of each national instrument, as well as a brief historical excursion into the process of its creation and modifications. In addition, the range of each instrument, various methods for its tuning and the most common types of instruments are revealed. Not the last place in the analytical essay is occupied by characteristic performing techniques, which in many aspects dictate the composer’s choice of the mode for the work. Special attention is paid to the analysis of traditional modes in accordance with the ancient Chinese mode system yun-gong-diao, as well as rhythmic figures borrowed from the traditional music theater of the Beijing Opera. Borrowing this kind of material is the link between the works of modern music and the treasury of Chinese traditional classics, wellknown to Chinese listeners. All this, on the one hand, becomes the composer’s tribute to the tradition, and on the other hand, it fully corresponds to the New Wave trend of modern Chinese music.

Key words

modern Chinese music; Xu Changjun; tradition; Chinese national instruments; range; mode; rhythmic figure; Beijing Opera.

For citation

Yan Jianan. National features of music of Chinese composer Xu Changjun // South-Russian musical anthology. 2020. No 2. Pp. 55–63.