Several contemporary clarinet works use Chinese folk music elements from different regions in new compositions to entice listener's and performer's appreciation of Chinese culture. However, to date, limited academic research on this topic exists. This research paper introduces six contemporary clarinet works by six Chinese composers: Qigang Chen's Morning Song, Yan Wang's Mu ma zhi ge (The Song of Grazing Horses), An-lun Huang's Capriccio for Clarinet and Strings Op. 41, Bijing Hu's The Sound of Pamir Clarinet Concerto, Mei-Mi Lan's Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra with Harp and Percussion, and Yu-Hui Chang's Three Fantasias for Solo Clarinet in B-flat. They are examined from different perspectives, including general structure, style, and rejuvenated folk music use. The focus of this research paper is to investigate the use of Chinese folk music in several works in collaboration with the composers. The author found that although contemporary composers use Chinese folk music differently in their works (i.e., some use melodies, others use harmony, while others use modes), each work celebrates the music and culture of the folk music on which the pieces are based. It is the author's hope to stimulate people's interest in music using Chinese folk music elements, and bring these lesser known works into the common clarinet repertoire.
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