The purpose of this study is to analyze Tunes from My Home, a Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano by Chinese-American composer Chen Yi (b. 1953), as well as to provide a performance guide from a collaborative pianist's perspective. Of Cantonese origin herself, Chen Yi composed several works inspired by Cantonese music, including this trio. Chen Yi composed this trio between 2007 and 2008 and dedicated it to her long time friend pianist Pan Xun, who is also of Cantonese origin. Inspired by this shared Cantonese heritage, Chen Yi incorporated within this work three well-known Cantonese tunes, Cantonese instrumental techniques and sonorities, and elements of the shifan luogu, a wind and percussion ensemble often used in traditional Cantonese music. Coming from the same region as the composer, the author of this paper feels connected with this piece, and as a collaborative pianist, has the opportunity to introduce Cantonese music to a wider audience through the piano trio. Chapter one introduces the motivation for this study. Chapter two provides a brief biography of Chen Yi. Chapter three introduces the history, the scales, and the instruments of Cantonese music as well as other Cantonese influences on this trio, especially the three tunes. Chapter four includes a detailed analysis of each movement in terms of the form and application of the tunes and rhythms of Cantonese music. Chapter five shares the author’s experience of approaching and interpreting this piece in an appropriate style based on her Cantonese roots. The conclusion evaluates the significance of the fusion of Cantonese music with Western compositional techniques in this piece.
- The Fusion of Cantonese Music with Western Composition Techniques: Tunes from My Home Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano by Chen Yi