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The complete solo piano works of Chen Yi: a recording, analysis, and interpretation

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This dissertation focuses on seven solo piano works written by contemporary Chinese-American composer Chen Yi. It is presented in the form of a recording project, with a written analysis of

This dissertation focuses on seven solo piano works written by contemporary Chinese-American composer Chen Yi. It is presented in the form of a recording project, with a written analysis of each recorded composition. The seven recorded pieces are Variations on "Awariguli", Duo Ye, Guessing, Two Chinese bagatelles: Yu Diao and Small Beijing Gong, Ba Ban, Singing in the Mountain, and Ji-Dong-Nuo. They were written between 1978 and 2005, presenting a wide range of Chen Yi's compositional style. The written portion consists of five chapters. After the introductory chapter, a sketch of Chen Yi's life is presented in Chapter Two. This chapter specifically uncovers Chen Yi's deep roots of Chinese traditional and folk music through her experiences during the Cultural Revolution. Chapter Three analyzes each of the seven pieces. Through formal structure realization, motivic analysis, and folk music implication, the author discovers the blend of Chinese and Western cultures throughout Chen Yi's music. Chapter Four discusses the performance aspect of these compositions through the author's recording experience. In this chapter, the author provides background information as well as suggestions on specific performance practice. The last chapter summarizes the entire dissertation.

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  • 2012

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Folk traditions in the solo piano music of Geirr Tveitt

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Geirr Tveitt (1908-1981) was a central figure of the national movement in Norwegian cultural life during the 1930s. He studied composition with masters such as Arthur Honegger, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and

Geirr Tveitt (1908-1981) was a central figure of the national movement in Norwegian cultural life during the 1930s. He studied composition with masters such as Arthur Honegger, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and Nadia Boulanger, achieving international acclaim for many of his works. However, his native Norway was slow to follow this praise, as post-World War II intellectuals disregarded anything that resembled nationalism. Tveitt's music was considered obsolete. He became isolated and withdrawn and died in 1981 after a house fire destroyed the manuscripts of nearly three hundred opuses, leaving only a handful of works, some of which were not yet published. Tveitt was raised in a remote part of Norway where the folk tradition was strong. Because of his close ties with the Hardanger community, he was able to bring to light many undiscovered folk tunes and exceptional practices. Tveitt utilizes this first-hand knowledge in his works for solo piano, and successfully combines them with his roots in both Germanic and Nordic traditions, eventually becoming a well-known and respected composer to the Norwegian people. However, he remains virtually unknown to the rest of the world. All of his music was deeply influenced by folk traditions and instruments. Techniques such as planing, drones, modal scales and passages, ornamentation, and simple melodies are pervasive in each piece, and are often the building blocks of main themes and motives. Because of the ambiguity of the status of many works, this paper examines only his published works for solo piano. Discussions of each piece will focus on folk influences within each work, including basic form, texture, and pianistic concerns.

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  • 2014