East Meets West: The Effect of the Compositional Style of Western Vocal Music on Contemporary Taiwanese Composers
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This dissertation project explores some of the outstanding contemporary Taiwanese vocal composers, whose compositional style has been affected by Western vocal music, and it is hoped that the public will learn of and appreciate their music. I selected 12 outstanding and representative composers and divided them into several different generations. Those composers were: Chung-Ho Lee (b. 1917), Chih-Yuan Kuo (b. 1921), Tsang-Houei Hsu (1929-2001), Yen Lu (1930-2008), Tyzen Hsiao (b. 1938), Shui-Long Ma (b. 1939), Nan-Chang Chien (b. 1948), Fan-Ling Su (b. 1955), Yiu-Kwong Chung (b. 1957), Shu-Si Chen (b. 1957), Chung-Kun Hung (b. 1963), Tzyy-Sheng Lee (b. 1965). The first generation of composers of contemporary music in Taiwan was divided into two types. These composers became the primary faculty of the newly established music departments and formed a strong foundation of Western music in Taiwan. The second generation of composers of contemporary music in Taiwan studies in either Europe or America. They adopted a compositional style ranging from Debussy to Schönberg. The third generation of composers of contemporary music in Taiwan was cultivated by the second generation. Most of them went to Europe and America for further study after graduation. Thus, they learned more avant-garde compositional techniques, including serial music, electronic music, computer music and concrete music. In the fourth, and youngest, generation of composers, born after 1950, I found not only marvelous composers, but many amazing female composers as well. These composers combine Western and Eastern compositional techniques more fluidly, and have created a most unique sound in modern Taiwanese music. These two song recitals were presented in Gildenhorn Recital Hall, at the University of Maryland, College Park. The first program was performed on April 24, 2008, and the second one was presented on October 19, 2008. Besides these two recitals, I performed the leading role of the daughter in the world premiere of the 21st Century Taiwanese opera by Nan-Chang Chien’s My Daughter’s Wedding. This Hakka (a dialect of Mandarin) Opera production had three performances which took place on October 12, 13, 14, 2007 in The National Theater, Taipei, Taiwan, and was attended by the chair of my dissertation committee, Professor Carmen Balthrop. The influence of both Western vocal compositional style and theater elements are greatly evidenced in this opera. The program and video recording of this opera will be included in this dissertation packet.