An exploration towards the enrichment of a personal musical language in musical composition

Liu, Y. (2019) An exploration towards the enrichment of a personal musical language in musical composition. Doctoral thesis, Royal College of Music.

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Abstract

The following commentary details ways in which I have enriched my own compositional language by exploring the integration of elements from Chinese musical culture within the context of Western Contemporary music. This commentary accompanies a portfolio of compositions and sets out to articulate the means by which I have attempted to develop and to enrich my personal musical language through the integration of certain, in my view, key elements from Chinese musical culture within the context of Western contemporary musical thought. My focus is on three elements which are shared between both Chinese and Western cultures, used in each with very different effect and intent: glissandi, modality and micro-tonality. The commentary explores the role each of these plays in my own work, how their practice and use derive from Chinese musical traditions and how I have set out to re-think that practice in terms of a musical language derived from a contemporary ‘Western’ art-music context.

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