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Contemporary Composers influenced by China

Discussion in 'Composing' started by pianoman342, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    I came across an article the other day in the China Daily and found it quite interesting. Five world-renowed composers, Robin Holloway, Kalevi Aho, Augusta Read Thomas, Michael Gordon and Sebastian Currier all went to China in 2011 and were influenced by the country, and its instruments, for example--it mentions the guqin, a relative of the zither:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guqin

    Anyways, each composer created a piece for a concert that took place in Beijing last Sunday. I wish I could have attended, apparently each piece was different in its own way.

    I just checked the PS composer database. None of these composers are played here, maybe someday :)

    What also caught my attention was a little snippet about Debussy. Apparently in 1889 he heard Asian music at the Paris World Expo and it influenced his music (perhaps his reflections on the water??)

    I've never tried writing music that uses the pentatonic scale that is used in a lot of Chinese music, but I would like to sometime. A one-line melody piece. I can just picture it, on the score it will say under the title: "For the right hand alone" 8)
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Riley,
    I never thought about it before, but are there any RH-only pieces?

    Regarding those contemporary composers you listed....one of them once gave a presentation to a group I belong to. She showed us how she composes full-orchestration on these huge staff papers and talked about her experiences with hearing the orchestra play her music and then the thrill of recording, etc. I had not heard her music before and she gave us each her new CD at the end of the meeting. I was excited to listen to it, so I put it in my cd-player in the car while I drove home. When I got home, I threw the CD into the garbage. I hated the music! Not my cup of tea. :wink: (a little riddle there, do you get it?)
     
  3. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Monica,

    Thanks for your comment. To my knowledge there are only LH alone pieces. Eddy played one. But why not right hand alone? Surely the melody can be as interesting as the bass line.

    This reminds me the of the "riddle" Raymond posted in the general section. Really more of a funny story than a riddle?! I'm going to take a wild guess that the riddle is finding out who you are talking about... if so, then yes, I get it!

    btw, Happy Easter!
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    No, my riddle is...."not my cup of tea"....reminds me of that saying, 'for all the tea in China', or something like that. Any you're in China.....
    Errr....I know, it's stretching things....well, never mind... :)

    Happy Easter to your too, Riley! How do they celebrate Easter in China? Is it religious celebrations like it's supposed to be? Or is the Easter bunny hopping around with all the chocolate eggs and candy, etc.?

    btw - I'll make my recording for your book this coming weekend. How would you like me to send it to you?
     
  5. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    But the piece I played, and others for LH alone, are not about a "bass line" vs "the melody." The Scriabin Nocturne (and his Prelude) for LH alone, like the Brahms version of the Bach Chaconne for LH, requires the one hand to do it all: bass, harmony, melody, layers, complex rhythms, etc. That's what makes it both beautiful music and of special technical (and pedagogic) interest. :)

    Also, regarding the Debussy, it is more likely that the work inspired was his Pagodes (Pagodas), first of the Estampes.
     
  6. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    :lol: Good one, no not a stretch, just me not getting it till later. I thought it might have smth to do with cup of tea as your wink emoticon was right after it! :)

    Well, I just realized, it's March 31st, (though PS baner confused me, for some reason I thought it was yesterday!) I don't think they celebrate it. But to be sure, maybe I should tell you next week!

    Eddy,

    You just reminded me there is a video by Alanchan on youtube that I remember seeing it is of the revolutionary etude. It is just amazing how well he plays it with just one hand. And at speed, you would think he would totally wipeout somewhere in the middle, but he doesn't, It's like he's a computer running a MIDI file! If you know the piece it requires almost constant arpeggios. Definitely special technical and pedagogic interest!
     
  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    This week is holy week which began yesterday with Palm Sunday. That's why I put the banner up. Sorry I confused you.
    It will be interesting to learn if they do celebrate Easter in China. I'm not even that sure how my relatives in Germany celebrate it; they are not that religious.
     
  8. hreichgott

    hreichgott New Member

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    Sure they do. Christianity is a minority religion there but it is practiced. The nonsense with bunnies etc, I have no idea! Maybe Riley can tell us.

    Now after Easter, you can take down the banner, then put it up again for Eastern Orthodox Easter in May :)

    PS No Passover banner?
     

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