Abstract of Lecture-Recital: Confluence of Chinese and Western Cultures: Chen Yi's Ba Ban (1999) for solo piano

In her solo piano work Ba Ban (1999), Chen Yi juxtaposed a pentatonic folk tune with a twelve-tone row and her own chromatic melody, and set them into the contexts of a Chinese traditional composition Ba Ban: A 68-beat tune that consists of eight phrases, eight beats each, except the fifth phrase that has an additional 4 beats where the golden section falls in the middle (Chen, 1993).  Whether by means of compositional techniques or by means of musical gestures, Chen Yi’s music demonstrated a unique syncretism of Chinese and Western musical elements that set her apart from the former generations. How did the composer achieve such confluence of musical cultures? What does it mean to the performers? How does it affect the interpretation? In this lecture recital, I will examine her unique musical syncretism and attempt to make a connection to the performance. With reference to the performance practice in Chinese folk and instrumental music, analytical observations on pitch selection, rhythmic organization and formal structure are applied to the practice issues of interpretation including the articulation, emphasis, phrasing, shaping, ornamentation, choice of tone color, and manipulation of timing.




Lecture-recital presented at the Performance Festival and Symposium, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore, 2016.


Lecture-recital presented at the International Conference on Performance and Creativity, Hong Kong Baptist University, 2016


Performance in the Bridging East and West Symposium Concert, Chinese University of Kong Kong, 2015.


Paper presented at the Symposium of the Chinese Composers’ Festival, Hong Kong, 2013. 


Lecture-recital presented at the International Conference of Feminist Theory and Music: New Voices in New Millennium, New York, USA, 2013.  

Lecture-recital presented in the Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia, 2013

Paper presented at International Symposium on Music and Sonic Art: Practices and Theories, Hochschule für Musik, Karlsruh - Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Musikinformatik, Germany, 2013. 


Performance in the Symposium Concert, Hochschule für Musik, Karlsruh, Germany, 2013.