An Integration of Chinese Compositional Techniques with Western Musical Elements: A Stylistic Analysis of Huang An-Lun’s Selected Works



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During the 1980s, a group of young Chinese composers went abroad to study music after the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). Their music was highly influenced by both traditional Chinese music as well as Western musical elements. Huang An-Lun (b. 1949-) is one of them. The purpose of this dissertation is to demonstrate how Huang An-Lun, a leading Chinese-born Canadian composer, fuses Chinese traditional musical and theoretical ideas with Western music elements by analyzing his selected pieces. In Chapter One, firstly, I briefly introduce the historical background with a literature review, and then an overview of Huang’s life that includes family influences, social influences, and music education in China Canada and the United States. Chapter Two offers a brief introduction of Chinese music theories to help readers understanding the following analytical parts better. Chapter Three illustrates Huang’s musical style and compositional philosophy in general with its focus on the style of his piano works. In Chapter Four and Five, based on the analysis of four pieces composed by Huang An-Lun in sequence, I focus on illustrating and identifying the Western and Chinese musical elements in his works, such as the use of Chinese modality and Western tonality, the use of functional Western harmony and pentatonic harmony, the influence of Chinese folk songs and traditional instruments, and the use of modern compositional techniques.