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Performing the Yellow River Cantata

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Title: Performing the Yellow River Cantata
Author(s): Hong, Xiangtang
Director of Research: Alwes, Chester L.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Alwes, Chester L.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Fu, Poshek; Syer, Katherine; Blume, Philipp
Department / Program: Music
Discipline: Music
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: A.Mus.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Yellow River Cantata Xian Xinghai Chinese choral work Yellow River Chinese music IPA Chinese IPA Mandarin Chinese choral score Yellow River Cantata score Hsien Hsing-hai
Abstract: Since its composition in 1939, Xian Xinghai’s (1905-1945) Yellow River Cantata has nearly exclusively remained the province of Chinese choral groups. In large measure, the failure of the work to make significant inroads into the world of Western choral music stems from the daunting challenges posed by the Mandarin text, as well as the ethnic musical elements and folk instruments present in even the most “Western” adaptations of the piece. Given that only one commercially available edition exists in Chinese, the focus of this dissertation has been the removal of all potential obstacles to Western performance. To that end, the author has produced a phonetic, Romanized version of the original Mandarin text by Guang Weiran (1913-2002), as well as a carefully-crafted, singable English translation that, nonetheless, remains as faithful to Xian’s original musical conception as possible. A significant aspect of this work has been the incorporation of the considerable, unwritten body of performance traditions that have derived from the series of revisions that the work has undergone and the sizable body of recorded performances. It is the author’s hope that, having undertaken these tasks, this iconic Chinese choral work may become just as accessible and popular with Western choirs and audiences.
Issue Date: 2010-01-06
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/14552
Rights Information: Copyright 2009 Xiangtang Hong
Date Available in IDEALS: 2010-01-06
Date Deposited: December 2
 

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