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In Search Of A Genuine Chinese Sound: Jiang Wenye And Modern Chinese Music

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Chapter Summary

Jiang Wenye (191083) was one of the most talented composers of modern China and Japan. This chapter discusses the acoustic choices Jiang Wenye made at defining moments of his career in the 1930s and 1940s, and the aesthetic and political consequences he had to deal with. The author asks how Jiangs sonic sensibility reflected colonial, national, and cosmopolitan bearings; how his wartime engagement with Confucian musicology brought about an unlikely dialogue between Chinese cultural ontology and Japanese pan-Asianism; and most important, how his lyrical vision was both occasioned by and confined to historical contingency. Alexander Tcherepnin (18991977) was a Russian composer who toured East Asia during the 1930s in quest of pure, Oriental musical sounds. Jiang produced at least six orchestral pieces, four piano sonatas, more than one hundred and fifty art songs for solo voice and piano, five musicals, theme music for two movies, and three poetry volumes.

Keywords: Alexander Tcherepnin; Chinese cultural ontology; Confucian musicology; Jiang Wenye



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