Interculturality, Text, and Performance Practice in Modern Chinese Choral Music

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    Chinese choral music has developed over the past century with unique cross-cultural compositions and performance practices that have helped shape China’s modern national soundscape. Ongoing social changes occurring among Chinese populations today, however, point to vital questions relating to language, music, and text as the choral culture continues to grow in the new century: How have modern historical contexts shaped Chinese choral music as an intercultural art form? What compositional processes are used to appropriate and blend Chinese and Western musical idioms into an intercultural choral repertoire? What texts and language systems represent the Chinese choral medium, and how are they enunciated musically? How have Chinese vocal techniques and tonally spoken languages been adapted for use in a hybridized, bel canto-based performance practice?

    Chinese choral music has evolved by adopting the pillars of Western choral music, including harmony, texture, division by Soprano-Alto-Tenor-Bass voices, and the Italian/classical bel canto (“beautiful singing”) vocal aesthetic. Equally important has been the purposeful inclusion of Chinese traditions as a fundamental principle. Chinese choral repertoire is marked by extensive variety of national texts and languages, including Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, and regional dialects, representing different ethnicities and geographical regions, as well as for its use of folksongs and music idioms. Appropriated Chinese vocal genres also reflect multifarious social contexts, and traditional singing styles are used, for example, in works that employ folk embellishments.

    This study will explore intercultural, musical, and textual foundations of Chinese choral music in relation to modern history, national languages, and contemporary performance practices underpinning the international medium. The study highlights theoretically an unexpected illuminator – namely, choral music – of intrinsic relationships (1) nationally, among Chinese territories and (2) internationally, between Chinese and non-Chinese choral communities. It also analyzes intercultural processes in the appropriation of musical idioms and the music-text relationship. The resulting publication will assess a deeper level of interaction between history, texts, languages, musical traditions, and social currents in the modern Chinese choral discipline.

    By focusing on this unique marker of national-global cultural currents, the study will have profound and urgently needed value for understanding Hong Kong identity in relation to the other Chinese populations. It thus makes a significant contribution to the areas of musicology, ethnomusicology, choral performance practice, and contemporary Hong Kong-China studies at a crucial time of change.
    Effective start/end date1/09/2131/08/24


    Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.