Inventing Tradition: The Influence of Chou Wen-chung's Compositional Aesthetic and the Development of New Wave Composition

  • Author / Creator
    Berg, Lindsay A.
  • Chou Wen-chung's innovative compositional synthesis has garnered significant acclaim. His contributions have revitalized and transformed Chinese and Western composition. However, a critical assessment of the construction of Chou's compositional method remains to be seen. This study will argue that Chou's success is due to his exemplification of an 'inventor of tradition,' as propounded in Eric Hobsbawm's The Invention of Tradition (1992). Chou cites his Confucian heritage and his incorporation of wenren and qin artistic aesthetics in order to authenticate his invented tradition. However, Chou's tradition becomes problematic upon its dissemination. In 1978 Chou returned to China and initiated the New Wave movement among Chinese composers. However, Chou has been critical of New Wave works of intercultural synthesis, which is problematic in that his criticisms are based on his selective and 'high brow' method of compositional synthesis. This study will investigate the remarkable value and inconsistencies of Chou's musical synthesis.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • History
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Jay, Jennifer (History and Classics)
    • Dunch, Ryan (History and Classics)
    • Bashaw, Howard (Music)
    • Smith, Robert W.(History and Classics)