Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Document Type



The purpose of this research paper is to show the interpretation of the Chinese piece—The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto—through expressing imagery. The concerto is composed by Chen Gang (陳鋼) and He Zhan-hao (何占豪) in 1959. In 2004, Yung-Chiao Wei, a double bass professor at Louisiana State University transcribed the piece for double bass. It is a very useful repertoire for double bass players to experience Chinese music through the plot’s expressing imagery. The Chinese musical language is different from Western music language in the concept of pentatonic scale, tone color, and tempo. I believe that double bass players can effectively execute Chinese music through the transcription. This research paper is divided into seven chapters. The Chapter One commences with background information about The Butterfly Lovers. As a legend, the story remains as a landmark significance in Chinese culture. Knowledge of the tragedy and the composers’ backgrounds life experiences are valuable for refining the interpretation. Finally, this chapter examines the compositional background information of the concerto. Before focusing on the performance practice, Chapter Two will provide readers with background information on the transcribed work. A brief introduction of the Chinese musical aesthetics will be mentioned in Chapter Three. The chapter will then go on to reveal the relationship between the tragic story and the music. From the background information of the composition, the concerto is allied with the traditional instrument, the erhu, on its timbre, special vibrato and unique sliding sonorities. In Chapter Five, I will give a brief introduction of the Chinese instrument, the erhu, and then point out the techniques that relate to the double bass playing. Chapters Six and Seven, focus on transcription issues, performance awareness, and the performing interpretation on the double bass. The intent from the result of this study will eventually benefit bassists and facilitate progress in performing interpretation with this transcription.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Wei, Yung-Chao



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Music Commons