A Perspective on Selected Compositions by Tong Sang and Mingzhi Chen and an Original Composition: "Sinfonietta".

Erhei Liang, Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College


This dissertation consists of two parts: the first is A Perspective on Selected Compositions by Tong Sang and Mingzhi Chen, a monograph, and the second Sinfonietta, an original composition. The monograph presents in an introduction, a sketch of the history of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the status of the conservatory in Shanghai and China, the function of the composition department in the conservatory, the development of music in China since 1949, and the influence of two important twentieth-century composers, Tong Sang and Mingzhi Chen, on the Chinese musical community. Three documents are translated. These are biographies and commentaries of Tong Sang and his Selected Works for Piano (1989), and Mingzhi Chen and his Three Preludes and Fugues (1989) and Eight Pieces for Piano (1989). Biographic and bibliographic notes (for the biographies) and analytical notes and music examples (for the commentaries) are added by the writer of this monograph. Lists of the representative works by Mingzhi Chen and Tong Sang are included in the bibliography. The translations are made directly from the published Chinese editions of these works. The writer attempted to retain accuracy, clarity, understandability and comprehensiveness, without being influenced by previous English translations supplied in the publications of the first two collections. The authors of the biographies of Tong Sang and Mingzhi Chen and the commentaries of Selected Works for Piano and Three Preludes and Fugues did not provide supporting notes or musical examples. For the preface and commentary of Eight Pieces for Piano, only a few musical examples were supplied and no supposing notes. Therefore, the additional biographic, bibliographic, and analytical notes, and music examples are furnished by the writer as notes to the translations in this monograph. The second part of the dissertation--Sinfonietta, an original composition, consists of four movements which should be performed attacca. The first movement, Prelude, is Adagio; the second, a Scherzo, is Allegretto, the third, a Pastorale, is Lento-adagio; and the fourth, a Finale, is Allegro.