Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)




The first part of this dissertation describes twenty Chinese music instruments which appear to be the most popular instruments of the Han national people of China (China has fifty-six nationalities and Han is the majority). The reason for selecting these twenty, out of more than two hundred Chinese instruments existing today, is that they are the basic instruments of a modern Chinese orchestra. Instruments selected are the following: Di-zi, Suo-na, Guan-zi, and Sheng from the wind family; Pi-pa, Liu-qin, Yue-qin, Ran, San-xian, Yang-qin, and Zheng from the plucked string family (all strings are divided into two categories: strings which are plucked by fingers or struck by hammers, and strings which are played by a bow); Ban, Gu, Bo, and Luo from the percussion family; and Er-hu, Gao-hu, Zhong-hu, Da-hu, and Di-hu from the bowed string family. Each instrument is approached from its historical, structural, notational and idiomatic point of view, together with an illustration. The second part is an original musical composition of the author, entitled Concerto East And West. It is written for two orchestras in the concertato style. Orchestra I is a medium sized Chinese ensemble employing nine different instruments described in part one, including the Di-zi, Suo-na, Pi-pa, San-xian, Gao-hu, Er-hu, Zhong-hu, Dage-hu, and Di-hu. Orchestra II is a Western symphony orchestra. The composition is composed in a single movement. All themes are original and tonal. Besides these tonal themes there is a free atonal pitch-class motif alternating throughout the entire composition. The orchestration is based on the contrast between the two orchestras and the combination of Chinese and Western instruments, creating a very colorful sound.