Title page for ETD etd-04242012-134855

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Wang, Wennan
URN etd-04242012-134855
Title Moonlight Shadows and Night Thoughts (Symphony No.1) and An Analysis of Qigang Chen’s Extase II
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Music
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Constantinides, Dinos Committee Chair
Beck, Stephen Committee Member
McFarland, Alison Committee Member
Peck, Robert Committee Member
Douglas, Lake Dean's Representative
  • Chinese poems
  • Qigang Chen
  • Symphony
Date of Defense 2012-04-03
Availability unrestricted
The dissertation is divided into two parts. Part One is an original composition: Moonlight Shadows and Night Thoughts (Symphony No.1). The symphony is composed of two movements. This work employs elements of two diverse cultures: (a) Chinese folk music and (b) contemporary Impressionist music by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and Toru Takemitsu most prominently. The musical imageries of the piece come from two Chinese poems, one written by Zhang Ji and the other written by Li Po. The beautiful sceneries in both Poems are associated with the word “moonlight.” The processing of time and the timbres is the focus of this work. Although vocal music is not used here, the texts of the two poems have an influence on the form, the orchestration, the general direction and the musical imageries of the piece.

Part Two is an analytical paper about Qigang Chen’s Extase II for oboe and instrumental ensemble. The objective of this paper is to discuss the compositional design of Extase II by focusing on two influences that are essential to the understanding of this work: Chinese music culture and Western compositional techniques. This research mainly focuses on the analysis of this piece, which includes the examination of thematic and harmonic material, formal structure, centricity and tonality. The influence of Western composers like Arnold Schoenberg, Claude Debussy, Olivier Messiaen, and Witold Lutosławski is also discussed. Moreover, there is a deeper examination of how Qigang Chen effectively bridges the gap between Chinese and Western musical cultures.

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