Dissertation Defense Announcement
College of Communication and Fine Arts annonunces the Final Dissertation Defense of
for the Degree of Doctor of Musical Arts
March 22, 2019 at 2:30 PM in Music Building, Room 119 B
Advisor: Cathal Breslin
Four Art Songs by Guo Zurong: Art Song with Classical Chinese Poetry
ABSTRACT: Guo Zurong, born in 1928, is a distinguished and respected Chinese composer and educator. He has composed more than two hundred works during his career, including 16 symphonies, 13 concertos, 41 piano solos, and 110 art songs. This dissertation focuses on his early art songs, aiming to discover his compositional process and style. His biography, for the first time in English, will be presented in chapter 2. The following chapter briefly present the art of classical Chinese poetry and Chinese modes. Four selected early art songs by Guo Zurong are analyzed: The Endless River Eastward Flows, poetry by Su Shi; Emerald Clouds Above, poetry by Fan Zhongyan; The Curtain Cannot Keep out The Pattern of Rain, poetry by Li Yu; Pink Hands so Fine, poetry by Lu You. Each song is discussed in regard to its compositional background, musical setting, and piano accompaniment. Each poem is presented with original Chinese characters, English translation, and the pinyin transliteration. By exploring Guo's unique compositional style – the ideal fusion of Chinese modes, classical Chinese poetry, Chinese opera, and Western music, this study aims to promote Guo's music and draw a greater audience to Chinese music.