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Title: The multilayered monophony and sliding tones of Qin music : perception, structure and aesthetic interpretation
Author: Hwang, Chiung-Hui
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 7311
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2012
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Qin music comprises three basic kinds of tones: open-stringed, stop-stringed sounds, and harmonics. Its intricate fingerwork provides further nuances to the sound, while its aesthetics is influenced by philosophical ideas. This thesis explores two significant perceptual characteristics of qin music: multilayered monophony and sliding tones. 'Multilayered monophony' refers to the way that enculturated listeners hear multiple audible streams or voices in the qin's monophonic melodies, as if produced by several instruments of an ensemble rather than a single instrument, and within qin culture is attributed to multilayered interplay between contrasting tones of Yin and Yang. Sliding tones are produced after the initial pluck to extend and continuously modify the pitch. These extensions are faint and even become inaudible, leaving the sound of frictional sibilance, which produces intermittent silence in qin melodies. This forms the basis for qin aesthetic conception of soundlessness (wu sheng). These interpretations reveal the influence of Taoist philosophy: the dualism of Yin and Yang is the basic concept of Taoist philosophy, while the concept of soundlessness reflects the important Taoist concept of emptiness (kong ), or non-being (wu). By addressing these features of qin music, this thesis aims to understand the way in which traditional qin music has been perceived and received by enculturated listeners. This thesis analyses selected recordings of qin pieces and explores how the characteristics of multilayered monophony and inaudible sliding inflections are produced, perceived, and conceptualised as aesthetic meanings. This research crosses disciplines of music analysis, traditional qin studies, as well as music perception and cognition. It examines how multilayered monophony and inaudible sliding inflections contribute to the perceived intricacy and subtleness of qin music. From a broader perspective, it also contributes to understanding of how musical structures afford particular kinds of aesthetic interpretation with the influence of specific philosophical ideas.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available