Chou Wen-chung

Chinese Terms & Musical Terms

Ch’i (Qi):
The vitalizing force in nature. Following Ching Hao’s interpretation, we might also say that ch’i, in this case, means oneness between the composer and how his musical instruments are to be played. (Asian Esthetics [sic] and World Music)
Ch’u diao (Qu diao):
Chinese melodic pattern (Towards a Re-Merger in Music)
Confucianist concept of music:
  1. “One must investigate sound to know tones, investigate tones to know music.” And that “without the knowledge of sound… one cannot speak of music.” —Yueh Chi
    (Single Tones as Musical Entities)
  2. Music is “born of emotion”; tones are the “substance of music”; melody and rhythm are the “appearance of tones.” Greatness of music lies not in “perfection of artistry” but in attainment of “spiritual power inherent in nature.” —Li Chi (Towards a Re-Merger in Music)
Deviation in tonal characteristics:
“…In the East the so-called ‘deviations’ are as much an integral part of music as the tone characteristics, and are assigned as much a structural function as an expressive one.”
(Single Tones as Musical Entities)
The environmental and ecological. Di means earth or the environment, and wen means the arts, knowledge or order. (Wenren and Culture)
Jicheng fazhan:
Continue and develop. (Wenren and Culture)
Kua (Gua)::
Each of these images (kua) is a trilinear arrangement of the two polar opposites, the yin and the yang, represented by a broken (- -) and an unbroken lines [sic] ( — ), respectively.
Merger or re-merger:
As it relates to musical heritage means
“coming [sic] together, sharing each other’s heritage, complementing and revitalizing legacies. Considering the history of all the civilizations in the world, this actually means a re-merger, as some forms of merger have already taken place here and there. The Chinese musical culture, for example, was already a product of layers of mergers by the year 1500…”
(Music — What Is Its Future?)
…is sound, and sound, living matter.” (East and West, Old and New)
is “born of emotion”; tones are the “substance of music”; melody and rhythm are the “appearance of tones” (Towards a Re-Merger in Music)
Mutable modes::
Eight pien, or mutable modes, each constantly mutating within itself, are constructed according to the concept of the eight images. These modes… are based upon three disjunct segments of the octave that are either unbroken (a minor third) or broken (a major and a minor second, i.e. the minor third interpolated with a pien-tone)… In other words, each segment in the ascending order is reflected in mutation in the descending order — the intervals being mutually complementary, the pitches being mutually exclusive. These modes, with similar coordination in duration and register, are woven into a fabric of the transitory and changing within a continuum of the timeless and unchanging — like the shifting patterns in a steadily flowing current, for example. (Towards a Re-Merger in Music)
Pa yin (Bayin):
Pa means “eight,” and yin means “tone-qualities”. Therefore the term stands for “eight timbres,” which are given as metal, stone, earth, skin, etc., each being the crucial material used in the instrument in question. (Asian Esthetics and World Music)
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