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A New Multivoiced World: Polyphony and the First Chinese-Western Fusion Concerto

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The Piano Concerto in G major by Aaron Avshalomov premiered in semi-colonial Shanghai in 1936 with an experimental movement for piano and Chinese instruments. The work preceded over four hundred Chinese-Western “fusion concertos” composed over the past eighty years that mix instruments from the two traditions. Russian literary theorist Mikhail Bakhtin’s borrowed concept of polyphony returns to music here to describe the dialogic processes at play in the concerto genre and Avshalomov’s work. Details of the Concerto in G further reveal how Chinese and Western traditions are in dialogue musically and culturally within the socio-historical context of twentieth-century fusion concertos.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Hong Kong Baptist University,

Publication date: July 3, 2018

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