New compositions and reconstructions (dapu) for the qin by TSE Chun-Yan




Three Poems by the drunken Li Bai

Composed by TSE Chun-Yan (2017)

    According to literature, the famous Tang Dynasty poet, Li Bai, wrote three famous poems while drunk for Emperor Xuanzong and Consort Yang. The three poems were then set to music and sung by the court musician Li Guinian. With such background, this composition starts with free rhythm and shifting modality to depict the drunken mood of Li Bai. Variants of a motive of the guqin piece Drunken Elation are interspersed in the music. Some of the phrases use a special hemitonic pentatonic scale (re, mi, fa, la, ti) found in past court music. The main melody for the poems utilizes the elegant yayue heptatonic scale. The special hemitonic pentatonic scale in different pitches in the guqin and xiao parts creates an interesting contrast to the melody of the poems.

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