Wing-chi Chan

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Funes, Donald J.

Degree Name

M. Mus. (Master of Music)

Legacy Department

Department of Music


Chou; Wen-chung; 1923-; Composers; Chinese


Chou Wen-chung is the first Chinese composer in contemporary music who has gained great international fame in the West. He was born in China in 1923. After finishing his first degree in civil engineering at National Chungking University, at the age of twenty-three, he came to the United States on scholarship. He earned his master's degree in composition at Columbia University in 1954. Also he had taken private studies with Edgard Varese from 1949 to 1954. His adolescent life in China and his further studies in the United States accomplished his creative synthesis to remerge the Eastern and Western musical concepts and languages, in the high level of technique, of aesthetics and of philosophy. While the East is still under the pressure of antitradition, his works encourage the public to re-establish national confidence from their traditional heritage. That is beyond the territories of the superficial "exoticism". Besides as a composer, he is also a very prominent educator, scholar and administrator. Due to the problems in language barrier and cultural gap, nobody had formally made thorough studies on his works. This study, in a cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary approach, is to make a full survey on his life, ideology and works. Meanwhile, the aim of this thesis is to investigate the relation between Chou' cultural background and his works. Likewise it provides important references for understanding the trend of contemporary Chinese music.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations and music.


99 pages




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