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date: 22 August 2019

Xiao Erhua [Hsiao Erh-Hua]locked

  • Barbara Mittler

Extract

[Hsiao Erh-Hua]

(b mainland China, 1906; d 1985). Chinese composer and teacher resident in Taiwan. In the late 1930s he studied music and theory in Japan; after working as a music teacher in Guangxi and Fujian, he moved to Taiwan in 1946. There he helped to establish the music department at Taiwan Normal University, devoting his attentions more to musicology and teaching than to composition. In a period when concert performances were rare and only included music by foreign composers, Xiao introduced his students to the works of mainland Chinese composers such as Huang Zi, Chen Tianhe, Liu Xue′an, Lin Shengshi and Zhao Yuanren. This exposure encouraged his students, including such important Taiwanese composers as Hsu Tsang-houei and Ma Shuilong, to compose in the new Chinese art music style. Xiao himself wrote mainly vocal music in the prevailing ‘pentatonic Romantic’ style, combining Western tonal harmony with Chinese pentatonic melodies. Some of his songs, such as his famous ...

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