First Advisor

Weng, Lei

First Committee Member

Kauffman, Deborah

Second Committee Member

Oravitz, Michael

Third Committee Member

Yamprai, Jittapim

Degree Name

Doctor of Arts

Document Type


Date Created



College of Performing and Visual Arts, Music, Music Student Work


Dr. Liu Qing’s Fantasia of Chinese Ancient Dance for two pianos (2011) stands as a notable contemporary Chinese piano composition that reinterprets the renowned court dance suite Nichang Yuyi (the dance of Rainbow-Colored Feather Garment) from the 8th century Tang Dynasty China. Drawing inspiration from the structure and the musical modal languages of the Tang court dance, as well as the descriptions from Tang poet Bai Juyi’s poem of Nichang, Liu Qing adeptly combined her knowledge of Chinese musical traditions with Western compositional techniques, introducing stylistic diversity to the piano duo scene through this captivating work of dance music. This dissertation addresses the need for more scholarly study in the English language on identifiable musicological information of the Tang court dance Nichang. Furthermore, it serves as a valuable resource for pianists interested in learning Liu Qing’s piano works and other Chinese contemporary works sharing similar musical characteristics. The conclusion of this dissertation is supported by a focused research on the current ethnomusicological study on the musical origins and characteristics of Nichang, a systematic study of the traditional Chinese modulation theories and the three traditional Chinese heptatonic modes, the Yayue, Qingyue, and Yanyue modes, and a comprehensive interview with the composer discussing her creative process and her thoughts on using elastic tempo and rubato, revealing their connections to the “slow singing with fast accompaniment” rhythmic feature commonly found in traditional Chinese operas.

Abstract Format



114 pages

Local Identifiers


Rights Statement

Copyright is held by the author.