Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music



First Advisor

Scott Weiss

Second Advisor

Donald Portnoy


The mixing of musical traditions between cultures, philosophies, and religions has been a crucial element of music for centuries. However, a marked rise over the last century has seen rapid development of specific East/West fusions that have become known as “fusion concertos.” These fusions combine Eastern and Western compositional techniques as well as Eastern and Western instruments to create new and interesting works for a multitude of ensembles.

This research takes two early examples written by Chinese composers, the worldfamous works Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto and Yellow River Piano Concerto, and analyzes them regarding form, melodic content, harmonic content, and instrumental considerations. This analysis is then compared to three newer works written by wellknown composers Ma Shui-long, Tan Dun, and Bright Sheng. Through this process, key factors will be identified that highlight the fusions between Eastern and Western ideas. Analysis of these traits identifies what makes these compositional hybrids successful regarding the compositional traits listed above and explores important cultural factors that shape the work's narrative.

It is my hope that, through this research, more scholars, researchers, and performers become aware of the fundamental techniques that make these works successful and endeavor to continue advancing this exciting and influential genre to a continually wider audience.

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