Wei Zhang

Serial Music In China: The Development of Technique and Theory of Serial Music during the 1980s and 1990s

In virtue of certain historical reason, professional music composition and theory of composition technique in China did not come into being until the 1980s, though they have already developed different styles and genres in the process of studying and absorbing various western composition technique theories which had been introduced to China since the 1920s. The systematic introduction of concept and composition technique of serial music at that time and a succession of early characteristic practices , the influence of which still can be seen now, laid vital foundation for later development of professional music composition. It also made the time of 1980s an important period for Chinese contemporary music. My study will focus on the following contents: (1) The historical origin of a debate on serial music starts from the 1920s and its implication for the future; (2) The reasons for serial music becoming a mainstream choice for composition technique and idea of the composers, and an important approach to break-through the fences surrounding music composition at that time; (3) The way that Chinese composers used the technique of serial music and started to promote its ‘sinicized’ development at that time; (4) The achievement and significance of research on theory of serial music at this time (the 1980s).