The Concept of Shi: Chinese Aesthetics and Happy Rain on a Spring Night (2004)

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Nancy Yunhwa Rao


The article brings a conceptual framework of Chinese aesthetics, music analysis, and theory developed in North America to bear on the analysis of Chen Yi’s chamber ensemble Happy Rain on a Spring Night (2004). As a framework to analyze the work (both the poem by Du Fu and the music composition), it proposes the concept of shi, which can be described as “dynamic configuration” or “the probability and propensity that drive the process.” The end of the article discusses issues related to culturally situated analysis.

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