Application of the Aesthetic of Guqin (古琴) for Contemporary Music Composition


  • Barry Yuk Bun Wan Jan Evangelista Purkyne University in Ustí­ nad Labem | Czech Republic


Chinese Music, Guqin, Contemporary Music, Compositional Techniques, Music Composition, Aesthetic, Chinese Art


The purpose of this research is to discover the application of aesthetic approach, performing technique and playing style of Guqin for contemporary music composition. Mentioned in documents dating from two millennia, Guqin is one of the oldest Chinese solo instruments. Moreover, Guqin music often is based on senza misurato (散板, without tempo) and it focuses on changing the colours of several notes, occasionally even a single note. This is accomplished by using an open string note (散音), stopped string note (按音), harmonic note (泛音) as well as four main ornaments (綽注吟猱) to achieve the poetic mood. This aesthetic is in direct contrast to western homophonic structure. These characteristic effects offer an attractive potential for their application to new compositional techniques and approach to contemporary music writing. This research will provide valuable information regarding employment of the Guqin's philosophy for music composition.


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Biografia do Autor

Barry Yuk Bun Wan, Jan Evangelista Purkyne University in Ustí­ nad Labem | Czech Republic

A diverse musician, Czech-based composer, sonic artist and guitarist Barry Y.B. Wan's music has been performed in USA, Mexico, Brazil, Sweden, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Spain, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Japan and Hong Kong. Mr. Wan is also active as a performer and interpreter of contemporary music. He was invited perform in different music festivals around europe, such as Orfeus 2015 new music festival in Slovakia and Festival Aktuelle Musik 016-open space in Nuremberg. He also studied mastercalss with Andrew York, Scott Tennant, Jorge Caballero and Maria Linnemann. In the year 2003 started his musical studies in Hong Kong. He is a graduate of Digital Media Major in Animation at the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Kwun Tong Campus) and Major in Photographic at the Hong Kong Christian Service Kwun Tong Vocational Training Center. From the year 2010-2015 he studied at the Janacek Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno - Czech Republic, with specialization in Music Composition, multimedia composition and Guitar Performance. He earned the LLCM title (bachelor equivalent) of music composition in the year 2014 from London Collage of Music. In 2017, he received the master degree of composition at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague with specialization in Electroacoustic Music Composition. Currently he is completing the PhD degree at Jan Evangelista Purkyne University in Ústí­ nad Labem, Czech Republic.



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Como Citar

Wan, B. Y. B. (2021). Application of the Aesthetic of Guqin (古琴) for Contemporary Music Composition. Revista Vórtex, 9(3). Recuperado de



Dossier "SiMN 2021"