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Abstract

In their article "Cultural Hybridization in a 1930s Taiwanese Popular Song" Mei-Wen Lee and Timothy P. Urban present a comparison of the three different sets of lyrics used for the melody of the 1930s Taiwanese popular song, "Moonlight Sorrow": Taiwanese lyrics used by Yu-Xian Deng and Tian-Wang Chou in their 1933 arrangement, Japanese lyrics by Kurihara Hakuya from the late 1930s, and Mandarin lyrics added by Nu Chuan in the 1960s. Lee and Urban examine three orchestral settings of the "Moonlight Sorrow" melody. In the first orchestral version Japanese composer Hayakawa Masaaki uses the melody in a manner similar to that of The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi. In the second arrangement Russian composer Yuri Yakushev combines a domra (a traditional Russian plucked string instrument) with instruments from both a classical orchestra and a jazz band in an easy-listening, Beguine-style. The last arrangement examined is by Taiwanese composer Szu-Hsien Lee who combines Western Baroque orchestration (with the addition of a clarinet) with Western triadic harmonies and harmony derived both from the pentatonic melody itself, as well as from the open string tuning of traditional Chinese instruments.