SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

2: Wind Chimes

Composed by: Stephen Dydo (2004)

Pipa and guitar

Stephen Dydo, the composer of the piece, comments:

"Writing for a resurrected instrument poses interesting conundrums: should one duplicate aspects of the style of ancient music, or instrumental techniques, or should one write music that takes advantage of the unique character of the instrument? 'Wind Chimes' attempts a bit of both. It is most definitely of our day, in terms of rhythm and pitch material. At the same time, it approaches one aspect of early Chinese music in organisation, that of the more complex Tang modal environment compared with later Chinese music. Although most Chinese performers now play predominantly pentatonic music in a few modes, Tang and Song players used many modes, and used more heptatonicism. The mark of a great pipa player was the ability to perform in all known modes.

Wind Chimes comprises 12 continuous sections, each exploring a different mode. The harmony is modern, since the guitar and pipa explore different modes, coming together at the beginning, middle and end of the piece."