Orchestrating Diversity: Tan Dun’s Intercultural Composition in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

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Hui Litster, Jacob Charles




This thesis analyzes Tan Dun's score for the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000, dir. Ang Lee). First exploring the processes of intercultural exchange in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that brought Chinese music into contact with the music of Europe and America, I also review the music used in selected Chinese martial arts and drama films that predate Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The transnational nature of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon's production team is outlined, along with a discussion of the portrayal of gender roles in the film. A biographical profile of Tan Dun and his music sets the context for analyzing how his music is used in the film, including his orchestrations, leitmotifs, motivic gestures, diegetic music, and a close reading of the music featured in selected fight scenes and love scenes from the film.






Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Music and Culture

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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