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The Twain Meet, a double concerto for banjo, shamisen, and orchestra : a composition and analysis

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Item Summary

Title: The Twain Meet, a double concerto for banjo, shamisen, and orchestra : a composition and analysis
Authors: Johnson, Wesley Allan
Keywords: banjo
Third Culture Kid
Issue Date: May 2012
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2012]
Abstract: The Twain Meet, a double concerto for banjo, shamisen, and orchestra, draws on music from cultures across the globe to reflect the author's integrated multicultural identity as a "Third Culture Kid." A "Third Culture Kid," or TCK, is a child who resides outside their country of citizenship. The child retains characteristics of his or her parents' culture while absorbing characteristics of the surrounding culture, resulting in a separate culture, or "third" culture. Similarly, in The Twain Meet, the banjo, shamisen, and orchestra, each of which originates in a different culture, musically explore cultural interaction and integration inspired by the mixed culture of a TCK, resulting in "Third Culture Music," a specific postmodern approach originating from the author's background. "Third Culture Music" distinguishes itself from such ideas as exoticism because of a TCK's firsthand familiarity with the cultures instead of an exploration from the outside.
The "Third Culture Music" in The Twain Meet is an amalgamation of musical styles connected to the banjo, shamisen, and orchestra. The main sections of the piece explore musical genres related to the banjo's and shamisen's current idioms as well as music connected to the solo instruments' lineages. The piece references music of the Perstian setar, West African akonting, Chinese sanxian, Dixieland-jazz banjo, nagauta shamisen, Irish tenor banjo, Tsugaru jamisen, and bluegrass banjo. The main sections vary in the portrayal of these musical cultures, ranging from depicting the music itself to using only concepts derived from the musical ideas. Additionally, The Twain Meet integrates musical forms common in orchestra repertoire. While titled as a concerto, the piece also includes elements of a suite, but it is through composed as one continuous movement. The music itself is not programmatic; rather, the piece is presented as a journey tracing the banjo's and shamisen's histories. Overall, "Third Culture Music" is revealed through the integration of the piece's broad diversity, through the classical forms of the concerto and suite, into one large-scale composition.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Music

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