Tag Archives: western interpretation of “Chinese” music

Intermedia 06: Silent Moon

The Original Music

I first heard Silent Moon performed by Jian Xiao Qing on erhu and orchestra. Scales traditionally used for such compositions were made up of tones that are almost the same as western pentatonic scales, except that the tones are not equally tempered.

The core melody lines of Silent Moon (Part A and Part B) are a good example of how a song in this style is composed with 3-4 tone groups per phrase, with another 3-4 tones in the next phrase. For the listener, this can be heard as question and answer motifs.

The Interpretation

I am a pianist (not a string player) so what follows are 2 recordings of my working with the Silent Moon melody lines using the in the moment style of classical and jazz improvisation for which the American pianist-composer Keith Jarrett (1945- ) is highly regarded.

There are 2 versions. One is for those of you unfamiliar with western musical notation (visual version). The other is for musicians who draw on lead sheets and jazz chord symbols as a source of inspiration to explore their own musical textures and ideas (lead sheet version).


In some ways, “self-creation can be understood as the acquisition of an inner education.” [Mong. Өөрийгөө бүтээнэ гэснийг дотоод сэтгэлийн боловсролоо олж авахуйг хэлж буй гэж ойлгож болно.]

ZDR 27 January 2024.


The Visualised Version

YouTube player


The Lead Sheet Version

YouTube player


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© 2013-2024. CP in Mongolia. This post is licensed under the  Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Documents linked from this page may be subject to other restrictions.   Posted: 27 January 2024. Last updated: 27 January 2024.