Chán chán
for string orchestra

Hope Lee
Hope Lee
Composition Date: 1996
Genre: Orchestra / Large Ensembles, String Orchestra


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x String orchestra
Programme Note:
'Onomatopoeia' consists of three independent pieces: 'Chán Chán' (Chinese: sound or motion of flowing water), 'Jia Yuan' (Chinese: home, homeland), and 'Tiao Tiao' (Chinese: remote, distant). These pieces can be partially overlapped to be played as one continuous work.

The central piece 'Jia Yuan', scored for children's choir with a fifteen instrument chamber ensemble, is the core piece. 'Chán Chán', scored for chamber string orchestra (4:4:2:2:2), is the first piece. 'Tiao Tiao', the last piece, is orchestrated for a chamber orchestra by combining the string orchestra with the chamber ensemble in the two previous pieces.

The musical material of 'Onomatopoeia' is built out of the idiomatic translation of the expression "Home Sweet Home" into twenty-four world languages. In 'Jia Yuan', the text is presented in manifold ways: original form, non-sense transformation and transference into composed musical shape, becomes the basis of building material for 'Chán Chán' and 'Tiáo Tiáo', hence, determines musical language and formal structure.

Music is a functional language, for expression and for communication. To express ideas through children's simplicity, to communicate by means of children's spontaneous creativity, these were the main objects in composing 'Jia Yuan'. In 'Chán Chán and 'Tiao Tiao', the main goals were to develop simple material in many directions and dimensions and to create variegated contrasts within the fluidity of music, while still preserving unity.

In 1979, the year when this project first began, was the International Year of the Child. 'Onomatopoeia' is dedicated to the children of the world, especially the ones who lost their home, homeland, or their lives due to human folly. (from the score)

Premiere Information:
February 11, 1984 ; L'Orchestre de Chambre de Montréal, Wanda Kaluzny, conductor.


  • Call Number:
  • MI 1500 L478cha 1996
  • Genre:
  • Orchestra / Large Ensembles, String Orchestra
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • July 6, 2004
  • Type:
  • Print-music, published
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (vi, (50) p.) ; 30 cm.
    56 Pages
    Height: 30 cm
    Width: 21 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • For string orchestra (44222).

    Contains notation and performance instructions.

    When 'Chán Chán' is performed as part of 'Onomatopoeia', the instrumental forces shoud be those of a small string orchestra (4:4:2:2:2). When performed as an independent work, a larger string section may be employed.
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    Published by Furore Verlag


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