Le Tuyen Nguyen
Lay Yen Soh
Marretje van Wezel
Doctor of Philosophy Candidate
Le-Tuyen Nguyen is an Australian composer, guitarist and music educator. He has performed and lectured in Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Korea, France and the United States. Le-Tuyen is the co-founder of the GuiHANGtar in collaboration with Professor Salil Sachdev of Bridgewater State University. Featuring guitar and world percussion instruments, this duo ensemble performs Le-Tuyen’s compositions inspired from Vietnamese traditional music.
PhD in Ethnomusicology
Preliminary title of thesis : 'Re-shaping rímur. A social and musical study of the Icelandic vocal tradition.' Advisory Panel : Dr Stephen Wild (ANU), Dr Ruth Lee Martin (ANU), Dr Gunnar Karlsson, (University of Iceland), Dr Vesteinn Olason, (University of Iceland), Dr Manolete Mora (HKU). Publications : Söngur riddarans. Love Poet Páll Ólafsson Set To Melody. KHCD001 ncb/STEF VÍSA 01. 2001. Residing in Hong Kong, tel. +852 2817 5131
Born and raised in Chiba, Japan, I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Senshu University, Tokyo. My second Bachelor’s education was in music at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, where I continued the study of ethnomusicology for a Master’s degree. Meanwhile I visited The Chinese University of Hong Kong, by awarding Eu Tong Sen Memorial Fellowship, and conducted fieldwork on street musicians of Temple Street, Kowloon. My Master’s thesis is about Hawaiian music, entitled “I’ll Remember You: Nostalgia and Hapa Haole Music in Early Twenty-first Century Hawai‘i” (2007), which was approved by the commiittee of Ricardo D. Trimillos (chairperson), Frederick Lau, and Christine R. Yano. This thesis examines how nostalgia invoked through hapa haole music has shifted from one context to another, and transforms as sentiment for a “past Hawai‘i” in the present-day. In the process of this thesis writing, I became interested in issues of “interpretation of history” and “construction of memory” on the subject of music. Currently I am a PhD candidate at The Australian National University, conducting research on musical cultures of the Ogasawara Islands.
The Ogasawara Islands are lonesome in several senses. Located along the western rim of the Pacific Ocean, the only public access to the Islands requires a boat trip of 25.5 hours from Tokyo metropolitan area. Colonial and postcolonial conditions have distressed the residents, and civilian access to the Island of Iwo To, known also as Iwo Jima, is still restricted years after the “Battle of Iwo Jima” during World War II. In 2008, Ogasawara village celebrated 40 years Japanese administration after post-war US Navy control. Yet the people still face difficulties in daily lives, as a result the community remains small with less than 2,500 residents, who are often transient—leaving the Islands after only a few years.
The sorrow of the Islanders is mixed with complex feelings of sentiment embracing affection, dedication and nostalgia for Ogasawara and its people. In this thesis, I will explore this sentiment by referring to history and memory concerning Islands musical activities, such as hula, taiko drumming, choral singing, steel pan band, rock music, swing jazz, and Nanyō odori dance derived from Micronesia. I recognise musical cultures had flourished in past Ogasawara. However World War II and post-war politics have alienated the Islanders—the current residents often have different life experiences and hardly know pre-war cultural activities. The wanting memories must be substituted with something, thus the people practice music and dance by tracing fragmented memories, by feeling Islands features, and by adapting newly introduced performing arts. They sing and dance together, and such shared activities will be precious collective memories of their beloved Islands.
Advisory Panel: Dr Aaron Corn (Chair), Stephen Wild, Paul D’Arcy, Hazel Hall, Peter Hendriks, Judith MacDougall, and Tessa Morris-Suzuki.
Doctor of Philosophy Candidate
Anthony Smith has performed in Australia, England, Germany, New Caledonia, New Zealand, the USA, and Sweden. In addition to his accompaniment work for the ANU School of Music, he performs with choirs, ensembles and instrumentalists throughout the Canberra region. In December 2004 he released the CD A Year in Paris, with clarinettist Nicole Canham, on the Move label. Anthony made his concerto début in July 2005, playing Schumann’s piano concerto with the National Capital Orchestra. He was soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with Canberra Choral Society in May 2008.
In July 2007 Anthony gave a recital in conjunction with the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) retrospective of the artist George W Lambert: This recital included the piano sonata of Constant Lambert (the artist’s son). Anthony’s continuing interest in the life and works of Constant Lambert is the focus of his current PhD candidature at ANU, which commenced in February 2008. In July 2009 Anthony attended the Sixth International Conference on Music Since 1900 at Keele University, Staffordshire, England, where he presented a paper on Lambert and ragtime. In August 2009 Anthony gave a recital of works by Berg, Dale, and Rachmaninoff in conjunction with the NGA Frederick McCubbin exhibition.
Thesis Title: A Dionysian style revealed: Selected influences on Constant Lambert’s compositional language, with specific reference to the “Bacchanale” movements from the ballets Horoscope and Tiresias, and the “Brawles” movement of the masque Summer’s Last Will and Testament.
Lambert refers to the Dionysian in 3 of his music compositions. The first of these is the masque Summer’s Last Will and Testament (composed 1932-1935). The text of the “Brawles” movement of this composition contains a reference to “God Bacchus.” The remaining 2 compositions in which Lambert refers to the Dionysian are single movements entitled “Bacchanale”: the 6th movement of the ballet Horoscope (composed 1937), and Scene 4 of Act 2 of the ballet Tiresias (composed 1950-1951). That Lambert refers to the Dionysian in these 3 music compositions gives rise to 2 questions: Is there a set of style elements common to the 3 music compositions that can be identified as Lambert’s Dionysian style? If Lambert’s Dionysian style is identified, is it present in any other music compositions by Lambert? The study seeks to answer the following questions:
- Who influenced Lambert to adopt the Dionysian aesthetic?
- What style elements reveal Lambert’s non-Dionysian norm?
- What style elements reveal Lambert’s Dionysian style?
- Is the Dionysian style revealed in the 3 selected works?
- How is the Dionysian style revealed (i.e., what specific style elements reveal the Dionysian style) in these works?
Supervisory Panel: Dr Jonathan Powles (Chair), AProf Geoffrey Lancaster, Prof Larry Sitsky, Mr Bengt-Olov Palmqvist.
Lay Yen Soh
Master of Philosophy Candidate
Lay Yen Soh was awarded a scholarship from the Singapore government to read music at the University of Melbourne in 1989. During her undergraduate studies, she attained numerous scholarships and awards including the Florence Bradford Scholarship, the Lady Turner Exhibitions in Music (for excellence in all areas of the course), the Una Bourne Pianoforte Scholarship in Pianoforte Studies and the Allans Award in Piano Performance. She graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Music, First Class Honours, in performance and music education. Lay Yen’s other achievements include a Fellowship of Trinity College London (FTCL) in piano performance. After graduation, Lay Yen returned to Singapore where she taught classroom music in high schools. She was responsible for implementing the classroom music programme for the schools and also led the school’s choir in competitions and overseas performances. Lay Yen has also been teaching individual piano lessons in her home studio for over fifteen years.
Lay Yen Soh's main interest lies in teaching the piano and thus her research for her Masters thesis focuses on teaching piano technique for pre-tertiary students. She is currently pursuing a Master of Philosophy degree at the School of Music, focusing on the area of piano pedagogy.
Marretje van Wezel
Master of Philosophy Candidate
Marretje van Wezel is the president of the Music Teachers’ Association (Canberra branch) She has been teaching aural skills and theory at the School of Music, Australian National University and in her private studio for over 40 years. Marretje has adjudicated at music festivals in Canberra and in Brisbane. She has written a collection of aural exercises for young music students based on her extensive experience. Marretje is completing a Master of Philosophy focussing on aural skills and the teaching of tonal harmony.
Thesis title: New Approach to the Teaching of Tonal Harmony to Pre-Tertiary Students.
The thesis hypothesises that many candidates studying music for AMEB or equivalent exam systems write their harmony mathematically and often cannot hear what they are writing. It will be shown that students first need to hear and understand the function of triads before attempting to write basic progressions. Knowing the function of each chord makes harmony easier to understand and teach. The thesis examines the progression of students in harmonic aural and written skills as they explore each chord and the effect each progression creates. A basic knowledge of spelling triads on all scale degrees is presumed.
New to the approach is that the student is introduced to ‘ functional harmony.’ The sound and function of each triad is introduced before writing chordal progressions. Keyboard improvisation and analysis of works by great composers from the baroque period to popular songs is an important aspect. The basis of this approach is to focus first on the three primary triads. These are the tonic (T), subdominant (S) and dominant (D). These three triads function as the pillars of all tonal harmony. Other chords are merely elongations in time or substitutions of those three primary triads. When students understand this concept and can aurally perceive it, their written work becomes musically interesting and coherent.
Supervisory Panel: Dr Hazel Hall (Chair), Dr. Stephen Wild, Mr Bengt Olov Palmqvist.
For information on post graduate research at the School of Music please contact:
Dr Ruth Lee Martin
Dr Aaron Corn
T: +61 2 6125 5764