Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


School of Music

Committee Chair

Peter Amstutz

Committee Co-Chair

Andrew Kohn

Committee Member

Mary Ferer

Committee Member

John Goldwasser

Committee Member

James Miltenberger


Although the influence of Western art music has been present in Malaysia for a little short of two centuries, much of the scholarly research, both locally and globally, has shown more interest in traditional music and popular music. As such, this study serves as an introduction to the art-music scene in Malaysia, particularly through the analyses of selected solo piano works by three contemporary Malaysian composers---namely, Chong Lim Ng's A Distant Voice of the Rain Forest (Fragments from "Rimba"...), Adeline Wong's Paces for solo piano and electronics, and Kah Hoe Yii's My Spirit is Dancing!.;These works show that Malaysian composers can be traditional and experimental, national and international at the same time. Most importantly, they reflect a common aspiration to incorporate and retain a certain quality or sound that defines these composers' identities and cultural origins, which is not necessarily determined by ethnicity or nationality. This is achieved by assimilating foreign knowledge and technique with local or regional influences and inspirations.;This small but carefully chosen sampling of contemporary art music by Malaysian composers not only symbolizes the country's diversity in culture, it also represents the essence of the contemporary art music in Southeast Asia. For that reason, it is the author's hope that this research will promote interest and further studies in the contemporary art music by Malaysian composers and composers from the Southeast Asian region.