The Yang’s Saga Pipa Concerto was composed in the summer of 2003 in Taipei and the world premiered by the world renowned pipa player Wu Man. The duration of the piece is about twenty minutes, and it has three movements. The whole piece depicts a famous story begins during the Northern Song Dynasty, as the Khitan Liao are attacking China from the north and Generals from the Yang Family (The Yang Warriors) provide their faithful service to the Northern Song Dynasty.
The first section of the first movement portrays how the main character Yang Ye, whom with his sons served the Song Dynasty by fighting the Khitan were betrayed by the court official Pan Mei. One of Yang Ye’s sons was killed and Yang Ye was captured by the Khitans. Yang Ye starved himself to death to preserve his honor. The second section of the first movement describes how the Yang Clan led the army of Song Dynasty and conquered seventy-two Tianmen Array. The third movement is an illustration of the winning of the battle - the atmosphere is celebratory and full of blissfulness and exhilaration.
The composer got his inspiration from pipa classic Dragon Boat. He uses pipa to imitate the sound of different kinds of percussion instruments to add onto the festive color. From the point of view of harmony and orchestration, the first movement is a new path discovered by the composer by integrating the most advance computer-aided spectral analysis technique with traditional Chinese musical language.
The Yang’s Saga is the assigned work in the final round of 2012 Taipei Traditional Instrumental Competition for Pipa.