- 2012-2015 Research associate at the graduate school "Expertenkulturen des 12. bis 18. Jahrhunderts"
- 2005-2009 The Open University of Hong Kong (BA in Language and Translation)
- 2010-2012 Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (Erasmus Mundus MA in Euroculture)
Matteo Ricci in East-West Music Exchange
The Italian Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci (1552-1610), who missionized in China from 1582 until his death in 1610 played a vital role in the cultural encounter between China and Europe. Ricci composed Xiqin Quyi, Eight Songs for Western Keyboard in 1600; although the original scores were lost, the lyrics serve as an important evidence of Ricci's role in China-Europe musical exchange in terms of cross-cultural encountering.
Jesuits in China applied musical knowledge not only in composition, but also in Chinese learning (late Ming Guanhua). By incorporating Jesuit's comprehensive dictionary Xiqin Quyi with Xi Ru Er Mu Zi (XREMZ) and a letter with a music-to-Chinese graph dated 23rd August 1608, written by Ricci's colleague Sabatino de Ursis, this thesis aims to produce the closest possible picture of how the music of Xiqin Quyi looked like, if not sounded like.
Although the reconstruction may not be as fully corresponding to the original target language, the references given by the dictionary (XREMZ) provides the most accurate indications of actual tonal variations of late Ming Guanhua; together with the evidence provided in Ursis's letter, this research may effectively narrow down the tone values of late Ming Guanhua into a tonal pattern - a much closer step towards reconstructing the lyrics of Xiqin Quyi. This reconstruction could be seen as the latest extension of academic research in understanding the Jesuits' first musical work composed in Chinese language.
Through reconstructing and rereading of Ricci's lyrics as well as early Jesuit musical activities, Ricci's role as an agent of knowledge transfer, or 'expert mediator' may be better revealed, which may well fill the gap of current studies of Ricci's musical achievements.