Western musical forms as dramatic structure: Gao Xianjian’s The Bus-Stop

On Nei Annie MOK

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


As the second play of Gao Xianjian, The Bus-Stop (車站) aroused much controversy in its ideological inclination to challenge the socialist doctrines (Tam, 2001), and its great leap by employing ‘certain elements of the Western avant-garde drama (Tay, 1990, p.112). In Gao’s ‘author’s suggestions for the performance of The Bus-Stop’, he suggested that ‘as drama, like music, is an art governed by time, I believe that the various forms of music can be applied to it. In this play I have used both the sonata and rondo forms to replace the conventional Ibsenesque dramatic structure’ (p.138). With the clear motive of the writer in adopting sonata and rondo forms to be the structure in his play, it is then the intention of this paper to deconstruct it in this way. As the author also mentioned the conventional Ibsenesque structure, a brief analysis of it will be provided as a comparison to the newly introduced musical forms. Discussions will be followed on whether Gao can successfully fit the form well as a dramatic structure in the play as Chekhov[1] did? What is his motive of using western musical structures? Will it be the answer for replacing Ibsenesque dramatic structure?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


Mok, O. N. A. (2007, January). Western musical forms as dramatic structure: Gao Xingjian's The Bus-Stop. Paper presented at the 2nd Annual Conference of the Asian Studies Association of Hong Kong (ASAHK): Frontiers of Asian Studies in the Twenty-First Century, The University of Hong Kong, China.


  • Development of Subject Knowledge
  • Arts and Music


Dive into the research topics of 'Western musical forms as dramatic structure: Gao Xianjian’s The Bus-Stop'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.