Zhipeng Li


Reddick, Carissa

Committee Member

Weng, Lei

Committee Member

Yamprai, Jittapim

Committee Member

Huang, Jingzi


College of Performing and Visual Arts; School of Music, Piano Performance


University of Northern Colorado

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Place of Publication

Greeley, (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



185 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


Since the Western piano music culture entered China, Chinese musicians have never stopped exploring the piano. The piano compositions grew up with the new China and have been influenced by different historical periods, from the earliest imitation of Western music structure and harmony, to the later incorporation of Chinese folk music, and finally to the bold fusion of Chinese and Western composition techniques into a Chinese style piano music. The development of Chinese piano music has been recognized by the world in the last one hundred years. More and more musicians are interested in Chinese piano works. Understanding Chinese piano compositions has consequently become important. In line with this interest, this study will examine the style, structure, and imitation of the Chinese instrument sound. Through the analysis of selected transcribed folk music and original composed piano works, this study aims to enhance understanding of the traditional folk idioms in the piano works and to understand the idioms’ influences on modern Chinese piano music and its interpretational possibilities. This study will introduce the different regional styles of Chinese folk music, basic pentatonic theory, and how composers use folk melodies, rhythmic patterns, and modified harmonies to convey Chinese flavor. The focus of this research is the relationship between Chinese piano music and Chinese folk music. For the selection of Chinese works, the author has chosen the most representative transcriptions and original works. The selected seven icompositions consist of different styles and genres of folk songs, folk music ensembles, and original Chinese music. Each has a very important role in Chinese piano history. This document will be beneficial to piano students and scholars as it provides an understanding of how Chinese composers developed their musical language to captivate audiences and listeners to this day. It is offered in the hopes of promoting a wider familiarity with Chinese music and culture.

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Copyright is held by the author.