Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


School of Music

Document Type



This dissertation will focus on the performance and pedagogical features of six piano solos composed by Chen Yi and Zhou Long. Both composers are Chinese-American who earned their Bachelor degrees in music from the Central Conservatory in Beijing, and came to United States in 1985-1986 to pursue doctoral studies in composition at Columbia University. Because of the composers’ personal experience, they were not only familiar with Chinese regional folk elements, but also trained in the Western classical music tradition. Their works tend to blend and expand both Chinese and Western cultural traditions, musical ideas and techniques.

The six piano solo pieces that will be discussed are Singing in The Mountain, Two Chinese Bagatelles: Yu Diao and Small Beijing Gong, Bamboo Dance, Guessing, Mongolian Folk-tune Variations and Northern Scenes. Inspiration for composition, formal structure, and unique musical aspects will be discussed in the chapter of performance analysis. Moreover, each piece will be analyzed sequentially based on its level of difficulty, using Dr. Jane Magrath’s leveling system. Musical demands, technical demands and reading demands will be addressed for each piece in the chapter of pedagogical analysis. In conclusion, these six piano solo compositions by Chen Yi and Zhou Long maintain various and high performance and pedagogical values for pianists in different levels and ages.



Committee Chair

Sioles, Gregory