Tzu-Nung Lin

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


School of Music

Committee Chair

Peter Amstutz

Committee Co-Chair

William Haller

Committee Member

Andrea Houde

Committee Member

Ching-Wen Hsiao

Committee Member

Bruce Kang


This research project examines selected piano works by Taiwanese composer Tyzen Hsiao, who was born in 1938 and passed away in February, 2015. While Hsiao's music reveals influences from several different cultures, his main focus was the music of Taiwan, even though he decided to leave his homeland for the United States and was unable to return for more than 18 years because of volatile political issues within Taiwan. In his works, he uses the materials and compositional techniques of the 19th and 20th centuries, along with pentatonic scales and church styles; frequently, he also includes Taiwanese folk elements in the music.;Although Tyzen Hsiao is fairly well known in Taiwan, it is still difficult to find published sources about his many piano works, even in his home country. In addition to a few individual books and dissertations about Hsiao and his music, most of the published materials are articles from newspapers and journals. Most of Hsiao's works for solo piano have not been performed frequently.;This paper highlights Tyzen Hsiao's musical background and writing styles and it offers pedagogical suggestions regarding two of his solo-piano pieces. Many of his piano works are also suitable for children. It is my hope that, instead of only assigning music from other countries, Taiwanese piano teachers can also encourage their young students to work on excellent pieces like these from their own country.;The paper concludes with a summary of the piano pieces discussed in the document and with an appreciation for Tyzen Hsiao's contributions to Taiwanese society.