Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Committee Member

Tod Fitzpatrick

Second Committee Member

Alfonse Anderson

Third Committee Member

Kenneth Hanlon

Fourth Committee Member

Stephen Caplan

Fifth Committee Member

Catherine Angel

Number of Pages



The purpose of this document is to understand Taiwanese composer Hsiao Tyzen's artistic persona through analysis of the textual and musical characteristics of his songs. This document is comprised of: 1) an historical overview of Taiwan, 2) a history of Taiwanese vocal music, 3) a description of Hsiao Tyzen's life and career, 4) an introduction to Taiwanese diction, 5) an examination and analysis of musical components (melody, rhythm, accompaniment and form) of four of Tyzen's songs, and 6) a conclusion based upon sociological factors, historical influences and musical devices to define what constitutes the stylistic characteristics of the songs of Hsiao Tyzen.

In 1949, the Chinese National Party lost the civil war to the Communist Party and subsequently retreated from China to Taiwan. Because of this mass exodus, Chinese culture was imposed onto the Taiwanese people. The government prevented composers from composing any songs in Taiwanese. However, Hsiao Tyzen resided in America and was able to continue to compose Taiwanese songs without restriction. His rich harmonic language reflects the influence of Western Neo-Romantic compositional style. His musical aesthetics are strongly associated with Taiwanese tradition. Therefore, many people have considered him a strong proponent of the Taiwanisation Movement. He has even been referred to as "Taiwan's Rachmaninoff." Hsiao Tyzen is an important figure in the history of the music of Taiwan. His songs present beauty through the elegance of the Taiwanese language. As a Taiwanese person, it is incumbent upon me to promote songs in our mother tongue and appreciate our distinguished native musician, Hsiao Tyzen.


Art Songs; Composers; Taiwanese; KMT; Songs; Taiwan; Taiwanese Diction; Taiwanese vocal Music; Tyzen; Hsiao


Ethnomusicology | Music | Music Theory

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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