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The Ohio State University

1. Sansbury, Sally Liew. The Xinjiang piano suites of Shi Fu.

Degree: DMA, Music, 2007, The Ohio State University

A distinguished Chinese ethnomusicologist and composer, Shi Fu has spent considerable time researching and collecting minority folk songs in Xinjiang, a province in the northwest region of China. His extensive knowledge in this field is reflected in almost all of his music. In particular, his three Xinjiang Piano Suites are windows through which one can learn more about individual minority folk music and culture. Each piece is a colorful picture of a folk scene depicted through music. Altogether, his music can be described as a fusion of ethnic folk idioms and Western romantic music traditions. Although Shi Fu is recognized as an important composer in his own country, he is relatively unknown to the English-speaking world, largely because of the language barrier. This is due to the dearth of information available in English and also the added task of translating relevant material from Chinese to English. Furthermore, while some of his piano music has been published, it is available only in China, and hence, not readily accessible to the Western world. This document attempts to bridge the language barrier to introduce Shi Fu and his piano music to the English-speaking world. It gives a brief historical and musical background of the Xinjiang province so as to provide a backdrop for the understanding of the Xinjiang Piano Suites. It furnishes a brief history of Xinjiang piano music. It presents the composer’s biography along with a representative listing of his works, and an overview of his piano writing. There is a detailed description on the three Xinjiang Piano Suites, highlighting the folk elements found in these works. This document concludes with a brief discussion on the composer’s Xinjiang compositional style and a summary. As a further aid, the Appendix provides a translation for every Chinese title, descriptive term or relevant information in the piano publication. Because China is on centerstage in the twenty-first century, I hope this document will prove useful in extending knowledge of this prominent Chinese composer, Shi Fu, and to promote interest among the academic and performing community into exploring his unique Xinjiang piano works. Advisors/Committee Members: Glaser, Steven (Advisor).

Subjects/Keywords: Music; Xinjiang Piano Suites; Chinese composer; ethnic minority folk music; Chinese piano music

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APA (6th Edition):

Sansbury, S. L. (2007). The Xinjiang piano suites of Shi Fu. (Doctoral Dissertation). The Ohio State University. Retrieved from

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Sansbury, Sally Liew. “The Xinjiang piano suites of Shi Fu.” 2007. Doctoral Dissertation, The Ohio State University. Accessed December 16, 2019.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Sansbury, Sally Liew. “The Xinjiang piano suites of Shi Fu.” 2007. Web. 16 Dec 2019.


Sansbury SL. The Xinjiang piano suites of Shi Fu. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. The Ohio State University; 2007. [cited 2019 Dec 16]. Available from:

Council of Science Editors:

Sansbury SL. The Xinjiang piano suites of Shi Fu. [Doctoral Dissertation]. The Ohio State University; 2007. Available from: