Cultural diversity in piano repertoire


2004-10, 2005-09, 2006-04, 2007-10

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Texas Tech University


One of the most important tasks for a piano teacher is to select pieces in students’ favor. A good repertoire can help piano students maintain their interests and succeed in lessons and recitals. Piano pieces from different cultures supply us not only with a rich source of characteristics, tune, melodies, rhythms and stories, but also provide us profound and creative insights into life. All of these serve to improve students’ technical and musical skills, and to foster their personal development.

Piano work from other parts of the world would open a window for students, who could touch the world of different cultures, life, languages and musical styles directly under their fingertips. Exotic piano work can arouse students’ curiosity, enjoyment, and empathetic awareness of cultural differences and similarities. In addition, pieces from exotic cultures also add flavors and appeal to student’s piano recitals.

The purposes of this project are (1) to arouse students’ interest so that they are willing to learn pieces from different cultures; (2) to explore technique and musical elements of different cultures that can benefit both teaching and performance and (3) to identify traits that can make a particular “international” piece succeed as A. a pedagogical work. B. a flavorful sample of the culture.