Shui-Long Ma: A stylistic analysis and discussion of fantasy for Flute Solo


A composer whose works truly represent Taiwanese composition, Shui-long Ma (b. 1939) is well known for his blending of Taiwanese traditional tunes with Western compositional techniques. During his three-year study at Germany’s Regensburg Music Academy, Ma learned Western compositional styles, but found he missed the music of his own culture. Fantasy for Solo Flute was composed in 1974. In the work, Ma effectively combines Western techniques, such as chromaticism, with a melody that is heavily influenced by Chinese traditional music; this juxtaposition challenges the stereotype that Chinese composers always compose within the pentatonic scale. Although this piece is the only example of solo flute repertoire in Ma’s body of work, the music is representative of the composer’s style and reflects his life experience. This paper will discuss Shui-Long Ma’s Fantasy for Solo Flute as representative of his musical style and compositional philosophy and will include the composer’s background, an analysis of the piece, and suggestions for performance.



Shui-Long Ma, Flute