PhD in Music
After finishing my undergraduate study at Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, I was anxious to find a university which, besides music, also has a strong interest in Chinese studies generally, because I wanted to apply for a place to further my research into musical, cultural and diplomatic exchange between China and the West in the 17th and 18th centuries. Finally in 2008, I chose Bristol, not surprisingly, as it had great understanding of my research in both the Music and Historical Studies Departments, and I was also awarded the ORS Scholarship from Bristol.
Now with eight months study and enjoyable experiences in Bristol, I'd be worried if I were not at Bristol. The university offers a superb environment for doing research, I am very much impressed with both departmental and university libraries, I can easily access documents and materials, sometimes with the help from the friendly librarians. The Sports Centre is one of the places I do not want to miss every week, it perfectly combines various sporting activities. Here, I should also mention that the weekly lunchtime concert at the Music Department is always free to all Bristol students and definitely ideal for the busy students who want an enjoyable rest. Not only the university, but the peaceful areas of the city of Bristol have given me beautiful memories since I settled here. I normally love to walk to Brandon Hill, which is a five-minute walk from my flat. I would call it a picturesque paradise given by nature, but Bristol indeed deserves it. A panoramic view of Bristol at the top of the hill, and lovely squirrels and birds, all of these, make me embrace wonderful and natural nature, peaceful and touchable.
During the last eight months, I have widely deepened my understanding of my research field both musicologically and historically. One of my supervisors Professor Stephen Banfield in the Music Department, who is a good scholar interested in writing a global music history, teaches me a lot in taking Chinese music and its history into a comprehensive musicological account. His supervision also helps me reassess musical exchange between China and the West at a refreshing level. Another supervisor of mine Professor Robert Bickers, a leading figure in the field of modern Chinese history in Britain, is also seriously interested in my field. In the weekly research seminar for all PhD students in Chinese history, we discuss specific issues and topics, from which, I gain lots of knowledge about Chinese history in English literature. In short, the co-supervision by two departments at Bristol widens and strengthens my academic thinking and stimulates my intense interest in investigating a vast amount of unresearched fields.
At the time of Bristol’s centenary, I wish Bristol a great future, and I hope my profile is helpful for research students who are keen to come to Bristol.