LI Zhe-Yang was born in Changhua in 1934 and was admitted to the music department of National Taipei Teachers College (the predecessor of National Taipei University of Education) in 1949. The next year, however, his father was executed by shooting after being accused of not reporting known communists, and LI was expelled from the school. After this incident he served as a clerk in a bookstore and as draftsman for Taiwan Fertilizer Co., Ltd. Beginning in 1960 he served as a music teacher in high schools and later taught in Shih Chien School of Home Economics (now known as Shih Chien University) and National College of Arts (now known as National Taiwan University of Arts). Aside from a year’s study in National Taipei Teachers College, LI was mostly a self-taught musician and gained musical knowledge from practical experience. He participated in the folksong collection movement in 1966–67 and, with LEI Xiang, founded Musical Digest, which was issued for nineteen years. He also edited numerous publications on the topic of music and accumulated a great amount of research materials about Taiwanese music. He was a forerunner of music research in Taiwan. LI died in March 1990 due to illness. His research materials are currently archived at Taipei National University of Arts.