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The collaborative pianist and body mapping: a guide to healthy body use for pianists and their musical partners

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ABSTRACT Musicians endure injuries at an alarming rate, largely due to the misuse of their bodies. Musicians move their bodies for a living and therefore should understand how to move them in a healthy way. This paper presents Body Mapping

ABSTRACT Musicians endure injuries at an alarming rate, largely due to the misuse of their bodies. Musicians move their bodies for a living and therefore should understand how to move them in a healthy way. This paper presents Body Mapping as an injury prevention technique specifically directed toward collaborative pianists. A body map is the self-representation in one's brain that includes information on the structure, function, and size of one's body; Body Mapping is the process of refining one's body map to produce coordinated movement. In addition to preventing injury, Body Mapping provides a means to achieve greater musical artistry through the training of movement, attention, and the senses. With the main function of collaborating with one or more musical partners, a collaborative pianist will have the opportunity to share the knowledge of Body Mapping with many fellow musicians. This study demonstrates the author's credentials as a Body Mapping instructor, the current status of the field of collaborative piano, and the recommendation for increased body awareness. Information on the nature and abundance of injuries and Body Mapping concepts are also analyzed. The study culminates in a course syllabus entitled An Introduction to Collaborative Piano and Body Mapping with the objective of imparting fundamental collaborative piano skills integrated with proper body use. The author hopes to inform educators of the benefits of prioritizing health among their students and to provide a Body Mapping foundation upon which their students can build technique.

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2013

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Libby Larsen's Margaret songs: a musical portrait of Willa Cather's Margaret Elliot

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Libby Larsen is one of the most performed and acclaimed composers today. She is a spirited, compelling, and sensitive composer whose music enhances the poetry of America's most prominent authors. Notable among her works are song cycles for soprano based

Libby Larsen is one of the most performed and acclaimed composers today. She is a spirited, compelling, and sensitive composer whose music enhances the poetry of America's most prominent authors. Notable among her works are song cycles for soprano based on the poetry of female writers, among them novelist and poet Willa Cather (1873-1947). Larsen has produced two song cycles on works from Cather's substantial output of fiction: one based on Cather's short story, "Eric Hermannson's Soul," titled Margaret Songs: Three Songs from Willa Cather (1996); and later, My Antonia (2000), based on Cather's novel of the same title. In Margaret Songs, Cather's poetry and short stories--specifically the character of Margaret Elliot--combine with Larsen's unique compositional style to create a surprising collaboration. This study explores how Larsen in these songs delves into the emotional and psychological depths of Margaret's character, not fully formed by Cather. It is only through Larsen's music and Cather's poetry that Margaret's journey through self-discovery and love become fully realized. This song cycle is a glimpse through the eyes of two prominent female artists on the societal pressures placed upon Margaret's character, many of which still resonate with women in today's culture. This study examines the work Margaret Songs by discussing Willa Cather, her musical influences, and the conditions surrounding the writing of "Eric Hermannson's Soul." It looks also into Cather's influence on Libby Larsen and the commission leading to Margaret Songs. Finally, a description of the musical, dramatic, and textual content of the songs completes this interpretation of the interactions of Willa Cather, Libby Larsen, and the character of Margaret Elliot.

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2013

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Discovering Puerto Rican art song: a research project on four art song works by Héctor Campos Parsi

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Puerto Rico has produced many important composers who have contributed to the musical culture of the nation during the last 200 years. However, a considerable amount of their music has proven to be difficult to access and may contain numerous

Puerto Rico has produced many important composers who have contributed to the musical culture of the nation during the last 200 years. However, a considerable amount of their music has proven to be difficult to access and may contain numerous errors. This research project intends to contribute to the accessibility of such music and to encourage similar studies of Puerto Rican music. This study focuses on the music of Héctor Campos Parsi (1922-1998), one of the most prominent composers of the 20th century in Puerto Rico. After an overview of the historical background of music on the island and the biography of the composer, four works from his art song repertoire are given for detailed examination. A product of this study is the first corrected edition of his cycles Canciones de Cielo y Agua, Tres Poemas de Corretjer, Los Paréntesis, and the song Majestad Negra. These compositions date from 1947 to 1959, and reflect both the European and nationalistic writing styles of the composer during this time. Data for these corrections have been obtained from the composer's manuscripts, published and unpublished editions, and published recordings. The corrected scores are ready for publication and a compact disc of this repertoire, performed by soprano Melliangee Pérez and the author, has been recorded to bring to life these revisions. Despite the best intentions of the author, the various copyright issues have yet to be resolved. It is hoped that this document will provide the foundation for a resolution and that these important works will be available for public performance and study in the near future.

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2013

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A New Piano Reduction of the Nielsen Flute Concerto

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The purpose of this research is to create a new piano reduction of Carl Nielsen’s Flute Concerto. Danish composer Carl Nielsen was born in 1865 and died in 1931. His compositional focus on orchestral writing made him renowned for his

The purpose of this research is to create a new piano reduction of Carl Nielsen’s Flute Concerto. Danish composer Carl Nielsen was born in 1865 and died in 1931. His compositional focus on orchestral writing made him renowned for his symphonies and concerti for flute and clarinet. Today his concerti are often performed by both professional musicians and students.

The first published piano reduction of the Flute Concerto was issued in 1952 by the composer’s son-in law, Emil Telmányi, who was a Hungarian violinist and conductor. This reduction was published by Samfundet til Udgivelse af Dansk Musik. In 2003, as part of The Carl Nielsen Edition, Edition Wilhelm Hansen published a new revised edition of the concerto. The piano reduction of this edition was written by Danish pianist Per Salo, and is the most frequently used by pianists today. This edition contains much information pertaining to the orchestration, but this often causes the piano part to become challenging or unplayable in many passages.

For collaborative pianists, playing concerti requires both the ability to imitate the orchestral sound, and to understand and show the main ideas of each passage. However, as this concerto is often performed in universities by flutists and pianists of different skill levels, creating a simplified version of the piano reduction will support many pianists by helping them to learn this music in a more approachable and easily performable context.

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2019