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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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Date Created
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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Date Created
2019

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Revising Les nuits d'été Op. 7: A New Version for Voice and Piano Following a Comparative Analysis of Berlioz’s Original Piano and Orchestral Versions

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Louis Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) was a pioneer of 19th century Romanticism in France. In the mid-19th century, he broke the traditional mold by connecting poetry and music through French song. This development transformed French song from the simple and structured

Louis Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) was a pioneer of 19th century Romanticism in France. In the mid-19th century, he broke the traditional mold by connecting poetry and music through French song. This development transformed French song from the simple and structured Romance of the 18th century into the structural freedom of what he established as the a Mélodie. His song cycle Les nuits d’été, op 7 was composed first for voice and piano in 1841 and later arranged for voice and orchestra in 1856. After the 1856 orchestral version was completed, Les nuits d’été received greater recognition than it had from its original scoring for voice and piano.

This paper examines three major aspects to Les nuits d’été. First, it will discuss the reasons why Berlioz re-scored the work for orchestra and transposed the vocal part for various voice types in this later orchestral version. Second, it examines the difference between musical interactions in these two versions by comparing the existing scores of each version with its respective accompaniment based on Berlioz's use of word painting. Finally, this paper provides the author's original transcription of Les nuits d’été in a version for voice and piano that incorporates the later orchestral versions which were not included in the original version for voice and piano.

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Date Created
2017

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Guillaume Lekeu's Sonata for Piano and Violin: a performance guide

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This research paper examines Guillaume Lekeu's Sonata for Piano and Violin (1892) from the perspective of a collaborative pianist, providing historical background, an analysis of the work's musical structure, and performance practice insights. Each chapter offers the performer a deeper

This research paper examines Guillaume Lekeu's Sonata for Piano and Violin (1892) from the perspective of a collaborative pianist, providing historical background, an analysis of the work's musical structure, and performance practice insights. Each chapter offers the performer a deeper understanding of various aspects concerning the work, including an in-depth analysis of cyclical features used by Lekeu.

Lekeu was strongly influenced by his teacher, César Franck, and in particular by Franck's use of cyclic techniques, which profoundly impacted Lekeu's Sonata for Piano and Violin. The cyclic treatment, which includes cyclic themes, cyclic motives, and non-cyclic themes is discussed, enabling performers to achieve a relevant structural approach to this work. A performance guide includes practical advice for the interpretation and performance of the work, along with piano pedaling suggestions. The integration of these aspects enables a pianist to gain a better understanding and appreciation of Lekeu's Sonata for Piano and Violin.

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Date Created
2018

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Don't listen to me, I'm just your partner: ensemble issues in duo settings

Description

"Play less and listen more" is the prevailing wisdom whenever two musical

partners are having ensemble issues that interfere with their music-making. Accompanists, coaches, and collaborative pianists across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries devote many pages to these situations and explain

"Play less and listen more" is the prevailing wisdom whenever two musical

partners are having ensemble issues that interfere with their music-making. Accompanists, coaches, and collaborative pianists across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries devote many pages to these situations and explain what to listen and look for. An overview of this literature establishes a standard canon of ensemble issues for collaborative pianists working with a single partner, whether vocal or instrumental. The overview also discusses the various solutions these authors recommend for these problems.

However, in exceptional moments of rehearsal or performance, the foregoing advice fails. After comparing several passing observations in these standard works with the author's own experience, a paradoxical situation becomes evident: at times, what works instead of listening more is listening less. As the author describes through multiple musical examples and commentaries, ignoring one's partner for a brief moment can benefit the duo's ensemble and artistry.

The application of this principle is both narrow and wide-ranging and is meant to serve as a secondary course of action. It is decidedly not a replacement for the standard advice on coaching and collaborating, for such advice is successful far more often than not. However, it can be utilized when the collaborative pianist deems it the most successful and prudent solution to an ensemble situation that has remained problematic.

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Date Created
2015

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An Awareness of the Clara Motive in Dichterliebe by Robert Schumann

Description

This project details specific placement and usage of the Clara motive in Robert Schumann’s Dichterliebe. The analysis categorizes the motive according to its different shapes and relationships to the poetry in Dichterliebe. Four main permutations of the motive are discussed

This project details specific placement and usage of the Clara motive in Robert Schumann’s Dichterliebe. The analysis categorizes the motive according to its different shapes and relationships to the poetry in Dichterliebe. Four main permutations of the motive are discussed in great detail: the original motive, inverted motive, retrograde motive, and retrograde inverted motive.

Schumann (1810–1856) composed more than 160 vocal works in 1840, commonly referred to as his Liederjahr. At the time, Schumann and Clara Wieck (1819–1896) were planning to marry, despite the objections of her father Friedrich Wieck (1785–1873). Robert was inspired to write Dichterliebe because of the happiness-and anxiety-surrounding his love for Clara, and the difficulties leading to their impending marriage. Schumann used the Clara motive (C-Bb-A-G#-A), which incorporates the letters of her name, throughout the song cycle in special moments as a tool of musical expression that alludes to his future wife.

Eric Sams (1926–2004), a specialist of German Lieder, has made significant contributions to the research of the Clara motive in Schumann’s music (through his book The Songs of Robert Schumann). However, research into specific locations and transformations of the Clara motive within the Dichterliebe are still insufficient. A further awareness of the Clara motive’s inner working is intended to help performers interpret this song cycle.

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Date Created
2019

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Creating a Collaborative Piano Graduate Degree Program: An Administrative Study

Description

The purpose of this document is to create a template for a master’s degree in Collaborative Piano using data collected from an online survey and from publicly available information on institutional websites. The history and development of the graduate collaborative

The purpose of this document is to create a template for a master’s degree in Collaborative Piano using data collected from an online survey and from publicly available information on institutional websites. The history and development of the graduate collaborative piano degree in the United States is examined to provide the background to this research. In addition to the degree template, other aspects useful for the creation of such a degree are discussed, including proposed required and optional courses, financial considerations, community outreach opportunities, and balancing off-campus professional engagements with on-campus academic duties. A list of all institutions currently offering collaborative piano degrees at the graduate level is included in the appendix.

The degree template conforms to the requirements of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) in order to allow the greatest number of institutions the ability to embrace the curriculum. Designed to be flexible within the overall requirements of the degree, the proposed curriculum favors a balanced approach between instrumental and vocal collaboration, with a combination of traditional courses, project-based courses, and customizable elective courses designed to develop important competencies in collaborative piano. Both solo and collaborative applied lessons would be required, with three coached collaborative recitals and one uncoached collaborative recital required to fulfill the degree requirements. The project-oriented Collaborative Piano Seminar course has the flexibility to allow team teaching or community partnerships and requires an off-campus class performance once per academic year.

The goal of this template is to provide a pedagogically solid foundation for a master’s degree in collaborative piano, with the flexibility to add a variety of elective courses best suited to the needs and talents of the students, faculty, and institution. The synthesis of classical and popular styles within the curriculum is designed to give the collaborative pianist diverse musical competencies in order to succeed and thrive as a professional musician in the 21st century, whether the student continues with self-education after the master’s degree, pursues further study at the doctoral level, or enters the professional world.

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Date Created
2020

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Process-Driven Collaboration: Capacities from Teaching Artistry That Enrich the Work of Collaborative Pianists

Description

The work of collaborative pianists can vary widely, requiring a large spectrum of musical and foreign language skills. In addition, many non-musical skills are required of collaborative pianists in order to adapt to various types of work, the roles they

The work of collaborative pianists can vary widely, requiring a large spectrum of musical and foreign language skills. In addition, many non-musical skills are required of collaborative pianists in order to adapt to various types of work, the roles they assume, and the needs of the people they encounter professionally. Collaborative pianists usually develop good habits for survival on the job, but rarely receive preliminary training in capacities such as facilitation, maintaining objectivity in collaboration, asking good questions, and giving feedback effectively. The emerging field of teaching artistry offers a wealth of information for the development of these non-musical skills in collaborative pianists. The skills necessary for teaching artistry and collaborative piano frequently overlap, which is instructive for collaborative pianists as they prepare for their various musical and leadership roles. This paper explores shared practices between these disciplines, how they can enhance the activities of a collaborative pianist, and also help them develop skills as arts advocates. Advocating techniques for new music and audience engagement are addressed, as well as programming, content development and building teams around projects. The idea of the collaborative pianist becoming a teaching artist is also explored, as the diverse activities and experiences of a collaborative pianist can serve as valuable resources. All of these approaches to non-musical skills focus on building strong processes, leading to creative activities that are process-driven rather than product-driven. This study seeks to enrich activities of collaborative pianists through the application of teaching artist capacities and pave pathways for new, more effective professional collaborations.

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Date Created
2020