Abstracts for the London Internatioanl Piano Symposium 2018

Keynote Speakers


Prof. Elaine Chew

Queen Mary, University of London

‘From Sequence to Structure: Performance Decisions and Analytical Thinking’



Dr Georgia Volioti

Music Department, University of Sussex.


 ‘Reflections on Classical Sound Recordings: Prospects and Challenges for Performance Studies’.


Jonathan Summers, ARAM,

Curator of Classical Music Recordings. (Sound and Vision Collections Division, British Library).



                                                                          The Piano Forum

                                                                ‘Who Do You Think You Are’?

 Prof. John Sloboda, Psychologist, Guildhall Sch of Music & Drama; Murray McLachlan, Chair of EPTA; Cristine MacKie, author of Rethinking Piano Performance: The Mindful Body; Dr Sam Thompson, Clinical Psychologist, The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.



  ‘Avoiding the Negativity Bias in Piano Teaching’

 Barbara Fast

University of Oklahoma

The Brain’s Negativity Bias (Baumeister, Finkenauer, Vohs, 2001) refers to the fact that the brain retains impressions and experiences of a more negative nature over more positive events. The negative bias has been established in regard to formation of impressions, and decision-making. Of interest to teachers, it has also been established in the learning and memory domain. While self-criticism is helpful for improvement, it has also been found that it leads students to be preoccupied with failure (Powers, Koestner, Lacaille, Kwan, Zuroff, 2011).

Keywords: brain, negativity bias, self-criticism

Main Contribution:
The paper will begin with a brief explanation of the brain’s negativity bias.
The remainder of the presentation will explore ways to avoid the negativity bias in music teaching, which can be difficult as a teacher’s task is to help a student improve, find the areas in the music that are not going well and offer ways to fix problem spots.


Practical tips for implementing these ideas both in the private lesson and for the group teacher will be included. The presenter has actively incorporated these ideas into both private lessons and in extensive work with teaching group piano classes.

Ideas that foster student self-empowerment will include asking positive questions about the lesson performance and successful practice strategies, using analogies in teaching that reference personal interests of a student, and utilizing self-evaluation through video or audio recording both in the lesson and in practice.

Bibliography, The Brain’s Negativity Bias

Baumeister, Roy, Bratlavsky, Ellen, Finkenauer, Catrin, and Vohs, Kathleen. ‘Bad Is Stronger Than Good’, Review of General Psychology 5.(2001), pp. 323-370.
Hanson, Rick. Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence, Harmony Books, New York, (2013).
Powers, Theodore A., Koestner, Richard, Lacaille, Nathalie, Kwan, Lisa, and Zuroff, David C. ‘Self-criticism, Motivation and Goal Progress of Athletes and Musicians: A Prospective Study. Personality and Individual Differences’. Google Scholar. (2009). pp. 47, 279-283.

Rozin, Paul and Royzman, Edward B. “Negativity Bias, Negativity Dominance, and Contagion.” Personality & Social Psychology Review 5. (2001). pp.296–320.
Schwarz, Tony. “Overcoming Your Negativity Bias”. New York Times (June 14 2013). https://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/06/14/overcoming-your-negativity-bias/?login=email&_r=0.


Email: bfast@ou.edu


‘Neuroscience: Linking the Music, Brain Plasticity and Motor Development’

 Tamara Wilcox

State University of New York

How can we begin to link neuroscience research about the brain-body connection to piano pedagogy? What evidence is there to begin to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of specific music acquisition and mastery strategies in piano practice and performance?

Keywords:  neuroscience, piano pedagogy, piano performance, brain-body connection, practice strategies

Main Contribution:
I will present literature review findings from neuroscience research which link music, brain plasticity, and motor development, in order to synthesize a research-based approach to piano pedagogy. I will then discuss practical applications for each, as well as specific beginner and intermediate/advanced level examples from the piano literature.  For example, we may infer from neuroscience research findings evidence that “parallel movements are more computationally demanding than symmetric movements” (Globerson & Nelken  (2013), p. 4). From that piece of research, we gain clarity about:

1) The most appropriate sequencing of skills with the beginner

2) Foreseeing potential areas of challenge and creating strategies for assimilation in intermediate/advanced repertoire.

Practical applications of these findings for piano pedagogy may include the following: being mindful of skill sequencing from symmetric to parallel motion; foreseeing potential areas of challenge where more preliminary work with hands separately will be necessary; and instructing students to master each hand separately while creating thoughtful strategies for putting them together.

Many factors have influenced piano pedagogy approaches throughout history. However, we now have the opportunity to sift through these methodologies with a research-based approach in order to find supportive evidence for the most effective strategies for our students. We can finally begin to explain why and how, and as more evidence comes to light our students will begin to think more critically and analytically about their own creative processes.

As neuroscience research contributions expand and connections continue to be made between researchers and music educators, each will inform the other to the benefit of both. This is an exciting time, as more research centres world-wide are devoting their time and resources to studying neuroscience and music.

McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind (Hamilton, Ontario) for inspiring my own research through their annual Neuromusic Conference.

Globerson, E. and Nelken, I.  “The Neuro-Pianist”, Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience (31 July 2013). https://doi.org/10.3389/fnsys.2013.00035


Email: twilcox@brockport.ed


‘Brain-Body Interactions During Skilled Piano Performance’

Maria Herrojo Ruiz
Goldsmiths University of London

Music performance is an extremely rapid process with low incidence of errors even at the fast rates of production required. Previous work has revealed the neural bases of detection and evaluation of errors in professional musicians. However, the contribution of visceral information from our bodily states to error-monitoring during ongoing performance has been overlooked. This is more surprising given the increasing evidence of the relevance of brain-body interactions for the modulation of perceptual, affective and cognitive processes.  This study addressed how brain-body interactions in professional pianists can be predictive of their conscious awareness about error commission during performance.

Keywords:  brain-body interaction, cardiac activity, error-monitoring, piano performance, electroencephalography

Main Contribution:
Expanding on our previous studies on error-monitoring in pianists, in this study we investigated whether cardiovascular interoceptive signals influence the neural correlates of error processing during music performance. We recorded electrophysiological (EEG) and electrocardiogram (EKG) activity while pianists played music pieces from memory. The aim was to assess how fluctuations in the neural responses to heartbeats preceding pitch errors influenced awareness about the error, as well as post-error adaptive mechanisms. We found that the phase of the cardiac cycle modulated the neural processing of errors, during an early phase, 40-80 ms after error commission. This neural modulation was dissociated from other neural signatures of error detection and evaluation, and stemmed from the inferior parietal cortex, a region implicated in human cardiac autonomic regulation.

This study provides the first evidence of preconscious visceral information modulating neural responses related with error monitoring during skilful musical performance.

These findings point to the relevance of studying heart-brain interactions to understand expert performance.

This study was in collaboration with Professor Joydeep Bhattacharya from Goldsmiths University

Email: M.Herrojo-Ruiz@gold.ac.uk



‘Aspects of Singing: Bel Canto, Breathing and Sound Production’

Satu Paavola
Sibelius Academy, Helsinki


The subject of this study is ‘Bodily aspects of singing sound production on the piano’. It is based on the author’s recently published artistic doctoral research: ‘Bel canto ideals applied to the piano’ (2018).

Keywords:  bel canto, singing style, body, breathing, sound production

Main Contribution:

Creating an illusion of singing is the main concern when teaching piano students to execute a romantic work in bel canto style. Methods for cultivating a singing line have mostly remained the same:  the cantabile is taught to be produced with the help of a deep, prolonged touch. The student is also advised to think of long phrases and to use an arm lift to imitate breathing. The singing illusion is mostly reliant on the pupil’s talent and a rather abstract idea of the singing voice. The presence of inner body sentiments when producing a singing tone is often ignored, even though these sentiments act as the basis of voice production.


After having simultaneously studied classical singing and singing style in piano playing, the author has found a bodily introspection beneficial for piano playing. An inner awareness and activity help the pianist to pursue bel canto ideals when executing a cantabile phrase; for example, a round and vital sound quality, an even legato, and a smooth integration of virtuosic elements. In this study selected concrete elements of bodily aspects are to be introduced.


The aim of this research is to encourage piano pedagogues to develop means of utilising bodily introspection in the teaching process. A rich inner world of sentiments helps the pianist in their search for beauty in music. It forms and maintains a strong bond between pianist, music, audience and classical traditions.


The author acknowledges the DocMus department of the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, for enabling the original doctoral research.

Email: satupaavolapianist@gmail.com


‘When Offered the Opportunity ‘Fight or Flight’ Choose Fight!  A Performance-Anxiety Tool Kit’

Deborah Nemko
Bridgewater State University and New England Conservatory, USA


Recently there has been greater attention to helping musicians to cope with the stress of the stage by attending to mindfulness, breathing exercises and centring.  While these approaches are effective for many individuals, a preparation strategy which helps students to build confidence and focuses on the “fight” side of the equation to conquer the fear associated with performing may be at the heart of developing the most successful “performance anxiety toolkit.”  As performers we are faced with an interesting and vital dilemma:  Do we embrace the stressful situation we are in, that of addressing the audience and expressing the indelible vitality of the music, or can we run away as far away from the stage as possible?  Obviously, “flight” is generally not an option.  The walk to our instrument or spot on stage may be arduous but once there the audience expects us to deliver a moving musical performance.  Meditation and calm thinking alone may not be enough to help the performer to be able to convert good intentions from many hours of practice to a “peak performance” on stage.  Well in advance of the performance, it is essential to develop a performance anxiety “toolkit”- a set of assertive strategies to deal with performance stress involving both the mind and body of the performer.

Keywords:  performance, embodied, cognition, anxiety, toolkit

Main Contribution:
For the performer who is looking towards embracing the excitement of the stage, visualization can be a useful tool but is not enough.  Athletes train vigorously before events, both increasing physical stamina and enhancing mental toughness.  Even before they walk out to the track or pool, they shadow- train, that is, they physically pretend to engage in their activity either by jogging in place or shadow boxing.  Perhaps you have seen one or more of the Rocky movies, and remember the scene in which Rocky stands on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum pretending to box his opponent after running the many steps to arrive at the top?  The physicality of the moment as well as its emotional and psychological effects cannot be underestimated.

Too often musicians prepare for a performance, which is a highly physical activity requiring endurance and sophisticated muscle movements, by remaining physically static in the days before the concert.  The accomplished musician must be in great physical shape to endure the rigors of the concert circuit or difficulties of juggling several different jobs in a difficult economic climate.  Physical exercise will not only increase oxygenation of the blood and blood flow to the brain but also releases endorphins, the chemicals of well-being which help us to deal with life’s stresses.  Musicians score highly for traits of neuroses and introversion, and both make it difficult to cope with the stress of life as a performer.  Physical exercise, stretching and yoga as well as Eastern practices like martial arts and Tai Chi, have been proven to help reduce stress in the body and can help the performer to be more resistant or “immune” to nervousness.

It cannot be overemphasized that preparing a musical work and preparing the psychological and physical skills necessary to walk on stage must happen well in advance of the performance.  The issue of developing a “performance anxiety toolkit” is essential to preparing properly for a performance.  One may not be able to give a perfect performance, but doing one’s best based on careful preparation through music mastery, building “immunity from distractions” and employing techniques of visualization and physicalisation, helps one to experience flow.  Being absorbed by the music in both body and spirit leads to the possibility of greatness.

To perform music effortlessly is not only a joy for the performer but also for the listener.  According to Orjan de Manzano in The Psychophysiology of Flow During Piano Playing, when a pianist plays a work he or she has mastered and he or she enters the flow state, and a feeling of effortless attention ensues.   Heart rate and blood pressure decrease and facial muscles relax.  Optimal performance may be achieved when the individual can get lost in the music, able to ride the wave of excitement and perform with abandon without nerves interfering with technical precision.  When one hears a masterful musician perform a musical passage beautifully, or sees a terrific basketball player make an effortless basket, one is captivated by the ease and magic displayed.  A skilful performer balances excitement and control, emotion and logic, technique and phrasing like a professional juggler, all the while enabling the unconscious mind to do its job properly.  Being “in the zone” and feeling flow are the result of great mastery of musicianship, mental toughness and physical preparedness.  It is much more difficult to feel at ease on stage when one of these is deficient.

Cannon, Bradford W.  The Wisdom of the Body.  New York.  W. W. Norton and Co. (1963).
Palmer, Stephen S.  and Dryden, Windy.  Counselling for Stress Problems.  London.  Sage. (1995). p. 200. http://www.managingstress.com/articles/physiology.htm
Greene, Don.  Performance Success: Performing Your Best Under Pressure . Great Britain. Routledge. (2002) pp. 106-144.
Wilson, G. D.  ‘Performance Anxiety’.  Hargreaves, D.J. and North A.C.  (Eds.) The Social Psychology of Music as quoted in Psychology of Musicians. New York.  Oxford University Press (2007). p. 153.
Kempf, A. E. ‘The Musical Temperament:  Psychology and Personality of Musicians’.  Psychology of Musicians.  New York. Oxford University Pres.  (2007) p.152.

Email: dnemko@bridgew.edu

 ‘Virtuosic Minimalism Without injury to the Performer’.

 Christina Petrowska Quilco


Music for the Eyes and Ears: A journey through the magical, mystical sound-world of nature and transcendent sound as expressed by the composer Ann Southam in her piano cycles Rivers, Pond Life and Glass Houses and interpreted in performances and paintings by Christina Petrowska Quilico.
     Glass Houses contains fiendishly difficult ‘etudes’ for pianists. Fingers become whirling dervishes entering a mystical and ecstatic trance through suddenly shifting patterns and moods. The dizzying tempi, speed and control required from the performer make them extremely demanding and require virtuoso pianistic skills. Technically, the two hands must be able to play completely independently because the pieces are based on a mathematically precise order. The interpreter must also have an intuitive grasp of the phrasing and flow of the music as well as the technical control of rhythmic articulation. The technique you need to perform these pieces is similar to the Ligeti etudes, as well as the fast fingering of Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes, with a hint of Bach’s most dense counterpoint. There is a sense of adventure, courage and stamina required for this excursion into Ann Southam’s Glass Houses Revisited. There are no indications of dynamics, phrasing, fingering, pedalling, or other directions in the score.

Keywords:  Performing virtuosic minimalism without injury

Main Contribution:
Learning to play with a mindful touch to express the multitude of senses, sounds and rhythmic flow found in nature, especially water, into a piano performance that would create colour and transcendent sound. Using breath to create that flow and fluidity in performance while controlling the repetitive non-stop volume of notes. Being aware of the keys and the exact pressure to exert in order to achieve the proper tone helps in releasing tension and force in virtuosic minimalism. Letting the mind experience the sounds that are being played through the sensuous touch of the keys in slower music allows the pianist to go beyond the moment into a state where  breathing and piano technique control the flow of the music. The faster the music, the slower your breathing should be so that you can control the more difficult technical demands. The slower the piece the more inner detail should be worked on. It is feeling all the inner rhythms that create the longer line.

By using your entire body to create sounds you can prevent the tension that causes pain and tendinitis. Ann Southam sought transcendent illumination through nature. This can be achieved only through a personal journey of discovery of body and soul. It is about feeling the natural rhythm of nature and not imposing your own nervous tension but living and experiencing the keys of the piano, the sounds and your own energy and flow as directed by your breathing and emotional state. You need to be calm and energetic at the same time to achieve an equal balance as in nature.

By using mindfulness, relaxation and a well-balanced piano technique you can increase the performance level of extremely virtuosic music that relies on fast repeating music in both hands without injury. By using your imagination to paint sounds in colours you can control any nervous tension and create the long lines or empty spaces around notes in slow music.

Brougher, Kerry and Mattis, Olivia. Visual Music: Synaesthesia in Arts and Music Since 1900. Thames & Hudson. (2005.)

Ann Southam recordings:
Pond Life Centrediscs. Christina Petrowska Quilico, piano
Rivers  Centrediscs.  Christina Petrowska Quilico, piano
Glass Houses Revisited and Glass Houses Vol 2,  Centrediscs.  Christina Petrowska Quilico, piano



‘An Ergonomic Approach to Piano Performance and Memory’


lia Chueke, IReMus/UFPR  

Cristina Capparelli Gerling PPGMUS/UFRGS

Background- It is our contention that underlying and unresolved tension causes the brain to shut off momentarily as it tries to convey a message to the performer that the working conditions are not acceptable. In the line of ergonomics, considering the relationship between pianists and their instrument, physical well-being must be somehow restored before proceeding with the task ahead. What generally occurs is that either the pianist continues to work under pressure, so far unnoticed, or he/she can no longer go on. While it is true that experienced professionals, even being aware that passages that are not well understood seem to offer the preferred place for a failure to occur at single and or multiple spots, can handle longer stretches under this kind of constraint (when it eventually occurs), students fall short more often. This is especially the case during public exposure, be it master classes and or juries, not to mention recitals and auditions. Our hypothesis is that professional guidance may help young pianists to optimize their daily practice, combining appropriation of the musical message and easiness of execution.


Aim- As a sample of a large scale research work (which would include up to a maximum of 8 piano undergraduate students on a volunteer basis), for the hereby proposed communication, we offer to select two works from the 19th century piano literature chosen by two students, which present challenging passages from harmonic, polyphonic, contrapuntal and choreographie point of view (the concept of choreography involving large skips, unusual scale patterns, unusual arpeggio patterns, intricate fingering , high and or/varied rates of speed), just to mention potential pitfalls). Performance preparation of these two works will be monitored by two professional pianists developing research in this area. The main purpose is to set the basis for continuing research aiming to develop study programs which will combine strategies to preserve (young) performers’ physical comfort by means of taking possession of the piece and consequently being able to keep intellectual and inner hearing awareness of the musical contents of these particularly challenging passages (which may vary according to each performer), and their relationship to the whole piece.

Method-The performance preparation of works by Schumann and Lizst by two undergraduate students are being monitored by two professional pianists developing research in this area. During this monitored work, because of regular exchanges between professional and young pianists, passages will emerge where feeling of fear, anxiety, feeling of failure during public exposure of any kind may be expected. These exchanges will be recorded, when professional advice will guide their efforts to resolve these passages, always considering both students’ own knowledge and comprehension of the work. They will then be instructed to record their daily practice for two weeks, verbalizing their understanding of the musical contents of these passages – never disconnected from the whole, even when isolated for practcing purposes – and its interaction with physical execution (performance)


decisions, evaluating the results. After these two stages of work, students will be encouraged to perform the whole piece in public situation, that is, for at least one additional person other than his or her own private teacher. Participants will be asked to respond to a final semi-structured interview to freely comment on the effects of the experiment.


Results- Given the opportunities to relearn the passages in question with enhanced physical and musical awareness, we expect not only a significant improvement in confidence and musical performance but also the possibility of long term modification of practice habits. We expect that the positive correlation between physical well-being and musical understanding of the passages will contribute to maintain the level of alertness thus bringing out an optimum level of control during performances. It is also expected that participants will achieve a higher level of confidence and assurance while performing. Interdisciplinary studies including digital preservation in 3D of inner muscular and bones implications engaged in this process is also envisaged

 Email: cgerling@ufrgs.br

Email: Zelia.Chueke@cnrs.fr


‘Levinskaya, Matthay, Breithaupt, and E.J.Bach: Definitive Techniques?

 Marta Torres del Rincon

Música y Artes Escénicas de la Comunidad de Madrid,



Between 1900 and 1939, teachers from the anatomical-physiological school of piano technique published many treatises in both England and Germany. This paper focuses on four of these books, which featured for the first time descriptions of human anatomy and physiology applicable to piano technique. The Act of Touch, by Tobias Augustus Matthay; Die natürliche Klaviertechnik, by Rudolph Maria Breithaupt; The Levinskaya System of Pianoforte Playing, by Maria Levinskaya and Die vollendete Klaviertechnik, by Erwin Johannes Bach.

Key words:  physiology, Breithaupt, Matthay, Levinskaya, Bach

Main contribution:

These four authors showed a great interest in helping students who struggled to overcome the technical difficulties of piano performance. All of them had different approaches to the subject and were self-proclaimed pioneers of the definitive piano technique; nevertheless, a great number of similarities will be highlighted which unify the four theories. This research also deals in depth with the work of two of them, who found it very difficult if not impossible to have their work published, due to the fact that they belonged to groups which struggled to achieve social acceptance. One of these authors was Maria Levinskaya, a Russian teacher based in England, who had clearly made an impact during her lifetime but whose voice was silenced in later years. The other, Erwin Johannes Bach, was a German pianist and teacher who was systematically alienated by the National Socialist régime.


After a comparative study it will be clear that although their starting points and sequencing of their contents may differ, the four pedagogues reached very similar conclusions as far as the description of the movements required for piano interpretation is concerned.



In addition to the unification of criteria, the prestige deserved by both Levinskaya and Bach merits restoration.



The assistance of Aljonna Möckel, Bach’s daughter, is acknowledged.

Email: torresdelrincon@yahoo



  ‘Wave hands like clouds:  Applying principles of Tai Chi at the piano’.

 Eugene Gaub

Grinnell College, Iowa, USA


T’ai Chi Ch’uan is an ancient Chinese martial art consisting of slow, relaxed movements. For the body, it is an exercise that emphasizes balance and flexibility, and the cultivation of subtle energy or Chi.  For the mind it is a system of meditation rooted in Taoism.  Benjamin Lo’s Five Principles of Tai Chi are a concise yet profound summation of the wisdom underlying this art.  (Benjamin Lo was a senior student of Cheng Man-Ch’ing, whose short form of the Yang style of Tai Chi has been widely practiced in North America.)  These principles are 1) Relaxation 2) Separating Yin from Yang 3) Moving from the centre  4) Keeping the body upright and  5) Maintaining the hand like a “beautiful lady’s hand.”  To these I would add a sixth principle:  Unifying mind and body.  When implemented at the piano, these principles can contribute to playing with more grace, facility, fluidity, and power.  In this presentation, I will discuss and demonstrate their application at the piano, drawing upon examples from Beethoven’s piano sonatas.

Keywords:  Tai Chi Ch’uan



                            ‘Improve Your Keyboard Playing by Applying the Technique of 1820s Vienna’.

                                                                          Christina Kobb

                                                            Norwegian Academy of Music


The reconstruction of the piano technique of the 1820s. The main emphasis will be how a keyboard player today will benefit by a renewed understanding of piano technique and how it has changed since the 1800s.

Keywords:  posture, technique, phrasing, the 1820s, Vienna

Main Contribution:
–    How I reconstructed the piano technique of 1820s Vienna.
–    How to derive performance advice for the classical/romantic repertoire by applying prevalent principles of 19th-century piano technique.
–    Why arm weight opposes established performance ideals of classical music – and how Schnellkraft (finger rapidity) may be applied instead.
–    The relationship between finger/arm/body movements and sound ideal – and how a visit to the Motion Capture Lab confirmed this.

The three most important considerations in piano playing according to Viennese piano teachers of the 1820s:
1. Correct body posture and finger movement
2. Good execution of Takt (metre and stress)
3. Sound, expressivity and richtiges Gefühl (“right feel”)

The music excerpts will be from:
Friedrich Starke: Wiener Pianoforte-Schule, op. 108
Johann Nepomuk Hummel: A complete theoretical and practical course of instructions, on the art of playing the piano
Johann Nepomuk Hummel: Etudes, op. 125
Franz Schubert: Sonata in a minor, D. 537 (2nd. mvt.)
Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonata in A major, op. 2/2 (1st mvt)

Explaining how research on reconstructing the piano technique of 1820s Vienna outlined in treatises and manuals of the time may be expedient in the performance – even on a modern piano – of the classical and romantic repertoire.

Pianos have changed tremendously since the late 18th century, but so has piano technique.  A “history conscious” approach to piano playing will make it easier to choose the right basic technique when studying music of the classical and romantic periods.

The presentation would not have been possible without the help of the Norwegian Academy of Music.

Email: Christina.S.Kobb@nmh.no


‘Rhetorical and Linguistic Influences in Solo Piano Music from Mozart to Liszt’

Gabriel Mayer

Cork School of Music


This presentation will offer a glimpse into performing traditions which were important to Germanic composers writing for the piano, from Mozart and Beethoven to Schubert, Schumann and Liszt.  These traditions, which were taken for granted during the lifetime of these composers, provided a context for a certain aesthetic understanding in performance, which has been gradually lost.  Rhetoric provides a guide for logical organization and persuasion, while linguistic parallels manifested in interpretation and phrasing as well as singing style. These elements combined to offer a natural model for characterization, expression and inflection in solo piano music.

Keywords:  rhetoric, linguistic, solo piano, breathing, singing

Main Contribution:
The most important musical aspects influenced by rhetorical principles were composition, emotional expression and delivery. Composers relied on the logic of discourse as a model  for musical structure and content, while performers sought to persuade their audience much as an orator would do. Rhetoric continued to play an important role in music composition well into the nineteenth century. In performance, rhetorical principles were quoted in pedagogical treatises starting with C.P.E. Bach.
The fact that music’s capacity for meaning was evaluated in terms of language is highly significant. A gradual change of the status of instrumental music occurred as a result of the way in which it compared with language. As instrumental music came to be recognized as capable of meaning and expression within a vocabulary of its own, it also became increasingly desirable and it flourished.
Another clear linguistic parallel continued to be present in the performing tradition of solo piano music: singing style remained a constant reference point for musicians, particularly as a vehicle for understanding and delivering expressive performance, and ‘speaking’ to the audience through music.

Understanding the influence that rhetoric and language had on solo piano music in the past opens a path to a more meaningful and informed approach to modern performance.

Understanding the influence rhetoric and language had on solo piano music in the past offers a rich context for interpretation and the language of musical gestures for performers, teachers and students.


Email: gabriela.mayer@cit.ie




‘Purely Pedagogical Stances? Rethinking Mozart’s Keyboard Sonatas’.


Cheryl Wenn Min Tan
University of Oxford


Rooted in the nineteenth-century writing of Hermann Keller, the notion of a ‘Hohe Schule des Klavierspiels’ reflects a tendency in scholarship to view the eighteenth-century Austro-German keyboard sonata through a ‘pedagogical’ lens. In the face of the emerging Romanticism, can the eighteenth-century keyboard sonata transcend its status as a musical and technical ‘stepping stone’ (Dean Sutcliff, 2003)?

Keywords:  Mozart, eighteenth-century, sonata, pedagogic, dichotomy

Main Contribution:
This pedagogical-musical framework breaks down and converges two supposed dichotomies. There are two main strands to this framework: first, the pedagogical, which lies in the evaluation of pianistic techniques, and second, the musical, which entails an analysis of musical material that specifically explores Mozart’s intertextuality of genre. With a focus on two keyboard works by W. A. Mozart – the Sonata facile K. 545 and the Dürnitz Sonata K. 284 – their contrasting geneses and variational pedagogical and musical conceptions offer an alternative lens through which to understand the eighteenth-century Viennese first movement sonata. The latter, from Mozart’s set of six ‘difficult sonatas’ (‘die Schweren Sonaten’), reveals pertinent links between pianistic techniques and corresponding gestural and semiotic references to ‘foreign’ genres. References to the more intimate and domestic string quartet are brought into dialogue with the more public and theatrical symphonic are facilitated through pianistic techniques, of which the latter includes an importation of the concerto Cadenza (and Eingang) and their consequent colloquial gestures, such as the ‘cadential trill’.

In line with Edward Dent’s reading of the ‘domestic’, this study has re-assessed both the nature of the eighteenth-century keyboard – by removing the gendered and wrongful pedagogic associations that come alongside its domestic confinements – and the brilliant style. There exists yet rich territory for establishing links between the pedagogic and the musical, particularly through the versatile medium of the keyboard, whose technicalities allow for a successful negotiation of musical features across myriad aesthetics and contexts, in the sonata – a genre that facilitates musical expression in an all-encompassing manner.

Particularly for the interpreter-performer, an awareness of the relationship between the technical and the musical can inform a hermeneutically persuasive performance, rhetorically, in a form essentially realised in time, through sound and temporality.

I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor at the University of Oxford.

Email: cheryltanwm@gmail.com


‘The Orchard Project: A New Learning Experience’.

Eunmi Ko

University of South Florida


Throughout the western music history, composers produced solo piano works particularly designed for a pedagogical purpose. “Album für die Jugend” (R. Schumann) and “Mikrokosmos” (B. Bartok) are the example of successful piano pedagogy composition.  American composer Tyler Kline’s “Orchard” collection contains 43 pieces and exhibits a variety of piano techniques including both traditional and extended.

piano technique, commission, pedagogy pieces in the 21st century, Orchard by Tyler Kline, piano studio project

Main Contribution:
As a performer and teacher, I search for versatile compositions that can be performed in public and taught in the classroom.  Last year, I discussed with Tyler Kline about a possibility to commission a collection of different piano pieces that represent the modern piano technique and explore different sounds of the piano.  Each piece was built upon a specific piano technique or musical idea. Technique included traditional elements-legato, pedalling, articulations and extended technique-muting or plucking strings, harmonics, etc. The project was developed into a piano studio project this spring. I commissioned seven pieces from the Orchard collection with my students. Now, more than 40 pianists in the United States have joined the project. There are 43 pieces in the “Orchard” collection now and the number keeps growing. I took the project further with my students. Each student selected one or two pieces; gave a premiere performance; and recorded the piece. Currently, my students and I are working on producing a commercial recording of “Orchard”

As a result, the entire experience of this commission served as teaching material that not only enhanced piano technique and musical knowledge but also taught students collaborations and practical skills such as participating in consortium commission project and recording production.
In my lecture recital, I will discuss the whole process of “Orchard” project and examine technical and musical elements in selected pieces. Finally, I will perform selections from “Orchard”

The importance of entrepreneurship in music has grown. Piano Pedagogy has embraced the idea of teaching practical skills to students. “Orchard” project provided piano students both musical and practical training.

I would like to thank Composer Tyler Kline for his composition of “Orchard” and permission to perform and record the collection.


Email: ko.eunmi@gmail.com


‘Piano Versus Harpsichord:

Can One Inform the Other?’


Sarah Stranger

University of Queensland


This artistic research study examines the translation of repertoire between instruments, specifically aiming to show how a pianist can convincingly interpret the harpsichord repertoire of François Couperin on the piano. The idiomatic nature of Couperin’s harpsichord music causes pianists to shy away from playing a majority of the repertoire and only a few readily translatable pieces are found in the repertoire of pianists. Through a combination of practice-led research and historically Informed performance, the researcher has drawn on auto ethnographic and musicological methods to investigate two questions:

•       How does the experience of playing this repertoire on the harpsichord guide and influence performance and interpretation when translated to the piano?
•       Can that experience be used to enhance the effectiveness of translating more harpsichord-idiomatic repertoire by Couperin to the piano?

The lecture recital demonstrates the translation of repertoire from the harpsichord to the piano, highlighting the influence of piano interpretation through performances on both instruments.

Keywords:  piano performance, harpsichord, performance practice

Main Contribution:
The study furthers current understanding about the performance of this repertoire on the piano by exploring the influence of the harpsichord’s sound and technique on piano interpretation. The findings will inform performances of Couperin’s keyboard music, contributing new understanding and insights for the performance of this repertoire. The study will culminate in a model that provides guidelines for the interpretation of this music on the piano.

First-hand experience playing the harpsichord has highlighted elements of performance that are overlooked when performing this repertoire on the piano. Investigating the harpsichord’s sound and the techniques used for interpretation allow the music to be effectively translated to the piano in such a way that the style and spirit of each piece are preserved.

The study challenges current views on the performance of French harpsichord repertoire on the piano. The use of the piano’s capabilities, such as dynamic and tonal variation, combined with the subtle articulations and agogic accents used on the harpsichord produce a nuanced interpretation that demonstrates that this repertoire can be successfully translated to the piano.

University of Queensland

Email: sarah.stranger@uqconnect.edu.au



‘The Julius Block Project: Mechanical Recording Processes, Digital Technologies and Application on Performance’.

Inja Stanovic

University of Huddersfield


In recent years, early recordings have become a primary source of musicological research within multiple disciplines, as they offer valuable insights into the aesthetic tendencies and preoccupations of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century musicians. Crucially, early recordings capture and preserve performance styles, traditions and musical approaches of an age that has long-since passed. Unfortunately, very little research has been done into the production of such recordings, and the extent to which performers needed to adjust their playing in response to the recording medium and recording process.

Keywords:  historically informed performance, early recordings, mechanical recordings, expressional techniques, digitisation.

Main Contribution:
This lecture-recital introduces a Leverhulme-funded research project “(Re)constructing Early Recordings: a guide for historically-informed performance”. The first year of the project focuses on wax cylinders made by Julius Block, a music enthusiast and recording pioneer. Between 1889 and 1927, Block recorded some of the most eminent musicians and artists of the time, including Anton Arensky, Paul Pabst, Sergei Taneyev, and Anna Essipova, among others. This lecture-recital presents findings from a pilot study made earlier this year, based on the reconstruction and simulation of the mechanical recording process to capture performances using wax cylinder and digital technologies.

This lecture-recital will, through the presentation of various piano compositions recorded by Julius Block (including Chopin’s Mazurka Op. 67 No. 2, Godard’s Gavotte Op. 81 No. 2, Arensky’s Nocturne in D-flat, No. 3 and Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 62, No. 2, amongst others) showcase various influences of this research on the playing. Conclusions show how the use of early recordings has directly influenced my decisions about:  1) text cutting,  2) dynamic shading,  3) the use of expressive techniques, and  4) the choice of tempo.

This lecture-recital discusses the value of early recordings, in terms of preserving forms of performance practice, and proposes a method for their future analysis and use.

Email: inja.stanovic@gmail.com



’19th-Century Performance Style in Spain: Documenting Expressive Gestures of Pianists on Roll’


Carolina Estrada Bascunana

Hochschule der Künste Bern HKB


During the early 20th century, recordings made for reproducing piano systems were considered by many to offer a more accurate reproduction of the artistry of revered 19th-century pianists than acoustic recordings. After this technology was established, in 1905, many famous pianists chose to record their performances exclusively on piano rolls. Some of them also recorded on different systems, providing an excellent opportunity for comparison. Piano rolls can be described as a data sheet; in recent decades, engineers have built optical and pneumatic apparatus to convert roll perforations into MIDI data. However, the digitisation of piano rolls is still a developing science. So accessing historical piano roll recordings remains problematic for researchers. In 2008, the Bern University of the Arts (HKB), in partnership with the Bern University of Applied Sciences, Department of Technology and Computer Science (BFH-TI), introduced the Wie von Geisterhand project, in which BFH-TI’s engineer, Daniel Debrunner, constructed the first prototype to scan piano roll recordings in Switzerland.

Keywords:  piano rolls, 19th-century piano performance, Spain, MIDI, optical and pneumatic technologies

Main Contribution:
This paper presents new expressive possibilities for pianists through the exploration of 19th-century piano performance in Spain, through the analysis of written and audible sources. Furthermore, it underpins the value of piano roll recordings in documenting musical expression and contributing with new pianistic insights and knowledge certain expressive elements that affect sonority, such as the physical gestures made by the pianists recorded on rolls.  Therefore, empirical and traditional musicological methods are combined to examine performances of pianists linked to the Catalan Piano School, such as Enrique Granados (1867-1916), Frank Marshall (1883-1959) and Paquita Madriguera (1900-1965). This paper also analyses piano roll recordings by other Spanish pianists not linked to this pianistic tradition, such as Josep Iturbi (1895-1980), as well as pianists from other nationalities performing Spanish music, such as Josef Lhevinne (1874-1944) and Arthur Rubinstein (1887-1982).

My expertise in the development of practice-led research methods and the study of piano rolls has armed me with the knowledge to explore historical performance practices of Spanish music in the 19th century, in close collaboration with experts from the Research Area Interpretation at the HKB, the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

I am grateful to Nicholas Cook, Rex Lawson, Neal Peres Da Costa, Peter Phillips, Thomas Gartmann, and Marc Widurch for their help and suggestions.

Email: carolina.estrada@hkb.bfh.ch


‘How Performers Can Approach the Piano Works of Stravinsky: Interpretations and Approaches to his Three Distinct Periods of Works for Piano’.


Mengjiao Yan

University of Sheffield


To date, there have been few comprehensive studies of Stravinsky’s piano works in relation to performance interpretation with specific focus on how it can change the performer’s perspective of his piano works. Thus, the main concern of this research is to explore aspects of freedom when interpreting Stravinsky’s piano works. The analysis will result in a valuable literature resource, which can enhance pianists’ understanding and performance. It is hoped that the study will also create greater awareness of Stravinsky’s piano repertoire and that the understanding of the need to examine it more closely will be beneficial for good performance.

The objective of the research is to develop a deeper understanding of freedom when interpreting different periods of Igor Stravinsky’s piano works. It attempts to evaluate the degree of interpretation possible in performance, especially in regard to his different styles and periods.

Keywords:  freedom, interpretation, Stravinsky, piano performance

Main Contribution:
The main contribution is to provide a systematic theoretical direction for pianists and to enhance their level of, and capacity for, analysis and interpretation of Igor Stravinsky’s piano music. The research attempts to offer an effective and useful reference for music students, educators and researchers, enabling them to create informed interpretations.

This study explores the priorities for the performer in understanding Stravinsky’s music scores and how much freedom of interpretation is possible when performing his piano works.

1  Freedom of Interpretation
The results of the interviews confirmed that an analysis of Stravinsky’s own recorded performance is considered a very useful source. The composer seemed to approach his works with ‘fresh eyes and ears’ (P1).  In other words, during the time intervals, Stravinsky had changed his own approach to his works.  Another point was that for any composer or performer there seems little point in merely re-producing the same type of performance.  It was also remarked that these changes made by Stravinsky could offer useful insights into how to vary and reinterpret his works. In regard to his statement, the general view expressed by the respondents was that it was an exaggeration aimed to shock the public at that time. As such, it should be acknowledged but it should not necessarily be taken seriously. One of the main findings confirmed that interpreting any kind of music is not an exact or predictable science. It was stressed that performers should attempt to project their own personality when interpreting Stravinsky’s music. Two interviewees mentioned it was important to convince listeners that their role was to move audiences. The relevance of understanding performance tradition was also a factor in that past composers often gave imprecise instructions on how to play their music.

2   Important factors affecting interpretation
The section on main factors affecting interpretation of a composers’ scores highlighted issues related to performance responsibility, notions of what constitutes a ‘good’ performer and included a regard for audience experience. The interviewees expressed their concern about the impact of their performance. It was seen that the performers expressed different ways of thinking in regard to performance interpretation. Various factors were identified: influence of recorded works; considerations of the composer’s intention and emotion; orchestra sound in mind; stylistic influences; personal choice of the notations; instructions indicated on the score; different instrument as well as the need to produce a convincing performance in relation to the score.

3  Differences in approaches of Stravinsky’s piano music
The importance of understanding the development of Stravinsky’s music and how it changed over the three periods was considered essential by at least three of the interviewees. Awareness of this process, could reveal his frame of mind and why he began to compose the way he did. Another finding was that the evolution of this thinking could account for the reason why he gave such strict instructions on how his music was to played. This seems to be a reaction against the excesses of other composers and performers at that time. Moreover, as reported by the participants, there is evidence to suggest that Stravinsky was not really interested in allowing any real sense of freedom when interpreting his work. It was noted that this opinion was also shared by other composers.

One of the most significant findings was that the performers agreed that a careful analysis of the score was crucial; however, they tended to show different approaches to the piano works. The issue of when to listen to recordings of the piano works during the learning process emerged from the data. Two interviewees would not listen to recordings while learning a piece, while others remarked on the importance of frequent reference to the recordings in order to determine how Stravinsky’s scores developed. Another finding was that it was important to identify different editions of the same score. The interviewees all agreed on another factor: Stravinsky’s piano works are not easy, especially his serial works. They are considered ‘tricky…tough to play and understand’(P2). Therefore, these challenging works require a considerable amount of commitment and practice in order to produce a convincing performance. Neverthless, all the performers interviewed agreed that Stravinsky’s piano works should be more widely known and performed.

I would like to thank my supervisor Prof. George Nicholson, Dr.Renee Timmers  and Prof.Nikki Dibben.

Email: mengjiao.yan@rcm.ac.uk


‘An Interpretational Journey: Ronald Center’s Piano Sonata as Case Study’

Anna Michels

Maastricht Conservatoire
The Netherlands


After the Second World War, many countries attempted to re-establish their cultural identity. Scotland’s composers played an important role in this reaffirmation. Nonetheless, Scottish classical music is undervalued and largely forgotten. Why is this? My lecture recital will explore interpretative choices in post-war Scottish music. As a Scot, understanding my culture is essential when performing this music. Focusing on Ronald Center’s piano sonata, I will combine short excerpts with a discussion of various interpretations, followed by a recital of Scottish pieces.

Keywords:  Scottish nationalism, piano music, performance, interpretation, Center

Main Contribution:
I will discuss my analysis of the piece, especially its motivic structure. I have gathered ideas from interviews with Scottish scholars and musicians regarding Center’s compositional influences. These included the bagpipes with their ornamentation, range and drones, the use of Scottish dance rhythms and Scotch snaps, pastoral landscape, and the bleakness of the granite architecture and pale light of Aberdeen. I will show how these affect my interpretation of the sonata, and apply my conclusions to performance practice in other post-war Scottish music.

In understanding this specific musical language, interpretational choices can be narrowed down to culturally accurate ones. This gives pieces such as Center’s piano sonata a depth that resonates with listeners.

Studying nationalism in any music one should look beyond superficial features. Performances should involve both deep study of the work itself and analysis of cultural influences. In this way, extra dimensions of the music can be revealed.

Christopher Guild (b. 1986) pianist and specialist in Scottish music.

Dr James Reid Baxter (b. 1954) doctorate on novelist and musicologist Alejo Carpentier.

David Ward (b. 1941) Scottish composer.

Purser, John. Scotland’s Music: A History of the Traditional and Classical Music of Scotland from the Earliest Times to the Present Day. (1992).


Email: annamichels98@yahoo.couk


‘After the Traits of Piano Futurists of the Early Twentieth Century’.


Andrés Felipe Molano Ruiz

University of Aveiro



Futurism was an artistic movement that tried to break with the tethers of the past, particularly those of Musical Romanticism. Beginning in the twentieth century in Italy, Futurism quickly spread to other European countries and other parts of the world. Its proponents criticized many authors of the time, calling their works the death of art and denigrating the reigning academism. Intending to exalt the movement’s importance for the development of twentieth-century musical creation, particularly in the United States of America and in the matter of compositions for piano, this lecture recital will focus on Leo Ornstein, Henry Cowell and George Antheil, because they let me expose and highlight the way that they characterize, project and reveal Futurism.

Keywords:  Futurism, Ornstein, Cowell, Antheil, piano.

Main Contribution:
The aim of this proposal is to contribute to a better understanding of Futurism and its influence on academic music, showing its influence on the American composers and pianists Ornstein, Cowell and Antheil in relation with academia, and revealing the mechanism and noise in the innovations of their piano writing.

By demonstrating the composers’ Futurist ideals, their works allow me to expose a vision not only historical and performative, but also critical and actual, because, despite the decline of Futurism itself, its ideals continued years afterwards. The transdisciplinary and pluralist methodology in which it is necessary to articulate diverse ways of thinking in order to achieve knowledge recalls the Futurist movement and its multidisciplinary efforts to unite all human expression.

The complex rhythms and clusters in Futurist music, mixed with melodies and traditional forms that show its innovation, imply a theoric and performative study, looking for a bridge between Futurism and academic piano, with a fair concept about both sides.

Email: andresruiz@ua.pt>


‘The Performing Principle of Timbre of Phase Accents’


Xuefeng Zhou & Tian Hao

College of Music, Southwest University, China 400715



Timbre “covers many parameters of perception that are not accounted for by pitch, loudness, spatial position, and duration” (McAdams, 1999). Timbre “is a multidimensional perceptual attribute with multiple underlying acoustic dimensions of both temporal and spectral types”, and has “the processing of three major timbre dimensions” by “attack time, spectral centroid, and spectrum fine structure” (Caclina et al., 2007). From a psychoacoustics view, listeners used shared perceptual dimensions along which the sounds were rated (Lemaitre et al., 2007). Both musician and non-musician might select the single sound with the lower value of initiatory five partials’ (dB) Standard Deviation as the better piano timbre (Zhou et al., 2018). That is to say, timbre has multiple underlying acoustic dimensions of both temporal and spectral forms, which research outcomes are quite meaningful in academia. However, timbre of phrase accent, equal to nuclear accent in linguistics, has received little scholarly attention, although it is very important in piano teaching.


5 Keywords:  timbre, piano, phrase accent, spectrum, behaviour experiments

Main Contribution:

Using one sentence of Bach French Suites recorded by nine piano postgraduates and twenty musician participants of listening, this study examined better timbre options in three conditions of phrase expressing.


The evaluation of samples is underway, and the option experiment will be done in July.



To shed light on the performing “principle” of timbre of phrase accent.

Email: thatzhou@swu.edu.cn


‘The Undiscovered Goldmark 1830- 1915’

Tihamer Hlavacsek

Royal College of Music


The Hungarian-born composer Karl Goldmark (1830-1915) was an esteemed figure in 19th–century Viennese cultural life alongside Brahms and the critic Eduard Hanslick. Hanslick recognized Goldmark’s talent and contemporary scholars referred to him as ‘the greatest living music-drama composer since Wagner’s death’. Goldmark’s opera Die Königin von Saba earned him international fame and was performed in main opera houses across Europe and America. However, whilst Goldmark’s most popular works remained in the repertoire, his considerable piano oeuvre, comprising more than 50 pieces, was almost completely forgotten. I have researched Goldmark’s music extensively and recorded his complete piano works for Hungaroton as a ‘world premiere’ set.

Keywords:  interpretation, Vienna, 19th century, Goldmark, Romanticism

Main Contribution:
In this lecture recital I will introduce this undiscovered part of Goldmark’s repertoire, contextualizing it within 19th–century Viennese and Hungarian Romanticism by exploring decisive stylistic features of the music. Goldmark’s Georgine, Morgens, Zart Geheimnis, Trostlos and Magyar Abrand [Hungarian Fantasy] will be performed to highlight the place Goldmark’s piano music occupied in his era as well as how pianists today can draw on his German, Hungarian and Jewish identities in the interpretation of this music.

Goldmark self-identified as a German composer; nevertheless I will demonstrate that his piano music can be described as multifaceted, drawing on aspects of both Austro-German and Hungarian musical styles.

This exploration will broaden our knowledge of Romantic piano literature by placing Goldmark’s piano works in the context of 19th–century Vienna. Detailed research into style provides interpretative strategies for pianists to develop awareness and understanding of an important figure’s music, by linking different styles and eras.

I would like to express my special thanks to Dr Natasha Loges, Dr Jane Roper and Dr Thomas Aigner.

Email: tihamer.hlavacsek@rcm.ac.uk


‘The Piano: A Gendered Instrument?’


Lise Meling

The University of Stavanger: Norway


This paper will focus on the piano as a gendered instrument in the 19th century. Why is the piano considered the most appropriate instrument for women in the 19th century? Are there any historical reasons for this? Moreover, are there other reasons for the significance of the piano for female performers in the 19th century? This paper will be based on sources such as etiquette and reference books, fiction and novels as well as photographs from the 19th century.

Keywords:  piano, gender, 19th century, culture, amateur

Main Contribution:
There are many reasons for the choice of keyboard instruments being the most appropriate for women when we arrive in the 19th century. The historical conditions are one aspect; other reasons could be more practical or pragmatic. The piano was a very functional and applicable instrument, where you could play both solo and accompaniment, and it fitted well into the bourgeois home. It became a means to ensure a good marriage, as well as being a vehicle for the expression of emotions, sometimes hidden, implied and under-communicated. Secrets were conveyed through the music and became a part of an intimate discourse. In this discourse, the borders between music, piano playing and body become blurred.

However, the most important perspective might be the cultural perspective, where the image of the piano-playing young woman became a symbol of the whole 19th century’s ideas, such as the bourgeoisie, virtuous conduct, and cultural formation. The piano was significant for the female performer but had larger ramifications than the single performer: it was a cultural phenomenon in the domestic art and the domestic culture.

Email: lise.meling@uis.no


‘Uncovering a Resurrection Drama in Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 32 in C, Opus 111′

Stephen Hussarik



Despite Heinrich Schenker’s landmark analysis and William Drabkin’s impressive study of the sketches, few studies have mentioned the second movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 32 in C, Opus 111 in light of the instrument for which it was composed. In fact, specific pedal registrations called for on Beethoven’s fortepiano no longer exist on modern pianos; performing the work on these instruments today essentially obscures its musical meaning. Now located in the National Museum of Hungarian Culture (Budapest), Beethoven’s original fortepiano is important because after he received it in 1818 the composer wrote to his benefactor James Broadwood: “I will regard this piano as an altar upon which I will place the most beautiful offerings of my spirit to the divine Apollo.” He then composed three celebrated sonatas (Opus 109, 110 and 111) exploring its unique pedal registrations. Both the sounds of this instrument and remarks found in Beethoven’s sketches illustrate that he intended special pedal registrations to help fashion the arietta theme of Opus 111 into a dramatic envelope known as a “resurrection drama.” Reaching beyond simple thematic apotheosis, the theme of a grand resurrection must be presented, liquidated and then brought back to life in a final apotheosis. Such thematic liquidation is made possible in Opus 111 with unique pedal registrations available only on Beethoven’s original instrument. Comparisons with other similar instruments illustrate how important both the registrations and formal messaging are to his works as a whole.

Email: stephen.husarik@uafs.edu