Sitting at the Piano, Cradled by Speakers: Developing a Rhythmic Performance Practice in Music for Piano and “Tape”

by Ding, Shiau-Uen

Abstract (Summary)
Music reflects the society and technology of its age. For 21st century pianists, in addition to mastering traditional solo piano and chamber repertoire, cultivating skills in performing new music and electro-acoustic music is necessary to adapt a centuries-old instrument to contemporary musical languages, aesthetics and technologies. Numerous well-known pianists have specialized in acoustic new music. The electro-acoustic music world, though, has not attracted equally prominent pianists/composers, and in general not enough pianists have specialized in electro-acoustic music. Within the field of electro-acoustic music, the genre of music for acoustic instrument(s) and tape has generated less interest recently than that using real-time sound processing. One reason for this neglect may be the mistaken belief that a fixed “tape” part does not allow for enough performance interaction and hence reduces musicality. This document investigates a number of pieces for piano and tape with respect to their performance practice, to serve a pedagogical function for both pianists and composers in both technical and aesthetic terms, and ultimately argues that music for acoustic instrument(s) and tape remains a flexible and musically valid genre. The repertoire examined includes Christopher Bailey’s Balladei, Luigi Nono’s …sofferte onde serene…, Mario Davidovsky’s Synchronisms No. 6, Jonathan Harvey’s Tombeau de Messiaen, James Mobberley’s Caution to the Winds and Into the Maelstrom, and Katharine Norman’s Trying to Translate. These works are chosen as examples of four distinct types of music for instrument(s) and tape, categorized by the kind of interaction evident between the tape and acoustic parts. The research method includes interviews with pianists specializing in electro-acoustic music, critical reflection on my own experience of performing, and interviews with living composers whose pieces are included in this document.
Bibliographical Information:


School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:contemporary music computer electroacoustic electro acoustic piano tape christopher bailey balladei luigi nono sofferte onde serene mario davidovsky synchronisms jonathan harvey tombeau de messiaen james mobberley caution to the win


Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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