Sitting at the piano, cradled by speakers developing a rhythmic performance practice in music for piano and "tape" /
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 electroacoustic
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.
© 2007 Shiau-uen Ding. All rights reserved.
School:University of Cincinnati
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:university of cincinnati
Date of Publication:01/01/2007