The Practice of the Practising

Alessandro Cervino, Maria Lettberg, and Tânia Lisboa and edited by Catherine Laws

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The process of practising is intrinsic to musical creativity. Practising may primarily be thought of as technical, but it is often also musically meaningful, including elements of interpretation, improvisation, and/or composition. The practice room can be a space in which to explore a field of creative possibilities; a place to experiment and to refine ideas. To date, the literature on practice has been primarily pedagogical and psychological. Little attention is paid to the significance of practice, and especially to the role of embodied experience - of understanding gained through doing - in the forming of musical ideas. The Practice of Practising is primarily concerned with considering practising as a practice in itself: a collection of processes that determines musical creativity and significance. The volume comprises four diverse case studies, in relation to music by J. S. Bach, Elliott Carter, Alfred Schnittke, and Morton Feldman, presenting both solo and ensemble perspectives.


Preface by Catherine Laws and Tânia Lisboa

I. A self-study of learning the Prelude from Bach's Suite No. 6 for cello solo: Comparing words and actions
- Tânia Lisboa, Roger Chaffin, Topher Logan

Effective practice
The investigation
Stages and cycles in learning the prelude
Relating practice and reports
Comparing practice and comments
Stage 1: exploration
Stages 2 and 3: smoothing out and listening
Stage 4: re-working technique
Stage 5: preparation for performance
Connecting theory and practice

II. Performer's harmony: towards a performance of Elliott Carter's Piano Sonata
- Alessandro Cervino

Preliminary remarks
Getting started
The process
The practice of practising: a tool for knowing

III. Morton Feldman's Late Piano Music: Experimentalism in Practice
- Catherine Laws

Memory and subjectivity in Feldman's late music
The problem of interpretation
Palais de Mari and the contingencies of performance
Practice as an experimental process

IV. Alfred Schnittke's Piano Trio: Learning and Performing
- Maria Lettberg

Preparation for rehearsals and recording
Achieving affinity


Format: Monograph - ebook

91 pages

ISBN: 9789461661234

Publication: October 03, 2011

Series: Orpheus Research Centre in Music 4

Languages: English

Stock item number: 64541

Alessandro Cervino is Junior Researcher at the Orpheus Research Centre in Music (ORCiM), Assistant Professor and Researcher at the Lemmensinstituut of Leuven, and Affiliated Researcher at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

Catherine Laws is a pianist, reader in Music at the University of York, and senior artistic research fellow at the Orpheus Institute.

Maria Lettberg is Junior Researcher at the Orpheus Research Centre in Music (ORCiM).

Tânia Lisboa is Senior Researcher at the Orpheus Research Centre in Music (ORCiM) and a Research Fellow at the Royal College of Music.