Documenting developing performance : rethinking Nikolai Medtner at the piano
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This research illustrates the performer-researcher’s artistic process of reaching an understanding of music through performance, and explores how an effort to understand music at the instrument and in the context of music-making could influence our critical evaluation of the music. Engaged in the process of learning music, I seek to document my artistic practices as a reflective practitioner: to open up the performer-researcher's workspace, communicate the performativity of the music, and reveal my embodied doing-thinking as a performer. By involving in the performer-researcher's physical and intellectual trajectory, the focus of musicological research could be shifted from the study of music as writing to a practice-based study that communicates and values music as performance. This shift provides a chance to rethink musical works at the piano and place the music in a context in which music can be understood, communicated, and valued through performance. This has the potential to shed light on the performative value of music, and may challenge the existing critique of musical works by emphasising the centrality of musical performance in the realm of music research, perhaps revealing what has been neglected by the text and outcome-focused approaches to music. I believe this could lead us to assess musical works in a different value system by considering the music in and as performance.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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