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Haptic influences on Chopin pianism: case studies from the music of Szymanowska and Kessler

Negishi, Yuki (2018). Haptic influences on Chopin pianism: case studies from the music of Szymanowska and Kessler. (Unpublished Masters thesis, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance)

Abstract

What makes Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849), one of the most revered and loved composers in the piano repertoire, and is he truly a unique figure? This question has driven me for most of my musical life, resulting in my current research. This project emerged from my fascination with the wealth of forgotten composers and their music, which seemed all so familiar - was Chopin influenced by them to a degree that was never documented or questioned before? While Szymanowska’s influence has been noted before, the haptic considerations that led this process of influence have not been investigated. Using my experience as a pianist, I approached this question through a haptic lens. This thesis is divided into an Introduction, which addresses my motivation, Chapter 1, which refers to the historiographical and musical background of Chopin’s formative years, the practice-as research approach to the methodology, and the literature review. Chapter 2 focuses primarily on two composers: Maria Agata Szymanowska (1789–1831) and Joseph Christoph Kessler (1800-1871). I compare their preludes and etudes, through a haptic perspective, with the preludes and etudes of Chopin. The influence of Szymanowska and Kessler on Chopin is demonstrated, through the presence of clearly identifiable haptic characteristics. The musical examples are integrated with video clips that demonstrate the haptic connections, in each case, at the piano. The last section of the thesis discusses my reflection and conclusion that Chopin was indeed influenced by these composers, especially through the haptic process. Although Chopin later developed his style beyond the formative influence of Kessler and Syzmanowska, I believe his music, and his approach to piano writing, owes a substantial debt to these two lesser-known composers, and that this connection can only be truly identified through the investigation of haptic considerations.

Publication Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Departments: Doctoral Theses
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/22012
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[img] Video (F major Etudes playing) - Supplemental Material
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