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Piano performance : strategies for score memorisation

Li, C. (2007). Piano performance : strategies for score memorisation. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


Accurate live performance demands that player equip him/herself with a secure memorisation of the work. Most professional pianists are familiar with the four aspects of music memory, namely Kinaesthetic, Aural, Visual and Analytical Memories. However, these may not be enough in themselves to ensure freedom from momentary memory lapses on the stage. After a discussion of issues concerned with psychological memory and music cognitive memory, the dissertation outlines a memory technique, here labelled MM, which draws on the use of music mnemonics. The technique is intended to help pianists retrieve relevant information as quickly and effectively as possible during the performance, therefore avoiding or minimising mistakes. Various types of music mnemonics which the author has herself used are identified. Following this is an account of a project undertaken by the author which involved the examination of the memorisation techniques of five professional pianists while learning two contrasting pieces. The extent to which they applied the MM technique, and the specific mnemonics described in the dissertation thus far, is examined closely. So is the effectiveness of the various mnemonics in dealing with very varied repertoires.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Performing Arts > Music
Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
School of Communication & Creativity > School of Communication & Creativity Doctoral Theses
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