– 20th Century Schools, Styles and Trends
Study Levels: Undergraduate, Postgraduate
Faculty: Emil Gryesten and guest lecturers from Global Conservatoire partner institutions
Royal Danish Academy of Music
Tentative online meeting dates in 2022: October 11, November 8, December 1
Emil Gryesten introduces Aesthetics of Classical Piano Performance
In this course we will examine the aesthetic currents that have led to the eclectic and pluralistic piano performance culture of today.
The course will give insight into the divergent approaches that characterize today’s music culture and will help you to better understand and formulate your thoughts on differing and sometimes conflicting opinions on interpretation.
Through the various analytical and critical approaches explored in the course, you will become more aware of the newer history of piano performance aesthetics and develop tools to analyse and describe stylistic and artistic choices in interpretation and performance.
The core activity of the course will be examining, sometimes in great detail, the recorded performances of pianists representing different pianistic schools, styles and trends.
By the end of this course students will be able to:
The course will be graded based on an assignment portfolio.
The assignment portfolio is the collection of the assignments submitted during the course:
The options for the final assessment will be:
The various assignments of the assignment portfolio will not be graded individually, but students will receive feedback during the course.
At the end of the course, the completed assignment portfolio will be graded. The assignment portfolio accounts for 75% of the final grade, attendance and completion 25%.
The Aesthetics of Classical Piano Performance course is scheduled from 3 October to 9 Dec 2022.
The course is open to undergraduate and postgraduate piano students.
Consisting of 7 asynchronous learning modules and 3 live online sessions, the course will employ a range of teaching formats such as:
Independent study will involve some short reading assignments and watching documentaries. In connection with the final paper or presentation, more extensive independent study will be needed.
The course instructor will provide a bibliography of optional, suggested reading.
The course combines traditional liberal arts approaches such as criticism, study of source materials, historiography and biography, with empirical investigations using technical tools such as Sonic Visualiser.
The seven asynchronous modules cover the following topics (sometimes in depth, sometimes more cursory):
To provide a general framework for understanding the subject of piano performance aesthetics, we will take a brief look at some ideas from critical theory, including David Hume’s notion of the ideal critic, Michel Foucault’s genealogical method, pluralism, and postmodernism.
The three live online sessions cover the following topics:
Session 1 – Tuesday, October 11, 4PM-6PM Central European Time
Session 2 – Tuesday, November 8, 4PM-6PM Central European Time
Session 3 – Thursday, December 1, 4PM-6PM Central European Time
The syllabus is intended to instantiate the Global Conservatoire values of diversity and inclusion. For instance, many female pianists will be featured in the course; and while European traditions will be covered in depth, a number of pianists of non-Western origin will also be given emphasis.
The course instructor will be available for consultation or to answer queries on Zoom during weekly office hours. Prior to the final assessment individual supervision will be offered.
All course activities will be carried out with respect to differences in students’ background in terms of culture and language skills. While a secure grasp of written and spoken English will be useful in this course, the focus during the course and in the final assessment will be the subject matter of piano performance and not the finer details of language and presentation.