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ItemLearning Britten's Violin Concerto: a reflexive & collaborative approach to interpretationMorton, Arna Alayne ( 2019)Performance manuals are seemingly divided into two approaches: those that provide the reader technical instruction on the execution of a work or works and those that adopt a more self-reflective investigation into personal performance practice. Using a critical, reflexive approach, this thesis examines the development of a highly-personal interpretive methodology that aims to create personal authenticity in my interpretation of Britten’s Violin Concerto through the cultivation of a combined composer-performer perspective that stimulates my technical decisions, thus developing a framework I can freely apply to a variety of contexts within my broader performance-practice. Through a detailed investigation, Part One analyses significant events and experiences that shaped Britten’s early life, developing a lens to inform my interpretation of the score. Part Two demonstrates how my interpretation of Britten’s compositional craft and the specific technical decisions I arrived at in my practice supports the narrative uncovered in Part One. This study aims to provide an example to performers looking to apply a methodology to their own practice to assist in creating highly personal interpretations that attempt to honour the intentions of both composer and performer.
ItemCreativity and improvisation in classical music: an exploration of interpretation and ownershipMills, Jennifer Nancy Helena ( 2010)Creativity is an intangible yet very much real element of the human condition, an abstract concept or process proven by its representation in the material and metaphysical products of innovative human pursuits. In terms of music, creativity is demonstrated in the efforts of composers of musical works, whose preparatory undertakings result in a specific product of amalgamated intentions, and conversely in the spontaneous inventions of improvising performers, who both create and perform their works in real time. What of the many so-called classical musicians out there, who while rigorously and comprehensively trained in the creation of the ideal sound on their respective instruments via employment of the ideal technique, complete such training with a view towards the performance of the musical realisations of another’s creative urge? It is as a classical musician myself challenging the artistic merit of what I do that I embark upon this line of questioning, with a view towards clarifying the potential representation of creativity within the constraints of performing already-composed works, and identifying the role improvisation could play in interpretation as the bridging of the gap between articulating another musician’s notes and conveying those notes’ perceived meaning with a sense of personal voice. In doing so I call upon the perspectives of musicians from the genres of repertoire performance, improvisation, and composition through a survey process which presents a practical exploration of these musicians’ motivations, experiences of creativity, notions of sound, voice, interpretation and ownership and opinions of the personal impact on all of these that musical improvisation has had or may have. The original research is grounded in examinations of the historical and contemporary contexts of improvisation’s role in classical music performance. Responses indicated that experimentation with one’s own musicality in the form of spontaneous composition – ideally a pure, direct and honest self-expression – is an immensely useful exercise. Indeed as an exercise, and because of its immediate nature, improvisation can aid in the expansion and deepening of a musician’s knowledge of, and facility on, their instrument – the performer moves from the cycle of purely repetitious execution into a more direct and informed exploration of the notes, and thus an awareness of and contact with the more meaningful communicative potential of said notes.