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New Approaches to Performance and the Practical Application of Techniques from Non-Western and Electro-acoustic Musics in Compositions for Solo Cello since 1950: A Personal Approach and Two Case Studies

Turner, Rebecca. 2014. New Approaches to Performance and the Practical Application of Techniques from Non-Western and Electro-acoustic Musics in Compositions for Solo Cello since 1950: A Personal Approach and Two Case Studies. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

The role of the cellist has changed rapidly and significantly over the past 60 years. It has moved in tandem with compositional trends which have seen the extension of genres, techniques, and performance practices – changes which have an increasingly demanding palette of extended techniques. Present-day cello pedagogy has not matched these demands; in this paper, I address this deficit.

My main research question examines these extensions. I addressed it through practice-led research, using three primary research methods. First, qualitative methods of data collection and analysis, namely formal and informal interviews, and observations at concerts and various music events. Secondly, via the search for, and analysis of, recent additions to the repertoire. Thirdly, autobiographical research, which was made possible due to the performance-based nature of my research and my unique position and experiences as a performer. The combination of these research methods revealed that a cellist’s role has been extended in three main ways: the extension of technique, the extension of participation, and, the extension of knowledge.

In the first chapter, I explore these extensions using a selected sample of works to investigate and highlight specific changes to technique and performance practices since the 1950s, looking specifically at new approaches to performance and the practical application of techniques from non-Western and electro-acoustic musics.

The next two chapters explore these issues in more depth and apply the findings, presenting two case studies on works that demonstrate how combining traditional cello playing with another music tradition can result in extended techniques: first, the cello and non-Western music, and secondly, the cello and electronics. This study concluded that recent compositional trends in cello writing have ultimately reinvented traditional cello playing. These trends push cellists to adapt and change their approach to the instrument and their understanding of their role as a cellist.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00011186

Keywords:

Contemporary Cello Techniques; Contemporary Cello Repertoire; Cello and Electro-acoustic Music; Cello and Non-Western Influences; Extended Techniques; Performance Practices; Performers Perspective

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Music

Date:

9 December 2014

Item ID:

11186

Date Deposited:

21 Jan 2015 10:46

Last Modified:

09 Jul 2018 15:37

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/11186

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