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Piano Performance

Topics in Piano Performance explores many dimensions of piano performance, and focuses on different special topics each semester, made explicit by a decimalization of the course number, and the special topic designation as part of the course title. In addition to focusing on study of repertoire in a masterclass format, potential topics include performance practice associated with different eras in music, exploration of particular genres, issues surrounding public performance and memorization, improvisation in different styles, composition for the piano, sight-reading and score reading, collaborative piano, performance techniques for 20th and 21st century music, and jazz. Exact topics will vary each semester depending on student needs and interest. The class may be taken up to 4 times for credit.

The class is open to all piano majors, and to non-majors by audition. Class topics culminate in a Final Performance Project in Lang Hall, usually focusing on works of a particular composer and/or genre, or a topic era, such as improvisation or collaborative piano.   Some examples from past and future semesters include Scriabin’s Preludes and Etudes, Shostakovich Preludes & Fugues, Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words, Bartók’s Mikrokosmos (Vols. 4-6), Debussy’s Preludes, Schubert’s Winterreise (the entire song cycle, with each pianist performing 1-2 songs, accompanying M.A. Voice Majors) and Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano.

Auditions for non-piano majors are held just prior to and throughout the registration periods preceding the semester in which the class is offered. Students should be prepared to play at least one work, or substantial movement of a work. For more information, please contact Prof. Geoffrey Burleson.

Course Codes for Registration

SPRING 2015: Debussy, Ravel and the French School (please note that this is a Performance Analysis class, and will fulfill equivalencies for both Undergraduate Music History IV, and Advanced Studies in Music History 2 for M.A. students.  Topics will include not only solo piano literature, but art songs, string quartets, concerti and symphonic works, although there will be a good deal of emphasis on keyboard works.  Final projects will include presentations that include performances as illustrations for perspectives on performance analysis.)

Undergraduate Students: MUSPF 361.71-Section 01 - 3cr 3hrs
Prereq: audition and permission of the instructor.

Graduate Students: MUS 789.67-Section 01 - 3cr 3hrs
Graduate Adviser's permission required.

T, 6:10-9:00, Room 405, Prof. Geoffrey Burleson

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