The Practice of Practising

Research output: Book/ReportAnthology


This edited, peer-reviewed volume includes a chapter of my own ('Morton Feldman’s Late Piano Music: Experimentalism in Practice'), which relates to a practice-based research project at the Orpheus Research Centre in Music and draws on associated performances/presentations (see relational links).

Volume abstract:
The process of practising is intrinsic to musical creativity. Practising may primarily be thought of as technical, but it is often also musically meaningful, including elements of interpretation, improvisation and/or composition. The practice room can be a space in which to explore a field of creative possibilities; a place to experiment and to refine ideas. Furthermore, practice is generally private or shared only with collaborators; safe and playful, in contrast to the decisive moment of exposure to the ears of the public.

To date, the literature on practice has been primarily pedagogical and psychological. Little attention is paid to the significance of practice, and especially to the role of embodied experience – of understanding gained through doing – in the forming of musical ideas. 'The Practice of Practising' is primarily concerned with considering practising as a practice in itself; a collection of processes that determines musical creativity and significance. The volume comprises four diverse case studies, in relation to music by J. S. Bach, Elliott Carter, Alfred Schnittke and Morton Feldman, presenting both solo and ensemble perspectives. Beyond the specific, contextualized insights, each study also tackles more broadly relevant issues, particularly the relationships and divergences between embodied and verbalised knowledge, intention and action, and the habitualized and the unpredictable.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLeuven
PublisherLeuven University Press
Number of pages92
ISBN (Print)978 90 5867 848 5
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameCollected Writings of the Orpheus Research Centre in Music
PublisherLeuven University Press

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