Integrating Piano Technique, Physiology, and Motor Learning: Strategies for Performing the Chopin Etudes
AuthorLipke-Perry, Tracy Donna
Committee ChairFan, Paula
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractChopin's twenty-seven études are both unique and standard within the genre of advanced piano literature. Having been composed as the instrument itself was standardized and on the heels of the didactic studies of the classical period, Chopin's études are widely heralded as exemplary pedagogical material for their uniform quality and comprehensiveness. Nevertheless, despite the vast number of resources devoted to the topic of how one might approach the études and the innumerable endorsements which tout their incomparable worth, relatively cursory mention is made of their musical value. From a physiological perspective, what makes Chopin's études exceptional amongst vast pedagogical repertory, and how does their musical value impact what pianists learn from their study?From a modern perspective, a musical image is both the model and the yardstick for the measure of technical achievement as one compares performance with his or her musical image. The Chopin études are therefore unique in two ways. First, a pianist's musical image of each of the Chopin études initiates an individual process of motor learning. The musical images, and therefore the goals and the processes, are inherently different from the vast majority of purely didactic studies and exercises. Secondly, the genius of Chopin permeates the overall conception of the études as he intuitively employed the human ability to develop motor skills in natural ways which continue to be understood and supported by ongoing research.This paper explores the Chopin études from a largely physiological and psychological perspective such that modern studies of mental imagery, skill acquisition, and human motor abilities converge and highlight what is readily available in the music itself.