Thesis (Ph.D)

For a ‘Dramaturgy of the Piano Recital’ – an investigation of interdisciplinary strategies for live classical piano performances


This research investigates interdisciplinary strategies for live classical piano performances. The questions which initiated this research emerged from my practice as a classical pianist, and they are concerned, in particular, with the space of the performance, the formalities of the concert etiquette, and the format of the presentations themselves. Although the conventions of the concert hall and the respective idea of music alone have been widely established since the mid-nineteenth century, the understanding of music as an intrinsically multimedia experience has been increasingly explored in contemporary academic and artistic works. This research aims to contribute to this context by exploring the idea of dramaturgy in the development of interdisciplinary piano performances as comprehensive art works, and by offering alternative ways to engage audiences in classical music performances. To this end, experimental piano performances have been devised to investigate the topics: (1) interdisciplinary dialogues within musical performances; (2) alternative strategies for the space of the performance and for the engagement of audiences; (3) application of concepts of dramaturgy and narrative to interdisciplinary piano performance. Theoretical and practical works in the fields of music performance, theatre and dance have been examined in order to contextualise this study. Findings have been drawn from a reflection-in-action process, which was supported by audience feedback and included considerations on my experience as author and performer, and discussions on the literature review. The outcome of this research shows that interdisciplinary works can demonstrate innovative strategies, introducing new audiences to classical music - to contemporary classical repertoires in particular - and offering fresher ways of engagement to experienced spectators. Ultimately, this research contribution to the classical music field consists of offering new insights for the format of live music performances, new parameters for the classical pianist’s practice, and the introduction of the concept of an artform recital.

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Decoté Rodrigues, Késia


Supervisors: Lee, Ray; Whitty, Paul

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Arts


Year: 2017

© Decoté Rodrigues, Késia
Published by Oxford Brookes University
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