The Pianist-Producer. Interpretation and Transcription in the Work with Beginning Pianists

Keywords: pianist-producer, transcription, interpretation, ensemble music-making.


One of the main criteria of professional
performance by the musician of compositions
established in the repertoire is considered to
be a concise interpretation of the musical text
with rendering all the markings made by the
editor and the composer. A steadfast tradition
has been created of application in pedagogical
practice of interpretation by other musicians
and an authoritarian approach to learning.
However, if such demands are to be considered
to be admissible, they cannot be applied to all
the styles and genres. The pianist’s interaction
with the musical text has been historically
determined by two forms which have evolved
in the practice of music-making itself. For
example, in Baroque music the ensemble
form of music-making, which predominated
in it, presumed a variant-type unfolding of the
keyboard musical text in various performance
versions and ensembles. The Baroque tradition
is distinct for its active transformation of
the musical material and its improvisatory
manner in the work with the primary
musical source, and it presumes an active
incorporation of transcriptions, adaptations,
elaborations, arrangements and variations
on the original musical text. The second form,
which is the soloist variety, regulated by the
composer’s precise notation, is designed for
interpretation of the music and its performance
in concerts. It is particularly the second type,
characteristic for the later Classical-Romantic tradition, which is used in teaching, hence the
rules of interaction with the musical text are
transferred by pedagogues to the other type
of musical text, namely, the Baroque variety,
as well. The primary musical source contains
numerous possibilities for the variant-type
replication and creation of performance
scenarios both in the ensemble and solo forms.
By applying both forms of performing music,
transcription and interpretation, the pedagogue
would enhance the revival of the traditions
of a creative attitude towards the musical
text. The article shows examples of work with
beginning pianists in a problem-based situation
which may be called the role game of “Pianist-

Creative Pedagogical Workshop