This poetics study seeks to answer a question like, "What is music?"; its conclusion would be something like, "It's sharing time with the Other." Investigations into how one shares time with the other, privately or publicly, leads the author to intersect personal observations within musicking and resonant concepts from various other domains, such as ethics and love. The result outlines a sparse poetics of being (loving) with the other—this principle inseparable from musical practice.
ame: Zhou Feng
Main Subject: Violone
Research supervisor(s): Kate Clark
Title of Research:
Fingering of the Viennese Double Bass
What was the historical fingering of the Viennese double bass? Which different effects it would have on different fingerings? What’s the modern solution of fingerings and its influence?
Summary of Results:
The Viennese Double Bass was a dominant type of double bass used in the Classical Period in Vienna. It usually has 5 string, tuned in F1-A1-D-F#-A, with frets. Unfortunately, we can barely find any historical material that was written down on the fingering of this instrument. Through the analysis of the history of fingerings on various double basses documented in historical methods, I can find the pattern of fingering that is often related to the tuning intervals of the instrument. The Viennese double bass was possibly using a '1-2-4' fingering system. In my research paper, I give the suggestions of specific fingerings, including basic fingerings (scales, arpeggios), exception fingerings (chordal fingering, octave fingering). For octaves, I find the possible solutions by using basic, chordal, extension fingerings and shifting strategy. With excerpts of solo works and orchestral parts, I give further explanation of the fingerings. Finally, I try to point out that the modern tuning of the Viennese double bass could cause alteration of the historical fingerings. Furthermore, it would also change the timbre.
Master student of Violone (Koninklijk Conservatorium, Den Haag)
Artist Diploma of Double Bass (China Central Conservatory, Beijing)
Master Degree of Journalism (Tsinghua University, Beijing)
Name: Pieter van Loenen
Main Subject: Violin
Research supervisor: Stefan Petrovic
Title of Research: Performing modern music
Research Question: How should you go about performing modern music?
Summary of results:
In this paper, I have approached the fundamental question of how to go about performing modern music from different perspectives. Looking at the writings of Stravinsky and Schoenberg teaches us that there are different ideas about the role a performer should have. Stravinsky would ideally have a performer execute music and not ‘interpret’ it, while Schoenberg expects more expressive input from the performer. However, we have also seen that Stravinsky’s allergy against ‘interpretation’ probably stems from bad experiences with performers interpreting his music the wrong way. Present-day performers agree that his music – or any music, for that matter: the same principles apply to music of all ages – does need to be interpreted by the performer, but in the correct style.
Interpretation of a score is not an exact science. However, that does not mean it cannot go wrong. The prime directive of interpretation is that it should not go against the literal text of the score. Since notation is almost never complete, other methods of interpretation can be used to fill in the gaps. When textual interpretation does not provide enough information, the performer can resort to contextual interpretation: the context of the piece (e.g. sung text, or a structural analysis) or the context of the composer’s work in general, i.e. his style, or language. Other methods that can be used in connection with these basic types of interpretation include speaking with the composer or listening to recordings of the composer or with the composer’s approval. This last method can be problematic, since more information is always required on the value a particular recording should have: is this exactly what the composer intended or is it just acceptable to the composer within the boundaries they set?
All performers I spoke with agreed that the final step a performer should take is to make the music their own. This may seem in contradiction with the principle that a performer should always aim to reproduce the composer’s wishes; a principle that we perhaps inherited from Stravinsky. However, it makes sense when you think about it. When performing a piece, you automatically interpret the score using whatever methods are appropriate when you decide for yourself what the composer must have had in mind when he wrote it down. When you have uncovered this interpretation, and have learned the language of the composer, you must then speak this language to convey the composer’s story (as you interpret it) to the audience. That last line of communication is something entirely in the hands of the performer and that automatically “implicates the performer’s personality”, as Reinbert de Leeuw puts it. This is not problematic or contradictory, as long as the performer, when speaking the language, always remains faithful to the will of the composer.
Pieter van Loenen is a Dutch violinist who graduated his bachelor’s cum laude at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague as a student of Vera Beths. He won 1st prize at the Prinses Christina Competition in 2010 and was awarded 2nd prize and the Audience prize at the Dutch National Violin Competition in 2016. He has appeared as a soloist with several orchestras throughout the Netherlands, including the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Domestica Rotterdam and the Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands. He has a special affinity with performing contemporary music.
Name: Paulina Ptak
Main Subject: Baroque Cello
Research Coaches: Maggie Urquhart, Job ter Haar
Title of Research: The violin-type fingering and oblique left hand position in the history
of cello technique
Research Question: what were the possible reasons for the application of diatonic
fingerings and violin-like left hand position in the history of the cello technique?
Summary of Results:
Before 1800, cellists did not have a consistent manner for fingering scales with the left
hand. From the origins of the instrument till the beginning of the nineteenth century
different systems were used. One of the styles seemed to be more identified with the
violin than with the cello technique. It was represented by fingering and left hand
position, different than used today. By looking at the history of development of the cello
fingering I will try to answer questions about possible reasons of applying violin-like
fingering on the cello. I will examine methods employed on early bass instruments, much
debated system proposed by Corrette, and Lanzetti’s and Baumgartner’s approach which
transitions the diatonic and chromatic systems. I will see how Romberg and others, even
though fingering had evolved to the final level, applied oblique violin-like, left hand
position until the beginnings of twentieth century. Finally I will look at the examples
from cello repertoire which contain fingerings, and I will analyze them in terms of the
system used and possible ways of execution.
Paulina Ptak embarked upon her musical education in two of the most important Polish
musical centres – the city of Cracow and Wroclaw. After completing her Master’s
degree, she decided to specialise in baroque, classical and early romantic repertoire
performed on authentic instruments. Her motivation to a historically informed approach
was inspired by the unique timbre of period instruments. Currently she studies baroque
cello for a Master’s degree with Jaap ter Linden. Paulina is interested in the history of
cello technique from eighteenth until twentieth century.
Name: Agnieszka Papierska
Main subject: Baroque violin
Title of research: Holding the violin and how it influences sound and playing in historical performance practice. Historical perspectives.
Research coach: Margaret Urquhart
Research questions: How much would the sound of the violin change with holding it in different position? Could this be a tool of expression? Does the way we hold the instrument influence other choices we make about performance practice e.g. regarding fingering, bowing? Could this knowledge be used in performance practice today?
Summary of results:
During the baroque and classical period many different ways of holding the violin existed, often at the same time. This paper investigates the way in which the different positions of holding the instrument could change the sound of it. After studying at sources and making experiments with different posture it can be confirmed that that the sound changes with different ways of holding the violin. The technique and interpretation are also affected. The main conclusion is that violin technique is not unchangeable. We can adjust it in order to develop sound that we desire.
Agnieszka is an accomplished and experienced chamber music and orchestral musician. She started her professional career at a very early age. While still a student in Poland she collaborated with many professional orchestras where she worked with world-class conductors and soloists.
After completing her Bachelor's diploma in modern violin an interest in historical performance practice let to her move to the Netherlands in order to study in the early music department of The Hague Royal Conservatory. In 2012 she also completed the master studies in Wroclaw Academy of Music in Poland.
Currently she works with Theresia Youth Baroque Orchestra in Italy and also performs with other groups in the Netherlands and abroad.
She plays an anonymous 18th century violin from the Klingenthal region.
Name: Elisa van Kesteren
Research supervisor: Stefan Petrovic
Title of the Research: The Russian way of playing the accordion: a case study related to the Chambersuite of Vladislav Solotarjow
Research question: Does the Russian way of playing the bayan exist and if so, how can I achive this in my own artistic practice?
Summary of the results:
Russian music is very particular. Through the centuries of this huge country’s history, art has always been of great importance, no matter what the political situation was. The world still honors their cultural heritage, their literature, dance and music. Russian music has always touched and inspired me so it was obvious to specialize during my master in this subject.
Becoming myself a performing musician I wanted to investigate what this Russian music is about. What are the characteristics and how do Russian performers play? I wanted to get as close as possible to the ‘Russian way of playing’. Focusing on Vladislav Solotarjow’s ‘Chambersuite’ or ‘Sentimental pieces to Alexander Blok’, made me develop my Russian way of playing. I have done this through listening, analyzing and comparing recordings, from Mika Vayrynen a Scandinavian bayanist and one of Russia’s most important bayanists Friedrich Lips and making my own recordings. This research has proved to me that the Russians play very expressive, with a lot of passion and freedom. Both their music and their instrument are very colorful. I have achieved many of these characteristics in my own playing, even adding my own personal style to it in the end. Only the colorfulness of sound was still missing sometimes. Wondering about my technique and musical decisions, I took the chance to compare the two instruments with each other. My accordion built in Western Europe (Castelfidardo, Italy) versus the Russian-built Bayan (Moscow). It was really helpful to investigate the history of the instrument, the history of Russia and their music in order to get as close as possible to the Russian way of playing. Furthermore, reading about Solotarjow’s life, analysing his composition and listening to different recordings, greatly improved my understanding of this music. These things have helped me to develop my artistic practice. The part of the research that directly involved my artistic practice has been of great value for me. It has enriched my expressive pallet by including more freedom in my playing in many different aspects. I have concluded that it is possible to achieve the Russian way of playing. I have also found that besides having background information about the history of the country, knowledge about the composer and the composition, it is important to have or to imagine the Russian soul. Next to this, it is also important to be open to a different way of playing. A way of playing that might be unfamiliar to a performer.
My name is Elisa van Kesteren and was born in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. I started playing the accordion at the age of eight. After graduating for the Bachelor Degree here at the Royal Conservatory in 2014, I continued studying with An Raskin and will graduate for the Master degree this year. I am a member of the very recently founded accordion ensemble “The Blackboxes”, have a great interest for Russian but also contemporary music and teach at the moment in various music schools.
Name: Ines Serrano Diogo
Main Subject: Classical Trumpet
Research coach: Susan Williams
Title of research: Playing By Heart
Research question: Is the application of the Playing by Heart memorization model
useful for learning and performing trumpet orchestral excerpts?
Summary of the results:
The main objective while undergoing this research was to put the PbH memorization
model to test in a real life situation. However, this endeavor resulted in many secondary
realizations. Firstly, the very concept of “playing from memory” has evolved from being
a process that pursues the interiorization of the rhythmic and melodic figures that
compose what we call music (playing without any physical memory aid) to a much more
emotional, even spiritual involvement of one’s consciousness with the message the
particular music tries to convey, its content and not just its form. This it to say that to
know the very essence of what a musical excerpt stands for as well as its context is a
much more powerful method than to simply learn it by memory: it is playing it by heart.
Although the PbH memorization model was designed to improve performance, the
obtained results revealed that while this method sharply boosts such traits as focus and
accuracy y (which make for better music), it may have damaged other aspects of
performing that require an external; awareness, like a performer’s presence on stage for
example. Another interesting effect of this research was its lack of selectivity. This means
that although the performer tried to apply the PbH memorization model to a select
number of excerpts, the method’s nature (as well as the performer’s brain’s nature) made
it impossible to avoid some of its principles to bleed into other excerpts, which were not
meant to be affected. The Playing by Heart memorization model is considered applicable
and useful in learning and performing trumpet orchestral excerpts.
Ines Serrano Diogo was born in Portimao, Portugal, and started playing the trumpet by
the age of 8. She finished her trumpet bachelor degree in Escola Superior de Musica de
Lisboa (Portugal) in 2012, and is currently finishing her master degree with orchestra
specialization at The Royal Conservatoire in The Hague.
Name: Daniel Salbert
Main subject: Theory of Music
Research coach: László Norbert Nemes
Title of research: Collecting Repertoire for a Kodály-inspired Music Curriculum
Research question: Is it possible to gather Relevant Repertoire for Dutch Elementary Schools to build a Kodály-inspired Music Curriculum?
Six years ago, I visited a Kodály-course in Manchester, UK. This was the initial experience that changed my whole teaching and also my view on Music Education in general. After several study tours to Hungary I was convinced that it would be possible to develop a Kodály-inspired Music curriculum for Dutch elementary schools. Musical skills should and can be taught to anyone, beginning already in elementary school and not only at conservatoire level. As Kodály puts it: “Let music belong to everyone”.
Singing musical repertoire is the fundament of all Kodály-inspired music teaching. So I began collecting relevant repertoire for Kodály-inspired music lessons in Dutch elementary schools: songs, rhymes, singing games, (folk) dances, canons, quodlibets, etc.
To answer the research question I have collected many Dutch and International song books for elementary school from past to present and went through them for closer musical analysis. Besides, I researched song material at the Meertens Institute Amsterdam, organized a (folk) dancing workshop for elementary school teachers and went on study tours to Budapest and Glasgow. And of course I took notice of the repertoire that my fellow Kodály-colleagues at the Royal Conservatoire (KC) used. Searching and collecting repertoire became an attitude.
But searching repertoire is not a theoretical business. Therefore, in the last two years I was testing repertoire in some of my classes: 1) Jong-KC-junior-students of the Royal Conservatoire at the age of 7-9 years; these children were following a special talent education. 2) ‘Normal’ children of the age of 6-8 years at a local Dutch elementary school.
To gather the repertoire I built a database in File Maker Pro. I analysed the repertoire concerning musical parameters that are relevant to build a curriculum for Music education. The advantage of such a database is the fact that it is searchable. So when building a curriculum, repertoire can be grouped and sequenced according to the musical learning goals that are aimed at. Also staff notation, a game description and a demonstration video are provided. In the future I would like to transform this into an online database that could serve as a repertoire source for any Music teacher.
After two years of research I can positively answer the research question. The next step would be to sequence the repertoire for the benefit of a step-by-step curriculum for the full eight years of Dutch elementary school education. Then Music at Dutch elementary schools might again become a subject that matters.
Daniel Salbert (Nuremberg, Germany 1971), studied Music Teaching (BA 1999), Choral Conducting (BA 2001) and Music Theory (BA 2009) at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague (KC). He conducted different choirs such as children, chamber and oratorio choirs. At the moment he conducts the Young Talent Choirs and the First Year’s Choir of the KC and Concertkoor Rijswijk. He teaches Musicianship and Solfege for the Singing Department of the KC. He also teaches Solfege and Kodály-methodology for the Saturday-course “Music as a Subject” and the Master “Music Education according to the Kodály-concept”. He also teaches Musicianship and Music Theory at the School for Young Talent of the KC.