In which ways can we use the outcome of an analysis to develop a practice method focused on learning the general musical language of a score, instead of just memorizing the right notes?
In the exercises I have showed the potential of analytical data to serve as the basis for discovering and experiencing the general language of a piece in the practice room. The general language thus refers to the basic harmonic progressions and melodic outlines and their reductions, something we can describe as the skeleton of a piece. These exercises are meant for advanced students who had classes in analysis and harmony and could provide these players with an insight into the piece right from the start of their practicing process. Within the context of this research I did not use all the data delivered by the analysis. We could for example have used the reconstructions of the transitions. Nevertheless the data used has shown the possibilities for the practical usage of the outcome of an analysis in creating exercises to prepare the player for practicing the first movement of opus 110. We have thus created an adapted version of the traditional score, inviting the player to harmonize, texturize, improvise, sing & play and discover the elaborate version Beethoven created of a seemingly simple skeleton.
It is important to mention here that by means of the exercises I do not want to avoid reading problems or devaluate the importance of strong (sight-)reading skills for any classical musician today. Sight-reading should remain a part of the daily practice. Rather I firstly want to make the player aware of certain standard or general harmonic progressions, in the sense that they will occur in other works by Beethoven as well. Secondly, awareness towards the choices Beethoven made and their implications for performance are created and establish a closer connection of the performer to this process.
I believe a performer should work on several pieces simultaneously, as is common practice in conservatories. When a few pieces are approached in the way I have proposed, maybe once a player reads a traditional score the wheels are in motion and a different way of thinking is implemented bringing harmony, analysis, ear-training, improvisation and instrumental skills closer together and developing a pianist’s musicianship in a broad sense.