The Pianist’s Perception as a Working and Research Method: Encountering Intertextual and Phenomenological Approaches in Piano Playing

Eveliina Sumelius-Lindblom


The approach to my research topic “French Modernism in the 1920s” is to observe and analyze the methods I use as a pianist in dealing with multilayered artistic questions related to the French neoclassical repertoire, in particular, questions of intertextuality. Divergent performer-based approaches are needed because the musical aesthetics of this repertoire crucially deviates from German and earlier French traditions, and in musicological contexts, their intellectually challenging aesthetic purposes are somewhat misunderstood. My research aims are condensed into a single question: “What are the main characteristics of the pianist’s way of perceiving music in the context of French neoclassical piano music and its intertextuality.” This question formulates a thought experiment in which the aim is to observe the inherently analytical properties of piano playing, which I have named “the pianist’s perception,” based on Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s theories in Phenomenology of Perception (1945/2014).


pianist; perception; intertextuality; phenomenology; method

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