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Breaking the sound barriers : extended techniques and new timbres for the developing violist Kwok, Sarah Wei-Yan

Abstract

There was a drastic shift in the aesthetics of music from the twentieth century, and this placed new performance demands on musicians. These technical and expressive demands often include extended techniques, which are methods for producing novel timbres. This study undertakes an examination of these extended techniques on the viola. It is necessary for the modern violist to be familiar with extended techniques, but they are not part of standard training on the instrument, as the majority of the standard etudes come from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and do not address modern technical challenges. Because contemporary pedagogical literature is scarce for the viola and few etudes address extended techniques, six etudes have been commissioned as a practical application for this project. These etudes help to introduce and refine facility with extended techniques for students at an intermediate level. Extended techniques are often learned when a student is advanced, but they can and should be taught to younger students. The techniques are sometimes thought of as being unusual or challenging, but they are based on fundamental techniques and can contribute to and improve overall technical and musical abilities. This project begins with an introduction and a literature review, followed by the third chapter which provides a context for extended techniques with a brief history of the instrument and its pedagogy. The fourth chapter explores various extended techniques, the fifth chapter discusses the commissioned etudes, and the conclusion reiterates the importance of learning extended techniques.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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