An empirical research on the interaction between analysts and performers:

Analyzing and playing Chopin’s Nocturne op. 27, no. 1

Luca Marconi (speaker), “Luisa D’Annunzio” Conservatory, Pescara (Italy)
Stefano Malferrari, piano, “Giovanni Battista Martini” Conservatory, Bologna (Italy)

Session introduction
This session will present research conducted by Luca Marconi and Stefano Malferrari. The project, which began in 2016 and was completed in March 2017, was conceived by GATM, the Italian society of analysis and music theory, with the participation of RAMI (an Italian association for music and artistic research), with the aim of investigating the possible interactions between an expert in music theory and analysis and a professional performer.

The research design consisted of asking a music analyst and a performer (or a group of performers) to apply the following procedures:

1. The formation of pairs of analysts and performers (in every pair the performers could be more than one). Each pair chose a musical piece on which participants decided to work.

2. The collection of surrounding conditions: the participants were requested to fill in an initial questionnaire aimed at collecting their experiences, competences, and availability to exchange information.

3. The collection of the first products: the theorist conducted an analysis of the chosen piece and the performer made a recording of its performance. Each member of the pair worked independently from the other member, without any communication between them. However, they communicated their results to the organizers of the research.

4. Discussion: the two members contacted each other and compared their “readings” of the text, in order to improve, if possible, their performance and/or their analysis. They recorded their discussions and made a written synthesis of them, which was then given to the organizers.

5. After the comparisons, the members of the pair decided on a new, final version of the analysis and of the performance. Their results were given to the organizers.

6. Analysis of the data: a group of experts, chosen by the organizers, received the documents of the groups; the performances, the analyses, and the documents of their discussions were analysed with the aim of obtaining a global and final result of the various aspects of the research.

The results of this research have been showed for the first time by a team of five musicologists (Mario Baroni, Anna Maria Bordin, Antonio Grande, Luca Marconi and Egidio Pozzi) during the Ninth European Music Analysis Conference, held between 28 June and 1 July 2017 in Strasbourg.