Music for player piano : a study of seventeen selected examples
From virtually the beginning of the twentieth century, musicians were sufficiently intrigued by the possibilities of the player piano to compose and specially arrange music for it. The aesthetic of 'automatic music' reaches back at least as far as JS Bach and forward to Conlon Nancarrow and Georgy Ligeti, as well as in developments in electronic popular and art music. This thesis makes a case study of seventeen compositions, arrangements and fragments from the period of the instrument's greatest commercial success, 1900-1927, including music by Bax, Busoni, Casella, Hans Haass, Hindemith and Stravinsky, and seeks to relate them to the broader range both of player piano compositions and music for other automatic musical instruments, as well as the stylistic developments of the time. A number of items are in score for the first time, and an attempt at a complete listing of the repertory for player piano is included.