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Title: Preparation, rehearsal, performance and reflection : a conductor's autoethnographical study of the process of interpretation
Author: Williams, Bede
ISNI:       0000 0004 7234 3352
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 2018
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In this study the author investigates his interpretive practice as a conductor, revealing how interpretive operations occur not as discrete and isolated activities, but rather an intertwined cyclic process. The study was based on an experiment of the author conducting five scores on two different occasions separated in time by between one day and several months. The study design included extensive content analysis of over 30 hours of video in which more than 12,000 codes were applied and collated. The study design also included traditional texted research, autoethnographic writing (a 25,000-word practice journal), semi-structured interviews, the use of Sonic Visualiser, and the documentation of a range of score study methods which the author describes as ‘listening in silence'. Although there are numerous studies that compare different performances of the same piece, and consider the extent to which differences are intentional and/or creative, none has been undertaken by a conductor in the role of artist-researcher. The study develops what the author calls the ‘ethos of multiple interpretability', suggesting that a conductor can be ‘animated by' the belief that there is no single correct way to perform a work specified by a score.
Supervisor: Downes, Michael Sponsor: Hope Scott Trust ; University of St Andrews
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Conducting ; New music ; Interpretation ; Orchestral leadership ; Music as performance ; Artistic research