Special events

Piano Playing in the Early 19th Century: Reconstructing a Practice of the Past.

A presentation by Christina Kobb


November 9, 2015, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Beethoven Center (King Library 580)

Free but seating is limited


"In countless studies on keyboard playing and performance practice in the 18th and 19th centuries, pedagogical treatises – together with instrument and manuscript studies – are the main premises for the research. In my doctoral work, I have developed a theory on how a practice of the past may actually be reconstructed, based on the information in the treatises as well as other documents. Finally, instrument knowledge and practical application comes to aid and makes a demonstration of the musical outcome possible.


The distinction between the English and the Viennese School of piano building  has long been recognized, along with the respective compositional styles. In this study, I argue that advice on piano technique falls under the same distinction: A comparison of keyboard treatises of the early nineteenth century, where the basic rules or principles of piano playing are found to convey differences according to geographic divides, supports this claim.


In my presentation, I will explain my work and demonstrate by way of music examples how  1.the Viennese vs the English technique can be defined, and 2. how Viennese technique differs from modern piano techniques."


This presentation is based on the doctoral work (PhD) by Christina Kobb, soon to be submitted to the Norwegian Academy of Music. More info: www.fortepiano.no