The Soloist's Path to Optimal Musical Communication
Doctor of Musical Arts
This study focuses on the soloist's path to direct musical communication. Through a subjective questionnaire, thirty-eight flute soloists describe their experiences performing concertos (flute with orchestra) in the traditional concert hall setting. With an emphasis on clarifying the most meaningful musical moments in performance, and identifying the important strategies and procedures these artists use to optimize performances, this study additionally includes a brief discussion about collaboration (involving a specific performer/composer relationship), and a sample of a performer's self-observations while performing a movement of the Christopher Rouse Flute Concerto. This primary source study endeavors to supply useful information for the aspiring soloist and the advanced or professional level flutist, as well as preliminary data about artists' experiences of optimal performance and communication with an audience for the purpose of potentially contributing to future interdisciplinary research associated with music. Compared to research on listening, relatively few scientific studies examine the performance of music from the performer's perspective. By giving world-class performing musicians a voice - using their actual words to describe what they think and how they feel, especially during optimal performances - this author hopes that future neuroscientific and psychological researchers might, through new interdisciplinary experiments involving music performance, learn more about how music and the brain work. The growing potential in this type of interdisciplinary research may provide greater insight into the most profound benefits of music and its significant power and importance in all human cultures.
Communication and the arts; Soloists; Musical communication; Flute music; Music