The Practice of Practising
Edited by Catherine Laws
The process of practicing is intrinsic to musical creativity. Practicing may primarily be thought of as technical, but it is often also musically meaningful, including elements of interpretation, improvisation, and/or composition. The practice room can be a space in which to explore a field of creative possibilities, a place to experiment and to refine ideas.
To date, the literature on practice has been primarily pedagogical and psychological. Little attention is paid to the significance of practice, and especially to the role of embodied experience—of understanding gained through doing—in the forming of musical ideas. The Practice of Practising is primarily concerned with considering practicing as a practice in itself: a collection of processes that determines musical creativity and significance. The volume comprises four diverse case studies, in relation to music by J. S. Bach, Elliott Carter, Alfred Schnittke, and Morton Feldman, presenting both solo and ensemble perspectives.