Percussion Theatre – Thesis Abstract

Supporting your Child’s Musical Progress
May 24, 2018
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Percussion Theatre – Thesis Abstract

 

Percussion theatre is a relatively new term with the aim to summarise a collection of music works for percussion, where the performer employs theatrical techniques.

A broad interpretation of percussion theatre may include the use of lighting, props, costume, space, and in some cases multimedia. In these settings, the percussionist is merely interacting with external components rather than engaging in a theatrical skill on top of the demands of percussion playing. This study, however, examines the genre of percussion theatre from the perspective of the performer, rather than a spectator or composer, focusing on how the skill set can be expanded to better suit the performance of the composition. Such skills at the focal point of this thesis are acting, vocalisation and gesture.

This paper draws on stylistic trends between European, American and Australian compositions of this genre, with the implementation of a written interview in a contemporary Australian classical music context. The technical demands of the performer are discussed, as well as the implications to be considered when writing for the above theatrical techniques. Factors leading to the success of compositions on the performing circuit are examined, in order to discover ways to promote the popularity and development of this genre.