Research

About my research:

I have long believed that the most intense introduction possible to an unfamiliar European country, short of going to live there, is the study and enjoyment of its songs.
Graham Jonhson.

 

Spanish Vocal Music Idiosyncrasies. Developing an innovative cross-cultural method for singers.

The subject of my project emerged as a culmination of ideas, questions and experiences during my time at RNCM in Manchester in 2012 as an student of piano accompaniment, in addition to my work as a coach of Spanish songs for professional singers in London, Austria and Spain after finishing my Master ́s course.

The genesis of my Spanish song research began when I found at College some books and researches  about the marginal perception of Spain in Western Historiography. This background documentation contained many references relating to misunderstandings and misinformation of Hispanic cultural matters in English Literature, which suddenly led me to wonder that there may be an incomplete and partial perception of my country from the outside.

My project consists, as a starting point, of the study of the social, musical and historic reasons for the misunderstanding outside of Spain. However, the aim of my work does not mean a compilation of Spanish songs or a musicological study. Instead, my work has a clear artistic and performing objective of obtaining conclusions from researching practical methods of working with singers to establish good and regional typicity in Spanish song performance.

My thesis comes from the hypothesis that a contextual and paratextual understanding beyond the music score is required for the interpretation of Spanish vocal music. In addition, the understanding of the idioms and acoustic phonetics inside the different regions of Spain is also crucial.

The singer, who comes in contact with the music, should understand the life and internal history, and popular culture, from which the music was inspired, as well as the intellectual substrates of the original languages or the regions, from North or East Spain.

It is also crucial for this study to note that the flamenco spirit can only be taught inside the experiential perspective, due to the fact that Flamenco music is basically learnt through imitation. Experiencing the music by taking part is thus very important for my work, as well as exploring the theory and establishing practical guidelines.

The critical understanding through practice, and gathering information about principal phonologic obstacles in order to help singers to perform the songs within the style, accents and correct spirit of Spanish music, are fundamental to my investigation.

As a pianist for accompanying singers, I have already engaged deeply with this repertoire. I really desire to develop further and follow my insights in order to demonstrate that these resources will give foreign artists the capability to sing Spanish music inside the true traditions, in the same way they do with French music or other cultures.

At the same time, this research will help to extend the knowledge of unknown Spanish composers.

My final aim is to create a new line of research and description of this cultural wealth of the different regions’ peculiarities, in order to benefit more accurate, precise and authentic interpretations for the singer’s role and, additionally, to promote the interest of Spanish vocal repertoire at European institutions.

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