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The educational theory of Dmitri Kabalevsky in relation to his piano music for children

This study investigates the educational theories and beliefs of the Russian composer and educator Dmitri Borisovich Kabalevsky as they relate to his piano music for children. / A biographical sketch of the composer’s public life was developed incorporating the significant events in his life as they relate to the compositions, and in particular, his work with children. The primary sources for this study are the composer’s own writings - some of which were specially translated from Russian into English for the purpose of this study. / Kabalevsky offered an alternative philosophy to that of many Western educators and musicians. His educational and musical views are discussed in the context of the overriding political philosophy to which he adhered throughout his life. The clearest expression of his educational views is seen in his book A Story of Three Whales and Many Other Things and the recorded talks with children entitled What Music Says, both of which were translated from the Russian for this study. / An overview of Kabalevsky’s music was developed, with particular reference to his music for children. Kabalevsky’s piano music for children is discussed in the larger context of his output for the instrument. Particular emphasis is placed on the use he made of the song, the dance and the march - the three major genres that are the basis of the small character pieces which constitute the majority of his works for children. / Five sets of music, from the twelve-volume collection entitled Piano Music for Children and Young People, have been selected for investigation in this study. The sets are In the Pioneer Camp Op. 3/86 (127/1968), From Pioneer Life Op. 14 (1931/1968), Thirty Children’s Pieces Op. 27 (1937-38), Twenty-Four Easy Pieces Op. 39 (1943) and Thirty-Five Easy Pieces Op. 89 (1972). / A descriptive analysis of each of the 100 pieces (under set criteria) was carried out, highlighting the major focus of the piece as well as the important pedagogical elements. An important aspect of this study was the identification and classification of the piano pieces in terms of the genre or style of the song, the dance or the march; only some were identified as such by the composer. The classification of pieces provided an important link between Kabalesky’s educational philosophy and his piano music for children.
Date January 1996
CreatorsForrest, David Lawrence
Source SetsAustraliasian Digital Theses Program
Detected LanguageEnglish
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