Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Keyboard Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Santiago Rodriguez

Second Committee Member

Dorothy E. Hindman

Third Committee Member

Robert Carnochan

Fourth Committee Member

Shannon K. de l'Etoile

Fifth Committee Member

Juan Chattah


The benefits of analysis for performance have been well discussed in music literature. Less attention has been paid, however, to the application of analysis to performance in an ensemble setting. Such is the case with the collaborative pianist, whose career is built upon performing in ensembles large and small. Over a long history, this keyboard artist – in one of several guises: continuo player, accompanist, collaborative pianist – has been a central fixture in the Western music tradition. Yet the literature showing how music analysis can benefit the collaborative pianist in the learning, rehearsing, and performance stages remains relatively scarce. More common are general instructions or guidelines on how to accompany or descriptions of what is basically required of a collaborative pianist. When analysis is mentioned in this literature, it typically refers to a relatively elementary level of comprehension in an individual music study context. To address this lack, this paper provides rationales and suggestions for integrating analysis with the collaborative pianist’s learning, rehearsing, and ensemble performing experience. Both general and specific questions are posed dealing with phrase, melody, harmony, rhythm/tempo, timbre/clarity of register, and musical structure. The intent is to stimulate analytical thinking with a performance and ensemble-oriented focus to further develop the collaborative pianist’s understanding of the piece of music at hand. As a contextual framework, the paper also briefly surveys the historical development of the collaborative pianist as well as current existing literature that discusses the components of a successful collaborative approach that includes the integration of analysis.


collaborative piano; piano; accompanying; analysis; chamber; keyboard