University of Tasmania
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An investigation of the application and performance execution of the aksak in the solo piano music of Bela Bartók, György Ligeti, Lubomir Pipkov, Vassil Kazandjiev, Ahmed Adnan Saygun and Ilhan Baran

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posted on 2023-05-28, 11:59 authored by Yildiz, GN
The term aksak refers to a specific type of asymmetrical metre that is widespread in the folk music traditions of the Balkan countries and Turkey. The present study examines the translation of the aksak from folklore into classical piano repertoire, focusing on solo piano works by the following six composers from Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey: Bela Bartók, György Ligeti, Lubomir Pipkov, Vassil Kazandjiev, Ahmed Adnan Saygun and Ilhan Baran. Outlining the individual approaches each composer has taken to incorporate aksak in their solo piano music, this research enlightens performance aspects of the selected repertoire. It aims to demonstrate the influence of these particular types of asymmetrical metres on the pianist's internal awareness of the bar structure. This performance-based research project contains two complementary components: a folio of performances and a written exegesis. The folio consists of three solo recitals, in which piano works featuring aksak are juxtaposed with diverse piano repertoire, and a recording project that involves only compositions on aksak. The exegesis provides contextual background around the selected composers and their creative work with aksak. It presents the outcomes of an individually developed informed performance practice of the selected solo piano works featuring aksak. Through the process of preparing and rehearsing these works, the different approaches to the asymmetrical metres have been examined in relation to key musical elements such as tempo and tempo alterations, rhythm, texture and articulation. In alignment with the methodology applied, the primary outcomes of this research address musicological matters through a comparative analysis of composers' individual approaches to the aksak in piano music, and performance issues relating to the pianist's perception of the bar structure when performing these works. The project contributes to the existing research on performance of the aksak applied to other musical styles and represents inaugural research into the classical repertoire. It is hoped that it will inspire further investigation of this topic in the piano music of different composers and in genres beyond the solo piano repertoire.


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  • Unpublished

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Copyright 2019 the author Aka Gergana Manoilova. The music files are unavailable for copyright reasons.

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  • Open

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