Callaway Centre Research Seminar

Event details


  • Online via ZOOM

Date and time

  • Tuesday 31 March 2020 | 5pm

Event type

  • On Campus


  • Community
  • Anyone who likes music
  • Researchers

Event Fee

  • Free


  • No bookings required
Join via ZOOM

Callaway Centre Research Seminar Series

The Conservatorium of Music is a vibrant centre for research in music and music education, where a thriving community of scholars is engaged in exploring the frontiers of knowledge, working on a wide range of research projects with diverse outputs.

Our free weekly seminar series showcases presenters from within UWA and from the wider community.

Megan Barbetti

Reviving the Ghost: A Method for Baroque Improvisation Modelled Through Telemann’s Twelve Fantasias for Flute Without Bass (1727–28)

Improvisation was a standard part of performance practice in the eighteenth century, and could range anywhere on a spectrum from simply adding ornamentation to a notated melody, to the creation of complete pieces. Preludes and fantasias constitute the more complex end of this spectrum of improvisatory practice—brief, improvised introductions to notated pieces, and freely improvised pieces of their own merit, respectively. Unfortunately, as fully notated music became more prevalent throughout the nineteenth century, the fluid relationship between composition and performance became fixed, and the two subjects are now regarded as two distinct areas of musicianship—meaning that in Western art music today, the skill is no longer taught as it once was, and improvisatory practice, particularly to the extent displayed in preludes and fantasias, is unfamiliar and uncomfortable for a majority of performers.

In this paper, I find a way to revive the art of eighteenth-century improvisation in the current performance context. I examine seventeenth- and eighteenth-century treatises and contemporary reviews of performance to rediscover the role and conventions of improvisation in their original performance contexts, and use them to propose a method for modern performers to begin improvising. I then use one of Telemann’s Twelve Fantasias for Flute without Bass (1727–28)—a set of notated fantasias that include improvisatory-sounding passages—as a model to demonstrate and further explore this process, referring to my own experiences of improvising to test the proposed method. 

Shaun Fraser

The Popularity Contest: A Brief History of Conducting

A conductor standing upon the podium in front of an orchestra is one of the most identifiable images in classical music – but what precisely is it that they are doing? Ask any professional conductor what their essential role and responsibilities are to a performance and it will result in a myriad conflicting response. Ask the musicians themselves and an even greater disparity of opinion is uncovered. Once required only to offer a steady tempo, now a conductor rather than contributing to a performance, dominates it.

Free entry - join via Zoom (Meeting ID: 312 470 079) or click HERE

Contact details: [email protected]