Abstract in English


György Kurtág: Játékok and the new opportunities to approach teaching piano

The aim of the artistic PhD-project is to describe piano pedagogical possibilities of the collection of piano music, called Játékok by György Kurtág.

Játékok (plays and games) is collection of short piano works, composed for pianists of all ages. In this collection Kurtág combines teaching the basic technique of playing the piano and developing musical expression. He’s way to approach piano playing is using the whole body from the very beginning. This way of using body is very natural for the children and they can use all the movements they have already learned through plays and games.

Kurtág began writing a set of very short pieces which were inspired by the spontaneous nature of children at play. In Játékok he tries to recapture something of this spirit.  He started with a few ideas and now there are eight volumes of music for piano, two and four hands and some pieces for two pianos. He is using different kinds of piano techniques including all the traditional elements of piano playing and also some modern techniques. Those are all kinds of different clusters and glissandos. He combines physical movement and expression in a very beautiful way.

In my project I try to figure out the pedagogical point of view in all its richness. I open the personal notation system used by Kurtág. I also show the way of playing different kind of clusters and glissandos, and bring out some exercises to help to learn them. One can find those exercises as a way to learn how to improvise. I talk about this holistic way to learn music and piano by doing.

Junttu is performing pianist, piano teacher and she is also giving workshops about Játékok. She has studied many years with Márta and György Kurtág and Valéria Szerwansky. György Kurtág has been as an authority with this Játékok project.

Keywords: game, play, Kurtág, Játékok, piano pedagogic, cluster, body

Kristiina Junttu

Sibelius-Academy, DocMus- Department of Doctoral Studies in Musical Performance and Research, Helsinki, Finland, professor Marcus Castrén as the supervisor