A Study of Otar Taktakishvili’s Piano Suite: The Influence of the Georgian National Instruments Salamuri, Chonguri, Panduri, Duduki, and Doli
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractGeorgian composer, teacher, conductor, and musicologist Otar Taktakishvili (1924–1989) played a leading role in the revival of Georgian art music in the second half of the 20th century. Despite his multiple duties and close relationship with the USSR regime, Taktakishvili consistently wrote music based on Georgian traditional folk music, hence imprinting and preserving the national Georgian identity through his compositions. These nationalistic influences appear prominently in several of his piano suites and are ubiquitous in the Piano Suite written in 1973. In the Piano Suite (1973), Taktakishvili adapts and recreates the sonorities, registers, coloristic effects through textural layering and articulations, rhythmic patterns and performance practices of selected Georgian folk instruments at the piano. He creates a unified suite by evoking the sound characteristics of his national instruments. The Piano Suite is unique and likely the only suite in the piano literature based on the imitation of a group of folk instruments, and as such deserves a place in the scholarly literature on world piano music. An analysis of the pianistic resources used by Taktakishvili to imitate the unique musical qualities and performance practices of five popular Georgian folk instruments reveals a reliance on repetitive rhythmic figures, textural layering, imaginative articulation, and deft use of the registers of the piano. The composer also distinctively implements characteristic modes and harmonic language to evoke the flavor of Georgian folk music.
Degree ProgramGraduate College