Welcome to Francis Academic Press

Frontiers in Art Research, 2024, 6(6); doi: 10.25236/FAR.2024.060602.

Interpreting and Performing Musical Gestures in Schubert’s Impromptu No.1 in F-minor Op. 142, D. 935


Chen Ruiyang

Corresponding Author:
Chen Ruiyang

Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Tanjong Malim, Perak, 35900, Malaysia


This paper focus on the relationship between interpreting and performing musical gestures in the selected impromptus for solo piano by Franz Schubert. Although Hatten (2004) has developed a comprehensive framework for the analysis of musical gestures, the focus is mainly on the musical works from the eighteenth century until the early nineteenth century, in particular by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Franz Schubert. Therefore, this paper aims to extend Hatten’s theory beyond the early nineteenth century in examining the different musical gestures in the selected impromptus by Schubert. By associating with gestural analysis and performance considerations, it provides a guideline for pianists to develop their own interpretation. The expected outcomes would be Schubert’s impromptus consisting of dialogical and rhetorical gestures.


Musical gestures; Hatten’s theory; Franz Schubert’s Impromptu

Cite This Paper

Chen Ruiyang. Interpreting and Performing Musical Gestures in Schubert’s Impromptu No.1 in F-minor Op. 142, D. 935. Frontiers in Art Research (2024) Vol. 6, Issue 6: 12-21. https://doi.org/10.25236/FAR.2024.060602.


[1] Beard, D., & Gloag, K. (2016). Musicology: the key concepts. Routledge.

[2] Cook, N. (2013). Beyond the score: Music as performance. Oxford University Press.

[3] Cook, N. (Ed.). (2009). The Cambridge companion to recorded music. Cambridge University Press.

[4] Davies, J. (2019). Interpreting the expressive worlds of Schubert's late instrumental works. [Doctoral dissertation]. St Hugh’s College University of Oxford.

[5] Fisk, C. (2001). Returning cycles: Contexts for the interpretation of Schubert's impromptus and last sonatas. University of California Press.

[6] Godlovitch, S. (1998). Musical performance: A philosophical study. Psychology Press.

[7] Gritten, A., & King, E. (Eds.). (2006). Music and gesture. Ashgate. 

[8] Ham, I. (2005). Franz Schubert's impromptus D. 899 and D. 935: An historical and stylistic study. [Doctoral dissertation].University of Cincinnati.

[9] Hatten, R. S. (1994). Musical meaning in Beethoven: Markedness, correlation, and interpretation. Indiana University Press.

[10] Hatten, R. S. (2004). Interpreting musical gestures, topics, and tropes: Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert. Indiana University Press.

[11] Hatten, R. S. (2006). A theory of musical gesture and its application to Beethoven and Schubert. In A. Gritten & E. King (Eds.), Music and gesture (pp. 1-23). Ashgate.

[12] Hood, A. (2014). Interpreting Chopin: analysis and performance. Routledge.

[13] Kim, D. (2019). A performer's study of the Impromptus, Op. 142 of Franz Schubert and the Impromptus, Op. 66 of Nikolai Kapustin [Doctoral dissertation]. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

[14] Krausz, M. (1993). The interpretation of music: Philosophical essays. Oxford University Press

[15] Montgomery, D. (2003). Franz Schubert's music in performance: Compositional ideals, notational intent, historical realities, pedagogical foundations. Pendragon Press.

[16] O’Dea, J. (2000). Virtue or virtuosity? explorations in the ethics of musical performance. Bloomsbury Publishing USA.

[17] Rink, J. (2015). The (f)utility of performance analysis. In M. Doğantan-Dack (Eds.), Artistic practice as research in music (pp.127-147). Ashgate.

[18] Schmalfeldt, J. (2011). In the process of becoming: Analytic and Philosophical perspectives on form in Early Nineteenth-Century Music. Oxford University Press.

[19] Taruskin, R. (2005). The Oxford history of western music: Music in the nineteenth century. Oxford University Press.

[20] Walls, P. (2002). Historical performance and the modern performer. In J. Rink (Eds.), Musical performance: A guide to understanding (pp.17-34). Cambridge University Press.

[21] Whittall, A. (1991). Analysis as performance. Atti del xIV congress della societa internazional di musicological, 1, 654-660.