Clara Wieck-Schumann's Op. 7: Writing Begins

This week marks the start of the writing period of my research, which has so far seen a large amount of work go into finding scores from across the world.

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This week has been a very intellectually stimulating one; I have discovered topic theory, had  a major breakthrough, and written several thousand words on my research. Topic theory itself has proved very useful to understanding this new genre of piano concerti I am discovering, and is allowing me to have further insight into how I might use it as part of my article. I'm really enjoying reading about new theories and how they might help me and it has lead to some really stimulating conversations with my supervisor.

The major breakthrough I had was through a connection with an acquaintance from the Clara Schumann Bicentenary Conference in Oxford in June 2019; with the help of Hannah Roberts from Birmingham's Royal Conservatoire I have managed to piece together Clara Wieck-Schumann's performing repertoire from 1828-1838. This allows me to make more concrete connections between the Op. 7 and other piano concerti at the time, creating a more integrated historical network. I've spent much of my time this week creating a table that illustrates these findings which makes writing the next section of my research much more manageable as I can describe the table and use it to connect all the separate influences on the work into one network.

I'm pleased to say I've written the first draft of my introduction and outlined the next two sections so that should hopefully be a section per week. I'm really looking forward to seeing what my supervisor thinks of my work and writing more.

Benjamin Alexander Southwick (he/they)

Student, Durham University

I'm an undergraduate student at Durham University, UK reading Music at Stephenson College. I have a research interest in those who are underrepresented in music, mainly focussing on women and LGBTQ+ people. I am currently working on decolonising the music curriculum at Durham University alongside my undergraduate degree.