Serendipity Poetry and Play in Toy Piano composition and Four Pieces for Toy Piano

Brian Inglis


In this paper I draw on literature by Xenia Pestova, Antonietta Loffredo and Maggie Williams/Margaret Leng Tan, and primary research in the form of an interview with Kate Ryder (transcribed as an Appendix) exploring aspects of toy piano performance/composition and focussing on my Four Pieces for Toy Piano (2018). These pieces were commissioned by Ryder and premiered by her in London in 2018, and subsequently published and recorded. I identify themes which emerge in, and out from, this and other professional repertoire for toy piano relating to composition and performance practice: material/materiality; sonic character, notation, collaboration and communication. I provide a poietic account of some of the processes involved in the pieces’ composition and realisation in performance.


Toy piano; Composition; Play; Found objects; Serendipity

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