Is there a difference between structure and a structural element in a musical work or practice? How can one tackle such a question methodologically? Are these concepts part of an abstract construct or are they perceivable to the ear? And about whose ear would one be talking about? When does one speak about an idiomatic style (for the piano) and how much of this idea is materialized in music? Is such reflection useful to understand a musical practice? In this text, I propose a view of the piano playing the main role in the structure and as a structural element by describing compositional situations and giving a counterpoint on them. This paper is organized as follows: a short theoretical framework where the first questions are challenged, along with paradigmatic examples on how the piano has been used in the structure and as a structural element in western art music, mainly from the second half of the 20th century and nowadays, including short considerations on how and the rationale why I have used it in some of my music compositions.
- Contemporary music