عنوان مقاله [English]
Graduate students' theses have always been a valuable reference source for studies conducted in scientific and academic circles. The current study reviews the topics under study in 126 graduate theses of students studying performance of western classical music instruments in two state-run universities in Iran, namely the Faculty of Music at University of Art; and the Department of Music, Faculty of Fine Arts at University of Tehran in a time span of ten years covering the 2009-2019 period. This study aims to analyze the following topics: 1-The classification of thesis titles and subjects, 2- Topics from the most popular topics to those that were the least addressed, 3-Types of research methods adopted, and 4- Most frequently-used key words.
Amongst the chief goals of the current study was a thematic study of areas addressed in the theses in order to evaluate the research findings therein and pave the way for further studies. Although this study is new in the field of music theses, similar studies with the focus on topics and methodologies in academic theses in other majors, often included fields of humanities, art research and various technical and engineering fields have formerly been carried out in Iran's universities. The methodology employed in this paper is a library based study to collect information through a descriptive-analytical method and the theses under study were ultimately grouped under five major categories: Music Performance, Music Education, Musical Instruments (performance and technical skills), Musicology, and others. In addition to the thematic analysis of the theses, the abstracts and key-words of the theses were also studied.
The study showed that the majority of the theses under study were those which conducted a formal or harmonic analysis of repertoire pieces in the practical part of the graduation project of the student in question, second to this, came theses which addressed Musical Instruments Training, Music Interpretations and Performance.
It is noteworthy that the majority of the theses which dealt with Music Analysis were those completed prior to the year 2011, which reflects a change in the outlook of universities to music research. It is also interesting to note that the topics pertaining to Music Education, Pedagogy, Practical Tips on Practicing pieces, became more prevalent in the more recent theses. Conversely, few theses tackled issues such as Stage Anxiety, Practice harms and physical injuries related to playing an instrument, Performance Planning and Preparations, or Historical Studies in Music or in the development of a certain musical instrument, etc. Taking into consideration the importance of such less-addressed topics in the field of performance, it would be advisable to carry out more studies and research in such fields.
The most frequently-used key-words in the theses under study were: Performance, Sonata, Technique, Education, Johann Sebastian Bach, Concerto, Piano, Baroque, Violin, and Pedal. There have been instances of key-words which appeared only once in the theses, words such as Anxiety (Stage fright), Physical Practice Harms, Breathing, Intonation (sound production). The methodology adopted in the theses according to frequency from most to least employed come into the following order: descriptive, descriptive analytical, experimental.