Larry Sitsky’s Century: A response to selected twentieth-century notation, associated piano techniques, and performance possibility

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - ECU Access Only


Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Performing Arts)


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

First Supervisor

Geoffrey Lancaster

Second Supervisor

Victoria Rogers


In 2016, the Australian composer, virtuoso pianist, and pedagogue Larry Sitsky (b. 1934) completed a three-volume set of 155 graded pieces for pianists entitled Century. The work focuses on certain twentieth-century innovations with regard to notation and associated piano technique(s)—distinctive issues not commonly explored pedagogically. This study addresses specific notational and associated technical challenges in selected pieces from Century. The study also provides performative and pedagogical suggestions derived both from Sitsky himself and from the author. The following notational categories are explored: clusters, feathered notation, and non-pitched notation. This research provides pianists with tools that may enable an understanding of specific twentieth-century notation and of associated pianistic techniques. Furthermore, the study establishes Century as a valuable, although hitherto neglected, pedagogical resource.



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