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MU1710 Nov 28

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Western University
Music 1710F/G
Cameron Johnston

November 28 Readings/Class Notes – History Recovering the Sound of the Past Authenticity: what might “authenticity” mean when we talk about performing music of the past? Richard Taruskin on today's concept of “authenticity” “The word needs either to be rescued from its current purveyors or to be dropped by those who would aspire to the values it properly signifies.” – the attempt by many to recreate performances of the past as close as possible to the original “Authenticity”? Some definitions from Merriam-Webster: a. “worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact.” b. “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.” How do we know what music of the past sounded like? - Letters, notes, old recordings, reviews, treatises, performance conventions passed on. However, time creates distance between now and the past eg. Interpretation, language barriers What might “authenticity” in performance mean? eg. Being authentic to the audience, composer, instrument – can be in conflict eg. Being authentic to composer conflicts with being true to performers, such as Beethoven's extremely fast tempo markings in some works. Should we slow down the tempo to be sensitive to the performers? - Should we recreate the imperfections of the performance? eg. Better musicians now than many years ago. Was Mahler’s re-orchestration of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony a crime against authenticity? Mahler’s Re-orchest
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