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October 26 Readings/Class Notes – History (tutorial)
Most people today do not have the experience of knowing what it is to transform
score into sound and the kind of resistance the work exhibits
–Not much improvisation or interpretation during live performances – often a
copy of the recording
–Western art music – a physical experience
–Listening to a record – we cannot know the physical difficulty of performing
–Western art music: Translating to score of someone else's idea into sound,
composition and realization. “Composition transcends imaginable
–In previous centuries, the only way to hear music was to go out and hear it,
or to perform it at your own home: very skilled population. The people
would appreciate it in a different way – buying an arrangement of it and
work through the piece themselves
–Everything that we do in performances are a choice whether we realize it or
Connection b/w score and a performance?
–Performer must know the score and bring it to life.
–Rosen prefers another argument: the work on paper – performance is
needed to have an aural experience of the piece. Idea that any Beethoven
sonata is more perfect as a work rather than a performance. Performance
draws few aspects of the full
–We can never know how the composer wanted it to be performed
What does Rosen believe is unique about art music?
nature of notation: we play the way we interpret it
rhythm is prescribed to a certain extent
How do we know how to interpret things in the score? eg. Rubato. We do. eg.
Chopin: we know the conventions of his style. Performance notes, treatises
What do we draw on? We are still in the tradition of Mozart and Chopin: the
tradition hasn't died yet. Things known about the score have been passed on.
Rosen: Weakness that we have to rely on notation
A lot harder to work with something when there is a right answer. In music, there
are more and less good answers; we interpret how we want with general rules.