What makes a performance persuasive? Many factors affect this question, including one’s view of music’s nature.
Belief in music’s capacity to carry meaning underpins the philosophy and practice of Artistic Research. The issue of persuasive performance therefore assumes additional dimensions when one considers the extent to which the performer’s contribution confers meaning over and above that already latent in a composition.
Starting from the premise that the concept of advocacy provides a useful frame for structuring the zone of permissible originality surrounding performance, the authors develop the matrix-based model presented here. The model underlines the multiplicity of forms — the ‘allotropes of advocacy’ — that a conscientious performer’s persuasiveness may take.
With reference to a cello master class with Pablo Casals, I argue that attentiveness is a key to the understanding of knowledge in musical and other practices. Qualified practitioners are thus seen to be attentive in their specific practices. This ‘attentiveness’ comprises a multitude of various kinds of attentiveness, which are expressed and developed in the practice, that is, in practising, in performing, and in developing the practice as a whole. Research practices may also be understood in terms of attentiveness. The various forms of attentiveness developed in artistic practices can thus be seen as specific and even unique ways of studying a practice.
This article focusses on aspects of a post-tonal composition underdetermined by the score: namely, attack, articulation, and timbre. Is it possible to find criteria that might help performers realise these parameters? How can these criteria be put into words? Criteria can be inferred by reflecting on the different musical results a performer can produce. Since language in itself is inadequate to capture their characteristics, an alternative is to describe the means, i.e. the bodily movements necessary to produce a given result, rather than the result itself.
Some of the best vocal ensembles in the world, among them the German ensemble Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, seem to attack intonation challenges in quite similar ways. The singers point out that learning how to shift between a horizontal and a vertical focus help them to establish some predictability/security (of tuning and pitch control) despite the lack of instrumental support. One strategy is to construct new tonalities within a harmonic system that is not dealing with tonality in its traditional sense, urged by the tendency to approach just intonation in the vertical modus.
How can practice studies be developed as an alternative to existing research in music? After shortly presenting three different approaches to practice research, the article proposes a different outline that emphasizes the quest for knowledge in practice. By analyzing acts and how these are inherently related, one can depict an ordering activity that distinguishes practical knowledge. The article further explains why practice can mean different things to different professionals, depending on their perspectives. Still, it argues for the necessity to distinguish practice from other topics, such as technique, skill, performance, and imprints of acts.
Around 1800, two imaginary characters defined as Master — representing Art — and his former student/Executor — representing Technique — entertain each other with a scholarly conversation about the emerging distance in keyboard music between Art and Technique, seen respectively as representing past times and of modernity. The appearance of the fortepiano on the keyboard scene gives the cue for a dialogue in the style of Galilei and Diruta about the evolution of instruments and hands, ultimately about the whole concept of physicality and mechanical efficiency as seen in keyboard treatises and methods up to 1800.
Several decades have passed since Malcolm Bilson first appeared on stage with the eager and communicative appearance that has come to excite audiences on all continents. Bilson has made a name for himself as one of the world’s leading performers of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century piano music, and seems to love teaching just as much as performing. In addition, he is as articulate verbally as he is in his playing. In this interview, he shares his experience and thoughts from a lifetime of music making.
What are the reasons for recording music, and how do we reason about of what is heard? Centring on the CD Manoscritto di Napoli 1725 by Bart Coen and Per Flauti, Inês d’Avena discusses these questions.
Taking as her starting point the recently completed L’Oiseau-Lyre edition of the Magnus Liber Organi, as well as a concert by the Huelgas Ensemble, Penelope Turner discusses performance choices in organum duplum.
The process of replicating the ‘first Steinway piano’ brings forth a number of interesting issues. One can indeed copy an instrument, but it is possible to replicate its sound? This question, and others, are discussed in the context of a review of the film Building a Legend by Bram Crols.
Through his observing of the lied project In Tränen unendlicher Lust, Yves Knockaert inspires us to rethinking performance settings for the classical lied. In addition to artistic matters, voice development, and prevention of voice problems were a part of the research project; led by co-author Wivine Decoster.