Performing by the Book?

Musical Negotiations between Text and Act

Edited by Bruno Forment

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Edited volume - paperback

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The challenges and limits for musicians dealing with texts.

To perform a musical score implies the transformation of a symbolically coded text into vibrant sound. In Performing by the Book? a carefully selected cadre of artist-researchers dissects this delicate act in critical ways. Offering first-hand insights into the notational, structural and interpretative challenges faced by musicians in dealing with texts of all kinds, the chapters traverse the spectrum between the Middle Ages and the age of Stockhausen. In a harmonious blend of scholarly allure and individual artistry, free from academic obfuscation, the contributors keep a keen eye on the limits of interpretation, both in terms of the interpretative process itself and of the balance between textual faithfulness and artistic autonomy. This comprehensive volume is an indispensable guide for everyone interested in the relationship between musical performance and texts.

Contributing authors: Niels Berentsen (Haute école de musique de Genève-Neuchâtel (HES-SO) / conductor of Diskantores), Björn Schmelzer (artistic director of Graindelavoix / independent researcher), Jonathan Ayerst (freelance organist and improviser), Elizabeth Dobbin (Le Jardin Secret / Haute école de musique de Genève (HES-SO)), Camilla Köhnken (freelance pianist-researcher / Bern Academy of the Arts), George Kennaway (cellist, conductor, teacher, publisher and musicologist / University of Leeds), Kate Bennett Wadsworth (cellist / Guildhall School of Music and Drama), Nir Cohen-Shalit (conductor and independent researcher), Xiangning Lin (pianist / Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore), Clare Lesser (independent performer, musicologist and composer).

Ebook available in Open Access. This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

Format: Edited volume - paperback

Size: 285 × 195 mm

240 pages

ISBN: 9789462704145

Publication: May 30, 2024

Series: Orpheus Institute Series

Languages: English

Bruno Forment is the principal investigator of the ‘Resounding Libraries’ research cluster at Orpheus Instituut and the Leader of the ‘Performances’ Working Group in the European COST Action EarlyMuse.

Bruno Forment has assembled a wonderful group of artistic researchers (of the highest calibre) working in a wide range of musical styles and periods; there is something here for everyone. - Neal Peres Da Costa, Sydney Conservatorium of Music


“Performers involved with HIP will find this collection of essays invaluable. Musicologists will also find much to ponder, and the relatively straightforward written style of almost all the contributions will appeal to a wide readership of concertgoers, especially those with an interest in historical performance.” - John Potter, singer and author