AW: The Bach Choral Dilemma (Daniel Wolf )

Subject: AW: The Bach Choral Dilemma
From:    Daniel Wolf  <djwolf1(at)AXELERO.HU>
Date:    Thu, 30 Jan 2003 12:53:04 +0100

Mr. Toth: The role of sheet music has traditionally been that of conveying authoritative performance instructors to contemporary performers. As such, it as complete as the contemporary performance practice demands. Baroque notation may appear almost empty of instructions to performers specializing in late romantic repertoire, while Jazz notation seems equally empty to classical musicians who are not familiar with the notational conventions associated with the style. A documentary or conservation function of music notation is a relatively recent notion, associated with both the rise of historical musicology, with modern intellectual property law, and with a contemporary musical repertoire not based upon a stable set of performing conventions. There is an observation, known as "Winslow's Law" (after Richard K. Winslow, long-time Professor of Music at Wesleyan University), that holds that "if you wish a composition to be repeated as precisely as possible, communicate it in aurally; but if you wish for it to change over time, write it down." Daniel Wolf Budapest -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht----- Von: AUDITORY Research in Auditory Perception [mailto:AUDITORY(at)LISTS.MCGILL.CA]Im Auftrag von Tóth László Gesendet: Donnerstag, 30. Januar 2003 09:46 An: AUDITORY(at)LISTS.MCGILL.CA Betreff: Re: The Bach Choral Dilemma On Wed, 29 Jan 2003, Leon van Noorden wrote: > Why is the player not allowed to pause for each bass note? > Why do you believe in one god in the era of scientific polytheism? > I suppose the main goal of music sheets is to preserve music for the next generations (at least, surely this was before the invention of sound recording). If this is true, then the notation should be as unambiguous as possible. If the baroque notation allows for such huge differences in performance, then it's surely failed this this goal. Laszlo Toth Hungarian Academy of Sciences * Research Group on Artificial Intelligence * "Failure only begins e-mail: tothl(at) * when you stop trying" *

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