Variations in timing and dynamics play an essential role in music performance. This is easily shown by having a computer perform a classical piece exactly as written in the score. The result is dull and will probably not affect us in any positive manner, although there may be plenty of potentially beautiful passages in the score. A musician can, by changing the performance of a piece, totally change its emotional character, for example, from sad to happy. How is this possible, and what are the basic techniques used to accomplish such a change? The key is how the musical structure is communicated. Therefore, a good understanding of structure — whether theoretic or intuitive — is a prerequisite for a convincing musical performance. This chapter surveys the basic principles and techniques that musicians use to convey and project music structure, focusing on auditory communication.
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