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Music and the MindEssays in honour of John Sloboda$
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Irène Deliège and Jane Davidson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199581566

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199581566.001.0001

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Off the record: performance, history, and musical logic

Off the record: performance, history, and musical logic

(p.291) Chapter 14 Off the record: performance, history, and musical logic
Music and the Mind

Nicholas Cook

Oxford University Press

Empirical approaches to the study of recorded performance, originally developed by psychologists and subsequently adopted by music theorists, are opening up new areas of historical study. Both psychology and music theory, however, are oriented towards general principles rather than historical contingencies; an example is Schenkerian performance pedagogy, which applies insights drawn from the work of Heinrich Schenker (1868-1935) to present-day performance. But today’s performance style is quite different from that with which Schenker was familiar. Comparison of Schenker’s 1925 article on Schubert’s Impromptu Op. 90 No. 3 (which includes prescriptions for performance as well as a structural analysis) with a 1905 piano roll by Eugen d’Albert, a pianist Schenker particularly admired, suggests a ‘rhetorical’ approach fundamentally opposed to the structurally oriented approaches advocated by Schenkerian pedagogy today. It also evidences a striking disconnect between the modernist theoretical approach set out in Schenker’s 1925 article and his decidedly pre-modern sense of how music should go in performance.

Keywords:   musical style, music theory, musical performance, performance analysis

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