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Studying Recordings of Performances, Capturing the Musical Experience of the Analyst






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Studying Recordings of Performances, Capturing the Musical Experience of the Analyst


Donin, Nicolas (auteur)


Egham, UK , 2007



Performance analyses mostly convey not only data about the musicians under study, but also elements of another individual musical experience as well, that of the analyst: as a violinist, a singer or a pianist, he/she would have been able to finely inspect the performance considered thanks to his/her own instrumental skills; as a listener, he/she will have developed a very specific listening practice comprising the repeated listening of chosen extracts, close reading of the score, comparisons of different performances of a piece, etc. Once summarized in graphs and verbal assertions, the dynamics of that specific kind of musicological experience often remains hidden behind analytical facts. This would not be a problem if the reader of the analysis, then, was able to understand the facts by re-doing some of the decisive musical operations which gave birth to the analytical conclusions of the original analyst: for example, listening to the same sounds by reading the same duration graphs, having the same possibilities of varying visualization interfaces, etc. But, alas for scientific (or simply musical) contestation, one rarely can re-do what the analyst did. Nowadays promising tools are being developed for performance analysis, but in parallel some kind of applied phenomenology of the analyst's musical activity must be encouraged – not as a way to strengthen the narcissism of the musicologist, but as a methodological hygiene for the growing sub-discipline of performance analysis. As a first step towards this ambitious programme, these issues will be illustrated by a few examples drawn from recent work carried out by the Analysis of Musical Practices research group at IRCAM, in the fields of both performance studies and design of multimedia tools for music analysis.


Contribution au colloque ou congrès : Methods for Analysing Recordings


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2008-02-18 01:00:00

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