Ontmusic9. What is a musical performance?
“There are in general two modes or phases of performative interpretation, which we may characterize roughly as follows. The first involves deciding what the score ideally is—what work was actually written, where there are problems with deciphering the manuscript, or what work was really intended by the composer, when there is reason to doubt whether the score as we have it accurately represents those intentions. The second mode or phase consists in deciding to play a score, taken as unequivocal or uncontroverted, in a particular way, in effect electing particular values of its defining, though never absolutely specific, parameters of tempo, rhythm, dynamics, accent, and phrasing.” (bold not author's)
“These performances are carried out by persons who have learned how to nternet the code of the score as a set of instructions for action, and who have executed this set of instructions successfully.
- Jerrold Levinson, The Pleasures of Aesthetics: Philosophical Essays, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996, p. 60.
- Richard Cochrane, “Playing by the Rules: A Pragmatic Characterization of Musical Performances,” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, vol. 58, no. 2, 2000, pp. 135–142. www.jstor.org/stable/432092.