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Why Classical Music Still Matters$
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Lawrence Kramer

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520250826

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520250826.001.0001

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Score and Performance, Performance and Film

Score and Performance, Performance and Film

Classical Music as Liberating Energy

(p.71) Chapter Three Score and Performance, Performance and Film
Why Classical Music Still Matters

Lawrence Kramer

University of California Press

This chapter deals with score and its performance. The performance of a score makes the fate of melody an event to be discovered and explored, not just to be observed. Performers know it, so do their listeners. Performance is not supposed to affect the identity of a composition. One can recognize a work of music whenever he encounters the notes as written in the score. One can hear it as something separate when it is transcribed, arranged, or adapted. It is heard as intact regardless of historical changes in instrument design, performance practice, sound recording, and the understanding of what fidelity to the score involves. The qualities of the work are supposed to be distinct from those of its performances. A particular performance may be boring, mediocre, exciting, revealing, transfiguring, and so on, but the music remains aloof.

Keywords:   score, performance, notes, composition, classical

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