Performers, Composers, Scores and Editions: Commentary on Huisman, Gingras, Dhondt, and Leman (2017)

Dorottya Fabian


Reflecting on a study that examines the impact of various editions on the speed of learning and performance errors, this short paper notes the crudeness of western music notation and how musicians cope with deciphering the composer's musical intentions. Drawing on parallels with practitioners who specialize in historically informed performance and tend to favor playing from manuscripts and facsimiles, I argue that although performing editions are useful, proper education regarding the meaning of notation practices and compositional styles might better serve musicians. This enables each generation to construct its own understanding of the music, and of the contradictory and insufficiently specified demands of the score.


editions; score reading; historical performance practice; music notation

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