Deciphering and Embodying Contemporary Piano Scores: A Commentary on Huisman, Gingras, Dhondt, and Leman (2017)

Jennifer MacRitchie


Rehearsing a new contemporary notated piano score often requires the performer to dedicate a large amount of time to translating the notation: tasks may include interpreting new symbols, or old symbols in new contexts, learning new extended techniques, and learning the link between symbol and physical gesture. Huisman et al's article details an experiment that studies the use of various types of music editions and their effect on the practice and performance of contemporary piano music scores. This commentary considers the following issues when discussing the interpretation of unfamiliar piano scores: 1) issues in reading notation that arise from performance practice challenges, 2) cultivating an interpretive platform, and 3) embodiment in the rehearsal of a new, contemporary score.


notation; embodiment; rehearsal; contemporary performance practice

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ISSN: 1559-5749