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Composition - Performance - Reception: Studies in the Creative Process in Music

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Overview

Composers, performers, listeners, critics and theorists all play vital roles in the creation of our music culture; yet often each group can appear to hold widely divergent views of a work's aims and effects. As the title indicates, Composition - Performance - Reception examines the parts played by these participants in the creative process in music and explores the interaction between them. In the first of eleven essays, Robert Saxton discusses the difficulty in pin-pointing the moment of inspiration for a new composition. Raymond Warren then looks at the problems facing opera composers and performers, including the tensions that can exist when different disciplines come together in a singje production. The changing perception of the composer's art (in particular attitudes towards arrangement) is charted by Wyndham Thomas, in a wide-ranging survey from the Middle Ages to the present. Two quite different views of the performer's responsibility in communicating the composer's intentions are taken by Charles Roseii and Susan Bradshaw, the latter arguing for the need to bridge the gap between theoretical and practical analysis. In a fascinating case study, Eric Clarke and Jennifer Davidson highlight the ways in which attention to movements of the body in performance can reveal aspects of musical structure. The reception of music is tackled from a variety of perspectives in the booL In his assessment of audience (and performer) reaction to Jonathan Harvey's The Riot, Adrian Beaumont concludes that our response is influenced by a complex web of expectations and previous musical experience. Stephen Walsh and Adrian Thomas explore two milieux of critical reception -the first to the music of Stravinsky, and the second to works composed during the social-realist period in Poland -whereas Nicholas Cook evaluates the aesthetic significance of record sleeves and investigate their function as indicators of musical taste. On a more personal level, Bojan Bujic's essay forms a fitting counterpart to Saxton's in his search for appropriate terms of reference in describing the memory of a youthful musical experience. These absorbing essays offer new insights into our understanding of music making in all its senses, and suggest future ways of approaching works whether as a composer, performers or listener.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Explores the varied roles that composers, performers, listeners, critics, and theorists play in musical culture and the interactions between them. The 11 essays, developed from presentations to the 1994 Colston Symposium at the University of Bristol, range widely in the material they discuss, but special attention is given to a newly commissioned work by Jonathon Harvey, The Riot, which received its first performance as part of the proceedings. Other topics include the composer and opera performance; composing, arranging and editing from the middle ages to the present; the body in performance; and music in Poland in the decade after World War II. No subject index. Distributed by Ashgate. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859283257
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/1/1998
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.39 (w) x 9.47 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
List of examples and illustrations
Notes on contributors
Preface
Introduction
1 The Process of Composition from Detection to Confection 1
2 The Composer and Opera Performance 17
3 Composing, Arranging and Editing: A Historial Survey 35
4 A Performer's Responsibility 53
5 Freedom of Interpretation in Twentieth-century Music 66
6 The Body in Performance 74
7 Expectation and Interpretation in the Reception of New Music: A Case Study 93
8 The Domestic Gesamtkunstwerk, or Record Sleeves and Reception 105
9 Form and Forming: From Victorian Aesthetics to the Mid-twentieth-century Avant-garde 118
10 Stravinsky and the Vicious Circle: Some Remarks about the Composer and the Press 132
11 Mobilising our Man: Politics and Music in Poland during the Decade after the Second World War 145
Index of names and titles 169
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