Musical Performance


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Musical Performance

 

the execution of a work of music by any of several means; a type of artistic creation. A musical work existing in notation is actually embodied in sound only through a musical performance. Thus, the performer is the necessary intermediary between the composer and the listener.

Musical performances may be vocal, instrumental, or a combination of vocal and instrumental. Operatic art is included among the mixed types of performance. However, operatic soloists are actors as well as musicians, and decorative art also plays an important role in opera. Depending on the number of performers, musical performances are classified as solo (one performer) or group performances (several performers). A group performance may be given by either a chamber ensemble (for example, a trio or quartet), in which the musicians play parts of relatively equal importance, or a symphony orchestra or choir, usually under the direction of a conductor or choirmaster who executes a plan of performance with the participation of the other musicians.

Many of the suggestions for performance of a work (for example, tempo and dynamics) are relative, and within certain limits, they may be executed in different ways. Consequently, the goal of a musical performance is not simply an exact execution of the composition as written but the fullest possible realization of the composer’s intentions. Of great importance to the performer in attaining a deeper understanding of the content of a particular work is the study of the period in which the composer lived and of his aesthetic views. While each performer reveals the composer’s conception of a particular work, he also inevitably brings to the performance his own approach, which is conditioned by both his personal qualities and the prevailing aesthetic views of his time. Thus, every performance is also the performer’s commentary on the work—his interpretation. Under the influence of aesthetic views as well as the social milieu and ideology, a musical performance incorporates various styles that are analogous to the styles that condition the creative work of composers. Until recent times, past styles of performance could be studied only on the basis of the statements of contemporaries of the performers, as well as through their reflection in adaptations and transcriptions made by the performers themselves. The situation changed with the invention of sound recording at the turn of the 20th century, and today it is possible to compare the treatment of the same composition by various performers by listening to recordings of their performances.

REFERENCES

O muzykal’nom ispolnitel’stve: Sbornik statei. Moscow, 1954.
Voprosy muzykal’nogo ispolnitel’stva: Sbornik statei, issues 2–6. Moscow, 1958–70.
Kogan, G. U vrat masterstva. Moscow, 1958.
Dorian, F. The History of Music in Performance. New York, 1942.
Brelet, G. L’Interprétation créatrice, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1951.
Dart, T. The Interpretation of Music, 3rd ed. London, 1958.
Graziosi, G. L’interpretazione musicaie. Torino, 1967.
References in periodicals archive ?
All musical performances take place at The Nest outdoor venue and workshops are being held at Al Riwaq Art Space
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Is a slow tempo, flattened pitches and a minor key, for example, necessary or sufficient for its being the case that a musical performance is aesthetically sorrowful?
Within the musical performance is the kernel of the theoretical conviction that "the great big loudspeaker," a multi-sensory extravaganza, can be actualized performatively.
Their reaction to the musical performance was notable: they sat still and attentive "like never before," says the teacher.
Scientists who use imaging technology to study the brains of performing musicians now offer a likely reason for Ravel's particular lapses, as well as the first solid clues to the regions of the brain involved in musical performance.
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December 6: Musical performance by Alderon, 8pm-9pm.
Summary: Lebanese artist Laila Iskandar held a musical performance at the "Coral Beach" tent in Beirut, drawing a large number of fans
It was a bad day to be junk food at Valerio Street Elementary School recently as hundreds of students screamed, "Down with grease," during a musical performance about the importance of eating healthily.
Listening to music, live and recorded, is vital to keeping our musical ears open to the enormous range of possibilities for interpretations, colors and finesse in musical performance.
O'Neill, Susan, "Flow Theory and the Development of Musical Performance Skills," Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education 141.