[Smt-talk] Pieces with improvisatory openings

JAY RAHN jayrahn at rogers.com
Tue Oct 25 21:07:06 PDT 2011

Mitch Ohriner and Eliot Handelman refer to motor activity (tapping and conducting) with regard to metre. Can there be metrical perception without motor activity? E.g., can one hear (or even imagine) pairs of onsets as time-intervallically the same without an intervening motor response?

Jay Rahn, York University    

>From: Eliot Handelman <eliot at colba.net>
>To: smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org
>Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 2:25:24 PM
>Subject: Re: [Smt-talk] Pieces with improvisatory openings
>On 24/10/2011 4:43 PM, Mitch Ohriner wrote: 
>>Tapping or conducting along with a performance of the G-minor
      Ballade can be very difficult at the beginning and is usually much
      easier after m. 9.
>That depends on the performance, no? Or are you saying that the
    notated music implies a certain kind of performance,
>in which case, again, the question would be, what (notational)
    features imply such a performance, where the toe-tappers
>would be disappointed?
>>This is the feature that makes the opening of the Ballade seem
      improvisatory to me. To say that the opening is improvisatory is
      of course fictive. 
>Ok. I don't find the word "improvisatory" very helpful, either. 
    Improvised music isn't supposed to sound
>improvised. "Improvisatory" might then point to a defect in the
    music, "fingers idly wandering over the keys," 
>music doesn't go anywhere.  Second, what these old guys may have
    considered to be improvisation is either
>represented in their music or we don't know what it is. Is Träumerei improvisatory? By accounts, it seems
>it was so intended, but it's doubtful anyone now hears it this way.
    Perhaps the idea in the opening of the 
>Ballade is to evoke a kind of emptiness and doubt -- if one can ever
    get the historical semiotics of this right --
>a trope of the hapless artist awaiting the inspired moment.  There
    may have been that kind of self-reflection in Schumann,
>but in Chopin?
>-- eliot
>Eliot Handelman
>Smt-talk mailing list
>Smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.societymusictheory.org/pipermail/smt-talk-societymusictheory.org/attachments/20111025/27057054/attachment-0004.htm>

More information about the Smt-talk mailing list