- A quantitative study of seven historically informed performances of Bach's BWV1007 Prelude
- Early Music
- Volume | Issue number
- 43 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Interfacultary Research Institutes
- Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC)
In the field of early music, the urge to realize historically informed interpretations has led to new perspectives about our musical legacy from scholars and performers alike. Consequently, different schools of early music performance practice have been developed through the 20th and 21st centuries. Analysing the development of performance practice and aesthetics from the perspective of cognitive and computational musicology can potentially provide insights into interrelations between musicology, performance practice and cognition.
In the field of performance analysis we may therefore aim to find out which aspects are involved in the categorization of performances or in the identification and understanding of possible performance trends that change over time. For instance, are sudden changes in tempo within the performance of a piece representative of certain musicologically informed interpretations? Is this approach communicated by the performance itself? Do perception and cognition play a role in the aesthetic choices involved in performance?
This article concentrates on applying three state-of-the-art quantitative methodologies in expressive performance analysis to elucidate possible relations among musicological and cognitive interpretations. It is shown how a particular methodology may serve (or constrain) the ability to compare different interpretations and define ‘expressiveness’. For this purpose, an analysis and comparison is presented of seven performances of the Prelude from J. S. Bach’s Cello Suite no.1 in G major, BWV1007, played by three different performers.
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