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A Musicology of Performance: Theory and Method Based on Bach's Solos for Violin

A Musicology of Performance: Theory and Method Based on Bach's Solos for Violin Dorottya Fabian
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78374-152-6 £19.95
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78374-153-3 £32.95
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epub ISBN: 978-1-78374-155-7 £5.95
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The study of recordings as evidence of interpretation and performance style is without a doubt one of the most seminal revolutions in contemporary musicological research. Over the years, this vast abundance of documented data has been gradually recognized as fundamental in the identification of prevailing norms of practice, influential personalities, and changes of performance style occurring over time. Within the growing community of scholars engaged in the topic, Dorottya Fabian has long been considered a central figure in the study of violin recorded performances. This book serves as a continuation of her detailed investigation of recordings made over the years of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin - a study which has been ongoing for more than two decades. Fabian's work is fresh and original. [...] In short: A book worthwhile indeed.
—Eitan Ornoy, Empirical Musicology Review, No. 3-4, (2016), 354-360

Read Dorottya Fabian's post on a paradigm shift in musicology by visiting our

This book examines the nature of musical performance. In it, Dorottya Fabian explores the contributions and limitations of some of these approaches to performance, be they theoretical, cultural, historical, perceptual, or analytical. Through a detailed investigation of recent recordings of J. S. Bach’s Six Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, she demonstrates that music performance functions as a complex dynamical system. Only by crossing disciplinary boundaries, therefore, can we put the aural experience into words. A Musicology of Performance provides a model for such a method by adopting Deleuzian concepts and various empirical and interdisciplinary procedures.

Fabian provides a case study in the repertoire, while presenting new insights into the state of baroque performance practice at the turn of the twenty-first century. Through its wealth of embedded audio examples, tables, and graphs, the book offers both a sensory and a scholarly account of musical performance. These interactive elements map the connections between historically informed and mainstream performance styles, considering them in relation to broader cultural trends, violin schools, and individual artistic trajectories.

A Musicology of Performance is a must read for academics and post-graduate students and an essential reference point for the study of music performance, the early music movement, and Bach’s opus.

The PDF and epub editions of this book contain embedded audio files. If your device supports MP3 files you will be able to listen to the music directly. Alternatively, you can access the music online by following the links or scanning the QR codes provided.
To read the interactive PDF, we suggest using Adobe Reader (and not Adobe Preview), which can be downloaded for free from the Adobe website. If you are reading on an iphone or ipad, we recommend using iBooks, which is available free of charge from the App Store.
The Australian Academy of the Humanities, and The School of the Arts and Media of the University of New South Wales, Australia have generously contributed towards the publication of this volume.

A Musicology of Performance: Theory and Method on Bach’s Solos for Violin
Dorottya Fabian | August 2015
xxii + 342 | 27 colour illustrations | 6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm)
ISBN Paperback: 9781783741526
ISBN Hardback: 9781783741533
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781783741540
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 9781783741557
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 9781783741564
ISBN Digital (XML): 9781783746439
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0064
BIC subject codes: AVA (Theory of music and musicology), AVGC4 (Classical Music), AVH (Individual composers and musicians, specific bands and groups); BISAC: MUS006000 (MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Classical), MUS020000 (MUSIC / History & Criticism); OCLC Number: 954148253.


1. Dancing to Architecture?
1.1 The Problems of Researching and Writing about Music Performance
1.2 Summary: Recordings, Aims and Method

2. Theoretical Matters
2.1 Cultural Theories
2.2 Analytical Theories
2.3 Music Performance and Complex Systems
2.4 Performance Studies, Oral Culture and Academia
2.5 Conclusion

3. Violinists, Violin Schools and Emerging Trends
3.1 Violinists
3.2 Violin Schools
3.3 The Influence of HIP on MSP
3.4 Diversity within Trends and Global Styles
3.5 Overall Findings and Individual Cases
3.6 Conclusion

4. Analyses of Performance Features
4.1 Tempo Choices
4.2 Vibrato
4.3 Ornamentation
4.4 Rhythm
4.5 Bowing, Articulation and Phrasing
4.6 Conclusions

5. Affect and Individual Difference: Towards a Holistic Account of Performance
5.1 Differences within the MSP and within the HIP Styles
5.2 Multiple Recordings of Violinists
5.3 The Holistic Analysis of Interpretations
5.4 Idiosyncratic Versions and Listeners’ Reactions
5.5 Conclusions

6. Conclusions and an Epilogue: The Complexity Model of Music Performance, Deleuze and Brain Laterality
6.1 Summary
6.2 Where to from Here?—Epilogue

List of Audio Examples
List of Tables
List of Figures

Dorottya Fabian
is Full Professor at the School of Arts and Media, University of New South Wales, Australia. Her research focuses on changes in interpretations of Western Classical (concert) music as evidenced on commercial sound recordings. Dorottya studies both the technical and expressive dimensions of interpretations and focuses primarily on string, vocal and keyboard players and repertoires. She is also interested in audience response, how and why taste and aesthetic preferences change, and the role of culture in all this. Her approach embraces both quantitative, experimental and qualitative, empirical methods of investigation. Dorottya's recent publications include Expressiveness in Music Performance: Empirical Approaches Across Styles and Cultures (edited with R. Timmers and E. Schubert, 2014), Musica: The Life and Times of the Great Composers (2009) and Bach Performance Practice 1945-1975: A Comprehensive Review of Sound Recordings and Literature (2003).

Staff page: https://sam.arts.unsw.edu.au/about-us/people/dorottya-fabian/
Research profile: https://unsw.academia.edu/DorottyaFabian