January 6, 2010

Great Article

I love the Wall Street Journal, and I particularly enjoy it's Arts and Entertainment section. Here is a wonderful article called "In Praise of Infidelity," which explores the question of staying true to the score in musical interpretation.

Sometimes I feel compelled to put more expressive markings in my own arrangements--that I should give some extra guidance to the musicians as to how to phrase a particular passage, or what tempo to choose, or what dynamic to play. On the other hand, I find it frustrating, because I rarely can decide from one moment to the next how exactly it should be played. Plus, I rather enjoy the idea of letting someone give their own interpretation of the notes on the page.

After reading the article, I think I will continue to be sparse in my directions--as Bach was--and allow the musician to come to his own conclusions. (And yes, I am laughing that I just compared myself to Bach!)


Unknown said...

Awesome article!!! :) I'm "a bit..." of an improviser/adapter, too. Expression is good, and I'm the same way with "hmm... I *think* this is what I meant to do here..." and tempo changes, LOL! With stuff I write, I'm only really particular about when I write in some sort of very specific note harmony or discord - I put it there for a reason, and I want it to stay there.

Unless it's a typo. ;)

Happy Thought, Indeed! said...

I totally agree with you on that--harmonies are not negotiable! I think that falls outside of the range of interpretation, though, and into "editing."