|MusicNovatory/Introduction/Reference/Comments and Questions/Rhythm/The Unknown Container|
In the Unknown Container chapter, in the Chopin example, would you really have the performer actually perform this as if it were written q / q q // q' q / q q // q' q / q q // q' q / q q // q' ? If so, I'm afraid I think you're dead wrong on this one. I don't know this piece, so I went to it afresh, with your analysis in hand. Sure, it can be played the way you suggest, but that would be a very pedestrian, boring travesty of what the bar lines clearly indicate actually say. If it's performed as written, it has a totally different, far more interesting character than as you divide it up. This to me clearly suggests that the notes alone, analyzed without bar lines, accents or other indications of the prosody desired by the composer, don't tell the whole story as to how music should be performed.
It seems that you use bar-lines to indicate performance variations of volume and tempo.
(a) When the first 4 s are placed between bar-lines,
on beats 1-2-3-4, they are in rebound
grouping with the maximum volume on the first
and the others gradually softer and possibly slower (as in the word
"dictionary", or the second bar of
Over The Rainbow).
(b) When a bar-line is placed between the third and fourth s,
on beats 2-3-4/1, they are in pick-up
grouping with the minimum volume on the first and
the others gradually louder and possibly longer (as in the word
"mid afternoon", or the first 4 notes of
Oh, When The Saints).
But looking at the Chopin example, the default prosody for performing 4/4 music is
1 4 2 3 | 1 4 2 3 | etc. where 1 is stronger than 2, 2 stronger than 3, etc.
I learned this by hard experience when I wrote software to generate a midi file.
Most would agree that performance often requires appropriate notation.
Rhythmic and harmonic structure are integral parts of the information to be noted.
Even more so, when prosody and rhythmic structure differ, as knowing this (what they
are and how they differ), is power to better understand, feel and render the music.
Hopefully, the performer does not also have to do a detailed composition analysis
to figure it out, as this is why we have notation.
I was most interested by your rhythmical analysis of the Bach fugue. I can only agree with you 100%, it is so much clearer this way. I had never noticed this before.
You have no idea how precious your comments are, especially in a case like this where a change is suggested to such a revered work. Many, many thanks.
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