Performing Knowledge: Twentieth-Century Music in Analysis and Performance
This book brings a theorist and performers together to examine the interface of analysis and performance in music of the twentieth century. Nine case studies, of music by Ravel, Schoenberg, Bartók, Schnittke, Milhaud, Messiaen, Babbitt, Carter, and Morris, are co-authored with performers (or composers) of those works. The case studies revolve around musical structure, broadly defined to comprise relations among parts and whole created in the process of making music, whether by composers, performers, listeners, or analysts. Knowledge that is produced in the course of relating analysis and performance is conceived in three dimensions: wissen (knowing that), können (knowing how), and kennen (knowing, as in knowing a person). The collaborative process itself is viewed through three constructs that facilitate cross-disciplinary collaboration: shared items, shared objectives (activity objects and epistemic objects), and shared agents. The book’s collaborations “thicken” the description of analysis and performance by illuminating key issues around a) the implicit identity of a work: the role of embodiment, the affordances of a score, the cultural understanding of notation; b) the use of metaphor in interpretation: here metaphors of memory, of poetry, and of ritual and drama; and c) the relation of analysis and performance itself: its antagonisms, its fusion, and—rounding out the perspectives of theorist and performer with those of composer and listener—the role of structure in audience response. Along with these broader insights, each collaboration exemplifies processes of analysis and of performance, in grappling with and interpreting particular pieces. Video performances, demonstrations, and interviews; audio recordings; and photos and color illustrations partner with the book’s written text.