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Dave Lampson <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 5 Mar 2000 14:43:44 -0800
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Jocelyn Wang wrote:

>Dave Lampson <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>>I believe strongly that the score should carry great weight, and that it
>>is arrogant to assume that it's just a guideline.  But there are too many
>>practical problems for me to want to make any blanket statements about what
>>always should happen.
>Name one "practical problem" that would warrant removal of repeats on
>artistic grounds.

I can't because I have no idea what this statement means.

However, I have already given a detailed example of what I mean by
practical problems.  They all relate to the providence of the score.  A
very simple example should suffice.  Imagine a baroque composer submits a
score for a new concerto to a publisher, and a short time latter succumbs
to disease and dies.  In that score, the composer tried to be somewhat
innovative with procedure, and intentionally decided to omit a repeat at a
strategic point in the score.  The typesetter for the publisher, conversant
in all the standard musical practices notices the missing repeat, and
decides that because the composer is no longer around that he'll insert a
repeat in the traditional spot and fix this composer's obvious oversight.
Bombing during a subsequent war destroys the original manuscript, leaving
only a few copies of the published version in libraries and archives.  Now
imagine you come across a copy of the score in the library and want to
perform it.  Should you take the repeat? If you follow the score, then you
are not following the composer's intent, and if you happen to discover the
composer's original intent for that repeat through some other means, then
you will not be following the score.  Practical problems arise from
operating in an imperfect real world, and it's just these sorts of
questions that anyone coming to this hypothetical score face.

I agree with and respect the philosophy that if an instruction is given in
the score, then it should be followed.  But as with audience relativity,
just believing in something in the abstract it just doesn't get you very
far when it comes to specific interpretative decisions.

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