Music Studies Beyond the Score

4

BEYOND THE SCORE

MusicStudies: Beyond the Score

Name

Institution

Date

Beyondthe Score

Introduction

Beyondthe Score is a series that uses narration, images and dramaticreadings alongside music. The series provides a musical experiencethat is incomparable. This involves the use of the theatre,orchestral excerpts and visual projections that are played by theChicago Symphony Orchestra. The experience of the performanceimmerses someone into the compelling stories behind the symphonicmusic.

Observationsand Reaction

Theperformance is spectacular, with the presentation making the musicmeaningful and relevant. Particularly, it was meaningful to cover theentire performance from the time of initial inspiration until theorchestration. Theperformance instilled mixed reactions regarding the visualproduction. This is because while the astounded people using the wellchoreographed and audible elements, it was evident that there wasonly a single cinematic idea. A variation could have been morecaptivating and stimulated the audience. However, in overall, theperformance was of high quality, especially because of the historicaltouch. The intermission eliminated momentum that was established whenusing the opening commentary.

Inhindsight, it is worth saying that the orchestra requires properknowledge on how to use the video screen and the quality of the musicsounds. The video screens can play a major role in degrading theorchestra another area that needs focus is the move to theintermission-free format. The Beyond the Score video seem to haveroom for more improvements, and the pictures should have been in sucha way to go right into a full performance, especially after thepresentation.

Initially,I had found the video to be repetitive. However, the inclusion ofeuphonium by the Bydlo solo made the video appear more special.Granted, being an outstanding tuba player, I was super geeked outthough the instrument produces a sound that is unlike other soundsfound in other performance. Even when a combination of textualistideology, recording technology and modernist institutionalism hascaused the alignment of music performance to the music writing, itstill holds that performance in music overrides ideology.

TheBeyond the Score is easy to understand and consumed though manymusicologist has traditionally adopted it as a type of text. Theyconsider the meaning to be written in the music, and this impliesthat performance rarely produces something that is already there. Asa result, such a paradigm has played a major role in disengagingmusicology from performance. As a result, Beyond the Score seems tothoroughly playing a major role in preconceiving music asperformance. This reflects a time practice that can afford thereproducibility of meanings. This implies the need to rethinkfamiliar assumptions as well as develop new approaches. Such focusshould not be primarily on the western art tradition but should focuson close listening and computational analysis. Also, the new approachto music should entail the review of ethnography to study ofrecordings and social relations that are easily constructed usingperformance and listening. This should encompass a strong historicalemphasis that should extend from the traditional recording to thecontemporary digital culture, and the number of themes weavingthrough it. This should entail relationship that exist between theoral and written musical culture, as well as the need to shift fromthe paradigm that is thinking-based to a more semiotic approach thatshould be grounded in producing meaning. Thinking-based ideology inmusic has greatly tampered with the academic understanding of music,and this creates the need to move away from textualist straitjacket.