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The Body in (Early) Music

Spissky, Peter LU (2016) In Arts and Humanities in Higher Education 15(3/4).
Abstract
This essay reflects on my experimental projects in historical performance practice that explore possible ways of embodied reading of a musical score. Through the assimilation of gestural patterns derived from dancing, acting and speech-delivery into the body of a violinist, I attempt to develop an embodied approach to historically informed performance, where the focus shifts from the sound producing body towards the dancing, speaking, and gesturing body. Through my video analysis, two contrasting strategies came to light, which I termed Gesturist and Soundist. The gesturist-violinist reads the indications in the score as gestural events, manifested directly in body movement. The soundist-violinist translates the score into sonic images... (More)
This essay reflects on my experimental projects in historical performance practice that explore possible ways of embodied reading of a musical score. Through the assimilation of gestural patterns derived from dancing, acting and speech-delivery into the body of a violinist, I attempt to develop an embodied approach to historically informed performance, where the focus shifts from the sound producing body towards the dancing, speaking, and gesturing body. Through my video analysis, two contrasting strategies came to light, which I termed Gesturist and Soundist. The gesturist-violinist reads the indications in the score as gestural events, manifested directly in body movement. The soundist-violinist translates the score into sonic images that trigger the necessary sound-producing body movements. While this schematic division worked well initially in the enquiry, my analysis suggests that it is necessary to find a combination of these strategies, where the physicality of the gesturist’s body is guided by the soundist’s ear.

A video essay (“Sancho’s punishment”) demonstrates my attempt to merge the violin-sound-producing movements with the physical gestalt movements of throwing and lifting. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
keywords
Historically informed performance, baroque violin, musical gestures, musical interpretation, embodied music cognition
in
Arts and Humanities in Higher Education
volume
15
issue
3/4
publisher
SAGE Publications Inc.
ISSN
1741-265X
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
97ef763e-a570-4866-a68c-5ae4a8fc7e40
alternative location
http://www.artsandhumanities.org/journal/the-body-in-early-music/
date added to LUP
2017-09-13 15:21:19
date last changed
2017-09-14 15:55:35
@article{97ef763e-a570-4866-a68c-5ae4a8fc7e40,
  abstract     = {This essay reflects on my experimental projects in historical performance practice that explore possible ways of embodied reading of a musical score. Through the assimilation of gestural patterns derived from dancing, acting and speech-delivery into the body of a violinist, I attempt to develop an embodied approach to historically informed performance, where the focus shifts from the sound producing body towards the dancing, speaking, and gesturing body. Through my video analysis, two contrasting strategies came to light, which I termed Gesturist and Soundist. The gesturist-violinist reads the indications in the score as gestural events, manifested directly in body movement. The soundist-violinist translates the score into sonic images that trigger the necessary sound-producing body movements. While this schematic division worked well initially in the enquiry, my analysis suggests that it is necessary to find a combination of these strategies, where the physicality of the gesturist’s body is guided by the soundist’s ear.<br/><br/>A video essay (“Sancho’s punishment”) demonstrates my attempt to merge the violin-sound-producing movements with the physical gestalt movements of throwing and lifting.},
  author       = {Spissky, Peter},
  issn         = {1741-265X},
  keyword      = {Historically informed performance,baroque violin,musical gestures,musical interpretation,embodied music cognition},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3/4},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications Inc.},
  series       = {Arts and Humanities in Higher Education},
  title        = {The Body in (Early) Music},
  volume       = {15},
  year         = {2016},
}