Knowing the Score

Think of a popular melody and imagine how it would look like in notation. The particularities and idiosyncrasies of interpretation are between the notes and have to be discovered. Melodies of the classical repertoire have to be grasped in the same manner! You have to...

In the Classical style the smaller parts (harmonic progression) are self-similar to the larger parts (structural form) in a musical composition in a proportionate, architectural manner.

In the Romantic style or the smaller parts became more fluid while the larger parts remained classical - an evolutionary process.

In the Late-Romantic style both parts became more and more fluid until they fully dissolved, deteriorated, mixed, or scrambled in the Modern Style.

This inevitably brought musical evolution to a screeching halt (after the humanity defying inferno of the Great World War Conflict of 1914-1945) and since then stylistic cloning commenced for the past 50 odd years. But cloning prevents evolution - due to degradation - and musical language in the western world will have to consider itself possibly at a dead end by the 16th clone generation.

There is a substantial hypothesis about the use of the following term: Diminuendo = softer and slower Decrescendo = softer Rallentando = slower Crescendo = louder Accelerando = faster Allargando = louder and slower As musical terms received their definition after composers used, and sometimes introduced them, in idiosyncratic ways, this theory...

I once witnessed, in Italy on a beautiful piazza at lunch with eight Italians, a heated debate about the proper parlance of ppp. One side suggested the traditional “piano-pianissimo”, but the other side insisted on the more colloquial “pianissimissimo”. It came to a very, very...