The exposition presents a performer's perspective in studying Frescobaldi's toccatas. The concept of "desire" is applied to describe both the performer’s process and the internal structures of music: as a philosophical concept, desire describes a musician’s transcendental and procedural act of turning the written music into sounding music; as a musical concept in the context of early tonal music, it describes tensions, expectations and various ways to arrive to a release.
The reflection of a musician’s process is supplemented by readings of research related to toccatas and Frescobaldi, and theoretical writings of the time such as Galilei, Zarlino, Descartes and of course, Frescobaldi himself. Associative verbalization is developed as a tool to aid the musician’s desiring process of leaping from notes to performance.
The exposition is built around a brief central text acting as a frame, from which links on coloured words lead to further explorations. Some of them are lengthier, some shorter, touching the subject from different angles, sometimes erring to tangential thoughts. Together they form an essential part of the exposition and contain references to other research. The reader can either read the central text first and then come back to the links, or jump to the chapters as they appear. The exposition seeks to be enjoyable but somewhat wandering – it can be seen as a sort of a toccata itself.