Understanding Classical and Early Romantic Dynamics 1750-1830 (2017)

Bart van Oort
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In eighteenth century scores, dynamics were notated almost exclusively in a general way. The dynamics belonging to the melancholy or passionate development of a musical phrase or the minimal dynamical differences between a dissonant and a consonant in (for instance) a Mozart Adagio or a Chopin Nocturne are so subtle that it is even better to not notate anything. The deepest utterances of both the composer's and the pianist's soul cannot be caught in any notation. However, in my opinion many of the notated dynamical indications are not fully understood or mis-interpreted. At the same time, implied dynamics can be found (while today often not realized) in virtually every musical phrase. In this research project I have investigated classical dynamics, focusing on the local function of forte and piano, on crescendos and diminuendos, the influence of harmony, the dissonance-consonance resolution, the relative meaning of ff, the dynamics of high notes, and other factors, such as the density of the notation, the direction of the melody, the register of the phrase and the character of the work. This research is part of a larger research project on the nature of the classical language, addressing dynamics, rubato and phrasing.
typeresearch exposition
keywords18th century, dynamics, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, scores, notation, classical language, Research by teachers of the Royal Conservatoire
last modified31/03/2017
share statusprivate
licenseAll rights reserved
published inKC Research Portal
portal issue2. Royal Conservatoire Investigations

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351458 PB_2_2016 Casper Schipper 2017 All rights reserved
351455 PB_1_2016 Bart van Oort 2017 All rights reserved

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