Glenn Gould: The Performer in the Work: A Study in Performance Practice

By Kevin Bazzana | Go to book overview

1
Aesthetics and Repertoire

THE MOST BASIC premiss of Gould's aesthetic was that music is primarily mental and only secondarily physical--that sound is a medium for the transmission of music but not a necessary, defining aspect of music itself. For Gould a musical work was an abstract entity that could be fully comprehended in the mind in the absence of performance, without even the recollection of sounds or of physical means of production. A musical work thus existed beyond the sensory experience of it. Such a premiss may at first seem odd: Gould was, after all, first and foremost a performer, not a theorist, and much of his thinking about music took place in the context of performance. His work brought him constantly into contact with physical aspects of music-making; indeed, he took a more active interest than most classical musicians in such practical matters as the mechanics of his body, the action of his piano, and the techniques of recording. And he certainly cared about how his performances sounded. But there is really no contradiction here. To think about music in abstract terms is not necessarily to ignore music as sound; it is merely to make the physical aspect of music subservient to the conceptual. The hands serve the mind, not the reverse. Such a premiss is in fact commonplace: it places Gould within a particular tradition in the history of music aesthetics, a tradition with a long history and a substantial literature, and including performers of many different historical periods and intellectual backgrounds. What set Gould apart is that, unlike most performers, he did not reconcile his abstract view of music with conventional views on matters of performance. Instead, he permitted his view to influence his musical opinions and activities in unusually direct and idiosyncratic ways, and it was this willingness to adjust practice to accommodate theory that was the source for many of his controversial ideas and interpretations. Ultimately, it is to Gould's abstraction, however commonplace it might at first seem, that we owe much of what is most interesting, characteristic, and provocative about his work.

Gould had no formal education in music aesthetics or philosophy (he did not finish high school), nor did he undertake systematic study or sustained writing in such subjects in later life. His aesthetic premisses are sometimes stated, more often strongly implied, in his writings and interviews, but can be inferred most reliably from his musical practices; moreover, those premisses were largely consistent

-11-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Glenn Gould: The Performer in the Work: A Study in Performance Practice
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS vii
  • Contents xiii
  • CONTENTS OF CD xiv
  • LIST OF PLATES xv
  • Contents xvi
  • NOTES ON FORMAT xviii
  • Abbreviations xxii
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - PREMISSES 9
  • 1 - Aesthetics and Repertoire 11
  • 2 - The Role of the Performer 36
  • 3 - Performance as Discourse 85
  • Part II - PRACTICES 129
  • 4 - Gould and the Piano 131
  • 5 - Counterpoint 142
  • 6 - Rhythm 160
  • 7 - Dynamics 204
  • 8 - Articulation and Phrasing 215
  • 9 - Ornamentation 228
  • 10 - Recording Technology 238
  • Conclusion 253
  • LIST OF GOULD PERFORMANCES CITED 269
  • BIBLIOGRAPHY. 277
  • Index 291
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 300

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.