Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Limited by Notation

We have begun work on Tonal Refraction II which treats Schumann's Waldszenen (Forest Scenes).  The first problem is how to notate the printed score.  I have a master engraver working on it and his questions reveal again and again the limitations of music notation, especially as revealed by in-depth visualization of the actual sound of the piece--two entirely different things.

I had noticed that, in making the Tonal Refraction of the score, I wanted to account for the underlying tension between duple meters and triple rhythms.  That was the first "inaccuracy," perhaps inconsistency is a better word, that turned up in comparing modern typographical usage with the 1887 edition on which he is basing his copy.

Schumann was always pushing envelopes.  His notation of internal rhythms is never easy to decipher and keeps many pianists at bay -- I am tempted to say, thank goodness.