Empirical Approaches to the Performance Analysis of New Music

Gabriel Jones

Music Performance Research ISSN 1755-9219
Vol. 12, 22-46
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, April 2024
New Music inherently challenges norms of performance practice, expression, interpretation, perception, and audience reception. Given the centrality of these themes to musical performance studies and the significant recording and performance traditions of many works of New Music, it is surprising that so little attention has thus far been dedicated to this repertoire. In response to this lacuna and Clarke and Doffman’s (2014) prospective paradigm for a performance studies of New Music, this article offers a close reading of the relatively limited empirical performance literature, highlighting the novel and varied epistemological affordances of the works in question, with consideration for repertoire chosen; selection of recordings; methodological approaches; themes addressed; the relevance of score analysis; the role of the performer; and the import of the research for audiences. I then contribute my own practice-based research on Stockhausen’s Klavierstück X (1961), illustrating the creative potential of self-reflexive performance analysis for performers of complex music. I thus offer a state of play for empirical research, while showcasing further aims and objectives, allied to the peculiar exigencies, performance ecologies, and aesthetic qualities of New Music.
New Music; Performance Studies; Empirical Musicology; Practice Research; Stockhausen
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