Dissertation Index

Author: Tong, Chee-yee, J.

Title: Separate Discourses: A Study of Performance and Analysis

Institution: University of Southampton

Begun: October 1990

Completed: October 1994


This thesis attempts to reconstrue the issue of analysis and performance in order that performers can play a genuine part in the discussion of it. Its premise is that musical performance can never be adequately portrayed in words by either analysts or performers, and its prime concern is to identify the root issue(s) underlying recent debates in defining the inter-relations between analysis and performance. One of these, I contend, is the lack of authentic discourse in academic musical writings: writers do not normally attend to the fictional status of words about music. Consequently, most studies of performance by analysts distort performance by moulding it according to analytical terms. With this in mind, I endeavour to expose the limitations of structuralist approaches to performance which see performance primarily as interpretations. This is achieved through critiquing contemporary theoretical literature on analysis and performance, and through commentaries on selected recordings. The discursive nature of musical writings is then enhanced through a reading of performers' own writings and a case study of different discourses on a performance attribute, the rubato.

Keywords: performance, analysis, discourse, structuralist, performer, writer, rubato, Chopin


Chapter I: The Question of Discourse in Music Analysis and Musical Performance
Chapter II: Literature Review
Chapter III: Comparisons of Recordings of Chopin
Chapter IV: On Performers' Writings
Chapter V: Rubato Discourses


15 Clements Street, Coventry CV2 4HW, U.K.
Phone: (01203) 445263
e-mail: cjt@soton.ac.uk

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