Who’s keeping the score?
Over the last several decades, and especially within British scholarship, the spectacular emergence of the field of music performance studies—still relatively young and largely interdisciplinary—has rekindled fundamental philosophical questions concerning some of musicology’s most cherished notions. It challenged us to rethink such weighty concepts as ‘musical autonomy’, ‘organic unity’, the composer’s ‘authority’, music analysis, ‘structure’, ‘the score’ and, of course, music itself, with no widely accepted definitions as yet forthcoming. Several aspects of performer’s analysis ask to be underscored. First, within this type of analysis, performers themselves are, in some sense, analysts of the music they perform; or, to put it more strongly, as many have done, a performance is itself a kind of ‘analysis’. Second, a performer’s analysis of notated music involves a study of ‘the score’, the most likely first source of the music, though certainly not the only one.