ABSTRACT

In teaching institutions, a frequent criticism about an analysis course is how little it relates to performance. And indeed, if analysis confines itself to determining the sections of a musical work and their motivic relationships, the analytical results have very little impact on practical musicianship, if any. An awareness of topical references, instead, and a conception of the musical work as a message tend to result in a richer performance, one that looks after both discursive aspects as well as the multifarious world that gives expressive meaning to music. Instead, an awareness regarding topical and rhetorical aspects of the work being interpreted feels compelling in a special way, as if some sort of message was being issued. Even today, the standard way to consider a musical work in many academic circles, especially in Germanic countries, is the organicist one, where the focus is on motivic work and on harmonic, sectional analysis.