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Quantifying the Use of Dynamics in Western Keyboard Music: Lessons and Problems

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Title: Quantifying the Use of Dynamics in Western Keyboard Music: Lessons and Problems
Creators: Fabian, Dorottya
Keywords: dynamics
minor mode
editing
music historiography
Romantic music
Issue Date: 2010-07
Publisher: Empirical Musicology Review
Citation: Empirical Musicology Review, v5 n3 (July 2010), pp 112-114
Abstract: Ladinig and Huron’s (2010) investigation of the relationship between mode (major-minor) and dynamics in Classical and Romantic piano music indicated higher levels of dynamics for compositions from the Classical period but only in major-mode pieces. This was contrary to the expectation that minor mode pieces from the Romantic era would be louder because romantic composers may have intended to convey seriousness, passion or even aggression, rather than sadness. Although the methodology was carefully crafted to enable necessary control for a quantitative study, it also contributed to the questionable relevance of the results. It is arguable whether the chosen repertoire is typical, whether initial markings in the score have a true bearing on the dynamic characteristics of a piece and whether notated dynamics are reliable data due to historical notation conventions and later editorial practices.
ISSN: 1559-5749
Other Identifiers: EMR000086b
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/47562
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