Jonathan Townsend wrote:Thanks Bill, might make a good excuse to stop down to NYC and visit my father, who likely has that book on the shelf. I guess the Neil Diamond and The Monkeys versions of I'm a Believer are equally valid (orchestrated differently, I know)...
What I was getting at is a proposition that we don't get to "hear" what we do until we attend how it affect an audience.
The C.P.E. Bach book is pretty much a standard work. BTW, the common English translation of the title contains an error due to a false cognate. My father always wanted me to retranslate the book, because there were other rather stodgy sections of it that apparently needed some work, but I told him that it really wasn't my cup of tea.
The thing about Baroque music, specifically near the end of the Baroque period, is that it had acquired a whole series of notational assumptions, i.e. things that simply were NOT notated any longer, because they were expected, such as the cadential trill, etc. Performers were also expected to embellish pieces as they saw fit, to a certain degree.
However, some artists carried this on into much more recent music. For example, Vladimir de Pachmann, who first recorded on the Welte reproducing piano and later made recordings on the gramophone, had a tendency for wild interpretation. According to his contemporaries, sometimes he would stop in the middle of a piece and simply perform variations on a phrase, until he was satisfied that he had gotten everything he could from it. Or he would turn to his audience and say, "Listen to how beautiful this is!" and repeat a small segment that had reall moved him. Obviously, this is an extreme example.
Recorded orchestrations of pop tunes are a much different "animal." For example, Neil Diamond would usually record a rather "vanilla" version of what he wanted to play and an arranger would come in and add to it. There was a lot done on the recording that was not put down on paper. And the Monkees were basically a recording studio construct as well.
I did quite a bit of studio work "back in the day," and I remember occasions where I wasn't even given a chord chart. I would come in and there would be a recording of some fellow beating a guitar, and I would have to work out whatever the producer wanted by a combination of ear, calculated guesses and, on occasion, rather concentrated counting.
However, this aside, the general rule for how close one would have to stick to the composer's exact notation depends on the size of the ensemble. A soloist can take plenty of liberty with a composition without hurting anything, so to speak. If you add two or three other musicians and they play together enough that they understand each other's way of interpreting things, and they rehearse quite a bit, there is still a lot of room for interpretation.
However, when you get into larger groups -- large bands, symphonic groups, etc. -- everyone has to play the material that is on the paper or chaos will ensue.
One of the specific areas in which the musician has a great deal of interpretive leeway is in an area that is addressed directly by the essay that Giobbi has presented, and that is in the area of "thoroughbass." This is an aspect of music that requires excellent technique, a good knowledge of theory and, admittedly, some experience. It is not in common use in today's music, although certain things we use in notation do hark back to it.
I would like to have seen some specific interpretation of exactly how to apply this to magic. There are certain things that appear in magic that do not appear in music and vice-versa. So an understanding of what Giobbi feels would be an appropriate magical equivalent of a knowledge of thoroughbass would be would interest me quite a bit.