Inside rather than under the composer's skin: Another tilt at being Authentic

Research output: Contributions to books, editions, reports or conference proceedingsChapterpeer-review



This chapter explores the theme of “sounding music” in relation to their scores. If musica ficta shows composers not telling us what they assume we already know, it abounds in music up to the present day. Some of this has prompted attention in recent editions of French repertoire, in ways that until recently were regarded as hardly the editor’s domain. Do composers' indications sometimes suggest or evoke them talking by our shoulder? How do we deal in editing with the inevitable subjectivities this raises? Can we be artistically “authentic” without taking these issues on board, as either scholars or performers? The present essay addresses those issues primarily through four particular pieces of music, by Schubert, Bach, Debussy and Billy Mayerl, one case involving modal notation and the other three rhythmic notation. The question constantly arises: do we often confuse what we call “authentic”, “faithful to the text”, or “faithful to the composer” with what we’re just used to hearing?


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerspectives on the Performance of French Piano Music
EditorsScott McCarrey, Lesley Wright
Place of PublicationFarnham
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4724-2355-9, 978-1-4724-2356-6
ISBN (Print)978-1-4094-0064-6
Publication statusPublished or Performed - 2014
EventFrench music: Performance and analysis - Brigham Young University-Hawai'i, La'ie, United States
Duration: 15 Nov 200719 Nov 2007


ConferenceFrench music
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Author keywords

  • French music performance