Musical character and the performance and perception of dotting, articulation and tempo in 34 recordings of Variation 7 from J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations(BWV 988)
Fabian, D. & Schubert, E. (2008). Musical character and the performance and perception of dotting, articulation and tempo in 34 recordings of Variation 7 from J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations(BWV 988). Musicae Scientiae, 12(2), 177-206.
The performance of dotted rhythms has received considerable scholarly attention in the recent past. Historical musicologists mostly examined it in the context of baroque performance practice while music psychologists studied it primarily in relation to rhythm perception or emotion in music. This paper builds on our previous work that examined the perception of dotting in 34 commercial recordings of Bach's Goldberg Variations and its role in defining perceived musical character. In this study we compare this earlier data of perceived dotting, articulation and tempo with newly measured performed dotting, articulation and tempo in the same 34 recordings. We also investigate the relationship between performed parameters and judged musical character. Correlation analysis indicates a difference between performed and perceived dotting. It also shows that in a baroque piece of music where dotted rhythms are prevalent, performed dotting contributes less to judged musical character than do performed articulation and tempo. The results demonstrate that perceived dotting and judged character are at least as dependent on articulation and tempo as on performed dotting. On the basis of these findings the paper posits that the "dottedness" of an interpretation is more a judgment of musical character than an assessment of rhythmic execution. ...
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