This is an eBook, a PDF (the version you're reading now), a website, and a set of podcasts. It’s addressed to performers of western classical music and it’s about freeing performance from unnecessary rules and constraints and from much of the anxiety that comes with classical training and practice. The aim is to encourage performers to find many more ways (old and new) in which classical scores can make musical sense.
If you’re a passionate believer in the status quo you may hate it. But it might still be worth reading because the questions it asks are reasonable ones and need much better answers. Having someone ask them may enable you (rather than me) to see what those better answers might be, enabling you to place normative performance practice on a more reasoned footing. There’s also the possibility that you’ll end up agreeing with much that’s in here, but in either case a world of new possibilities for performing your repertoire may open up.
Be aware that this is a polemical piece rather than a scholarly tome. It’s expressed strongly. It may annoy and unsettle, though I hope it will also reward.
I’ve written it and published it online, and it’s free to use, because I want to reach performers, especially young professionals and conservatoire students. And also because it’s good to be able to improve the text in response to reader suggestions and as better ways of thinking become clear.
This PDF fixes the text in one form, but I may try to keep it updated. For the latest version I recommend you read the book online if you can.
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https://challengingperformance.com/wp-c ... ance.pdf[b]
So, what are those "unnecessary rules and constraints?" Playing the right notes?
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