Vol. 6 nº 1, juillet 2019
Music is a distinctive and powerful medium that allows people to communicate, convey messages and emotions, and transmit elements of their culture without the use of words (Miell, MacDonald and Hargreaves 2007). Listening to a piece of music from another era, geographic location or culture can provide the audience a great deal of insight into that time, place or culture. For this to happen, especially in the case of classical music, performers have to be able to decipher and interpret the composer’s original intent as closely as possible. This process is not without its challenges, because not all elements of music can be embedded into a music score and, even if the composer records his or her intentions in the score as painstakingly as possible, the performer must still draw on extensive knowledge of the cultural, social, historical, and political circumstances, among others, that may have had a bearing on that composer’s work.