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date: 18 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Numerous studies of expressive timing use quantitative measurements to reveal and compare ways in which performers realize rhythmic and other notations given on the score, implying that expressive performances creatively inflect elements of musical structure. This study offers an alternative, speculative account of expressive timing in performance based on the complex, dynamic structure of a performer’s gestures as coordinated in the performance of the second étude from Chopin’s Trois nouvelle études and Godowsky’s first paraphrase-study of that étude. Impactful and nuanced temporal fluctuations of two recorded performances are explained in terms of the approach to crafting expressive bodily gestures codified by the piano pedagogue Abby Whiteside. Suggesting that Godowsky’s paraphrase realizes through composition several expressive possibilities latent in Chopin’s score, this chapter also highlights some ways that analyses, representations, and interpretations of rhythm and timing in performance could benefit from taking into account the expressive structure of the performer’s body.

Keywords: embodiment, rhythm, meter, expressive timing, rubato, Whiteside, performance analysis

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