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date: 18 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores issues relevant to the study of operatic sources: libretti, sketches, drafts, manuscript scores, performing parts, and other production materials. It demonstrates how these documents have facilitated the discovery of relationships between composer and performer, physical structure and content, and original and revision, among others. In addition to illuminating artistic decisions, source materials are also shown to reflect the pragmatic nature of operatic production, as commercial enterprise, political battleground, and social barometer. Italian, German, English, Russian, and American composers are represented, with emphasis on works from the nineteenth century. The chapter also addresses the challenges that technology presents for the study of compositional process in contemporary operas.

Keywords: sources, libretti, sketch, manuscript, score, document, revision, compositional process

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