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date: 21 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses ways in which an awareness of topics might influence performance behaviors. It contrasts topics as understood respectively by Aristotle (abstract concepts) and Vico (potential for action). Through case studies taken from Mozart’s chamber music with piano (specifically in a “period-instrument” context), it investigates subtle interactions between different dance topics (sarabande, gavotte, bourrée), which emerge only through careful consideration of notational features such as beat hierarchy and other aspects of historically informed performance practice hinted at in the notation. Awareness of these interactions, and recognition of their invitations to engage in certain performance gestures, offers the potential to create performance narratives that counterpoint the formal design mapped out in the notated score.

Keywords: Mozart, topic, sarabande, gavotte, bourrée, performance behavior, notation, gesture, historically informed performance

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