Beethoven’s Large-Scale Works outside the Concert Hall: Toward a Digital Representation of Domestic Arrangements

Bashford, Christina; Rosendahl, Lisa; Shibata, Elisabete; Lewis, David; Hankinson, Andrew; Pugin, Laurent; Sänger, Richard; Kepper, Johannes; Saccomano, Mark and Page, Kevin R.. 2022. 'Beethoven’s Large-Scale Works outside the Concert Hall: Toward a Digital Representation of Domestic Arrangements'. In: IMS2022: 21st Quinquennial Congress of the International Musicological Society. Athens, Greece 22-26 August 2022. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

The dissemination of Beethoven’s large-scale works—as usual in the nineteenth century—occurred mainly in diverse forms of domestic arrangements, not in concert hall performances. This fundamental musical repertoire has, up until now, only scarcely been studied. Arrangements challenge traditional definitions in several ways: They enlarge our concept of work, which is usually connected to a composer’s authority; they shed light on other agents like arrangers, publishers, and performers; and—because of the widespread popularity of domestic music making—they reached a much broader audience, as public concerts were rare at the time. Additionally, arrangements with varied scorings engaged amateurs, including female musicians. Therefore, arrangements could build bridges between different national, geographical, and socially distant areas. Lastly, vocal arrangements could add new meanings to a work of “absolute” music.

Despite the fact that the authors of the Beethoven thematic catalog (Dorfmüller et al. 2014) listed known arrangements up to 1830, many more sources can be traced—not to mention later adaptations. For documenting and analyzing this immensely rich repertoire, historical approaches need to be complemented with the new possibilities offered by digital frameworks and tools on three different levels: the documentation of the arrangements, the encoding of the music, and the presentation of the results.

We will shed new light on this historically highly relevant repertoire and the opportunities for its study using digital methods:

1. Christina Bashford will focus on hidden “musicking,” using Beethoven in the Victorian home as an example. Based on a group of overlooked archival sources, this introductory talk will discuss what can be learned about the works being played; the social, musical, and demographic profile of the performers and listeners; the responses engendered; and the broader significance that this “musicking” may have had in how conceptions of Beethoven came to be constructed in Britain.

2. The following case study by Lisa Rosendahl and Elisabete Shibata will consider musical and pedagogical ambitions in piano trio and vocal arrangements of the Allegretto in Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, op. 92, one of the most popular Beethoven movements.

3. David Lewis’s contribution will situate a wide variety of domestic arrangements between general characteristics and individual solutions.

4. The challenge of categorizing the material will be discussed in in Andrew Hankinson’s and Laurent Pugin’s contribution, which considers arrangements, collections, and the work from the perspective of cataloguing and the use of metadata.

5. Richard Sänger will demonstrate how the VideAppCorr tool, developed by the project “Beethovens Werkstatt,” includes perspectives of arrangements, using Beethoven’s piano version of the Große Fuge, op. 134, as an example.

6. This will lead to suggestions for harmonizing models. Johannes Kepper and Mark Saccomano will discuss challenges of sharing concept, data, and tools between digital projects

7. Concluding, Kevin Page will address the Music Encoding and Linked Data framework perspective and demonstrate how the tools used by the presented research project will widen our understanding of the repertoire in question.

The seven lightning talks (ten to twelve minutes each) will be followed by a general discussion, chaired by the organizer.

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Conference or Workshop Item (Panel)

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20 July 2022Accepted
22 August 2022Completed

Event Location:

Athens, Greece

Date range:

22-26 August 2022

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Date Deposited:

21 Dec 2022 13:38

Last Modified:

21 Dec 2022 14:26


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