April 2010 MTNA e-Journal

The Musician’s Guide To The Brain: From Perception To Performance
By Lois Svard
Over the past two decades, neuroscience research has uncovered a great deal of knowledge about the complex art of making music. Numerous studies point to specific areas in the brain where the basic elements of music, such as harmony, rhythm, melody and timbre are processed. In addition, some of the most exciting recent finds in non-music-based brain research can tell us much about issues such as emotion in music, sight-reading, motivation, performance anxiety, improvisation and memory. In the second part of a series, Lois Svard delves into the topic of music making and the brain. [Read More]


Changes In Performance Style: Before The Era Of Recordings
By Malcolm Bilson
While it is abundantly clear that musical performance 100 years ago was vastly different from what is heard today, Malcolm Bilson’s opinion is that the most important changes in musical performance occurred across the 19th century before recording began around 1900. Furthermore, he believes that those basic performing parameters introduced in the late 19th century have persisted across the 20th century and are still heard in most concerts and recordings today. Briefly, Haydn’s, Mozart’s and Beethoven’s clear notations for the proper execution of their music from the early years of the 19th century were, by 1860 or so, no longer understood, resulting not only in the typical heavily edited editions from that period, but in a palpable change in performance style. In this article, Bilson addresses that change. [Read More]