Olena Zhukova


The article is devoted to the problematic question of the Baroque music embellishment, in particular – a single-note-ornament, which in various context can be called appoggiatura, port de voix, Vorshlag, Nachschlag, and, accordingly, require a various interpretation. The relevance of the study consists of the understanding that the symbol of such an ornament itself in the musical text cannot be read literally, as the same picture can reflect the essentially different interpretation depending on the various factors. In spite of musicians-performers' interest to this important topic, Ukrainian musicology still has gaps in the investigation of this domain. Therefore the main objective of the study is an expansion of the common knowledge in the field of the traditions of the music performance of the Baroquemusic, the involving of the foreign scientific sources and the researches of the foreign colleagues. Research was done using theoretical and empirical methods – such as analysis of the music pieces, observations and comparison of the ornaments in the various context and in the various national music traditions. The Results of research, received during the analysis of the musical pieces during the preparation to the concerts, masterclasses abroad and teaching work in the harpsichord and chamber ensemble class, helped an accumulation of the essential experience in the questions of the ornaments' interpretation in the music of the Baroque era. Conclusions allow to generalise all investigated information, uniting all interpretational cases into two varieties, which, however, propose quite a big diversity within the limits of these two directions. The Significance for art, science, educational process lies in the expansion of the information-theoretical base, in the quality improvement of the interpretation of the music pieces of the Baroque era and in the popularisation of the historically-informed performance and its advantages in the domain of the academic performing practice and musicology which in the future can even more promote an integration of Ukraine to the European cultural context.

Musical text is the very important point for the various fields of study. Composers them-selves, like F. Couperin and J. Ph. Rameau used to explain some of their ideas in the treatises. The title of the report reflects the attempt to consider the artistic-semantic aspect of the single-note ornament in the pieces of composers of the Baroque era, their performers' interpretation, depending on the context. An overview of some of the works of the relevant period and of the testimonies from literary and scientific sources helps to attempt to create an algorithm through which the performers could form their interpretive position.

Also, an aspect of the communicative component of such an elusive element of the musical texture as an ornament is interesting to us because it exists between what is recorded and what is meant, it is somewhere in the composer-performer noosphere. Interestingly, the single-note ornament has a national peculiarity: the Italian appogiatura against the French port de voix and the German Vorschlag. This article is one of the stages of development of such a thorough topic as the communicative specifications of the musical text of the Baroque era and clearly demonstrates how the knowledge of the context and literary sources affects the perception of musical score.

The single-note ornament refers to the phenomena, which, despite their prevalence, are always the subject of discussion. The knowledge, which supposedly belongs exclusively to the Early music sphere, in the same time is basic also and for musicians-adherents of academic traditions of performance: they are relevant both for the works of composers of the Baroque era, which are included in the academic repertoire, and also for representatives of classicism and even romanticism in music. Even such a supporter of Historically Informed Performance (which may be more widely known to the general audience as «authentic»), as the author of this research, however, is compelled to recognize the lack of the once and forever established rules in this scholar domain.

The world of the Early music and various manners of its performance is vivid and changing, because even in the area of the Historically Informed Performance there are many changes associated with the newly discovered information and testimonies. Consequently, this article is addressed not only to connoisseurs of ancient music, but also to the academic musicians, who, due to the specificity of academic education and the lack of relevant practical experience, often ignore the problems of ornamentation.

That is why in this article we would like to pay attention not to the objective rules of decoding the single-note ornament, but to its musical interpretation. In addition to the knowing the rules, the musician needs to understand the musical function of the ornament, without which performance can not be complete. In spite of the existence of objective rules in tables and treatises or comments, and even records of a mechanical character, such as that performed by Claude Balbastre, and traditions, less known to the general public but no less important for the proper performance, it is necessary to know the code of conventions and to take the musical context into account, mainly in the domain of melody and harmony.

The convention of the single-note ornament was associated with practical considerations, which means the «economically» effective notation, more, and with improvisation as an important factor of performance. Until the XIXth century the function of a composer and performer was often embodied by the same person, and the performers ornamented the music according to their taste. However, for the "intuitive" addition of ornaments, which was supposed by the contemporary authors, a modern artist needs scientific mastery of this issue.


ornaments; embellishment; music score; music communication; Historically Informed Performance


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