The Difficulty of Assessing Musical Performance Essay

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The difficulty of assessing musical performance

Musical Performance poses many difficulties in terms of assessment. In a maths exam there is typically one answer to a problem but there are many ways to perform a Beethoven symphony, a contemporary song, a traditional tune or a jazz piece. Obviously basic concepts for a musical performance must be observed but each individual’s interpretation is likely to be different. Therefore one person’s assessment of a performance may differ to another’s. As a result a list of specific dimensions of the performance needs to be set up in order to achieve consensus and to avoid subjectivity. By following these guidelines an accurate and concise assessment can be made.

There are various factors that
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For instance a pianist may suit a great hall, a traditional musician may suit a more laid back atmosphere such as cultural centre and a band performance may suit a pub setting or a large concert venue. However as a performer you have to learn to be flexible with your approach and adapt to any scenario you may encounter. There will also be occasions when you will have to perform to an audience who are not familiar with your genre of music and you may have to give a greater introduction to your performance than what may be necessary if you where performing to followers of your genre of music. If the piece is regularly heard less time can be spent introducing the actual piece and instead try and give the audience something new to think about such as something they never knew about the piece or the composer. You could talk about the concepts that initially drew you to perform the piece or if it was a piece you composed you could tell the story of the piece and how it came about.

Performing is much more than just putting together a set of pieces. Challenging programmes can expand the musical expectations of the audience and can be very fulfilling but yet challenging at the same time. It would be easier for the performer to program a performance with common favourites but that may not be artistically fulfilling. However, on the other hand, it would not be advisable to programme a performance of
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