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Raffaele Viglianti Lecture

The Music Scholars Lecture Series Presents

Raffaele Viglianti

Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities

“Did they have iPads on their music stands?” Understanding the role of digital scores in performance

Friday, November 9, 2018 at 4pm

Leah Smith Hall (Room 2200), School of Music

Free and open to the public

Concert goers are growing accustomed to performers, particularly small ensembles, who bring a tablet computer on stage and place it on the music stand before they begin to play. Perhaps less noticed, a silent tap on the side of a screen, or the nimble pressing of a foot pedal has replaced the rustle of page turning. What is bringing some performers to the digital medium for their scores? What are the repertoires and types of ensembles that are more successfully engaging with it? How and how deeply are performers consuming the digital score? Notwithstanding an observable increase in the use of digital devices to study and perform music, the transactions between score and performers are only mildly affected: the digital score primarily acts like its paper counterpart: a static, largely reliable instrument for learning and performing a given work of music. The flexibility of the digital medium, as opposed to something fixed on paper, calls for a more modern concept of the score, one that undermines its prescriptiveness by making room for material and features targeted at supporting performers in their interpretation and advocacy of a musical work. What would such a truly digital score look like? And more importantly, what are the critical instruments necessary to understand its impact on performance and music making at large? 

Raffaele Viglianti is a Research Programmer working on the MITH development team. Raffaele’s work revolves around digital editions and textual scholarship. He is currently an elected member of the Text Encoding Initiative technical council and an advisor for the Music Encoding Initiative, which produces guidelines for the digital representation of music notation with a focus on scholarly requirements. As a researcher, Raffaele specializes in editions of music scores, contributing to the ongoing change to scholarly editorial theory and practice in the digital medium. His work also focuses on the shaping of music performance practice by the digital consumption of music scores, or the performance of a music score from a digital device.

The Music Scholars Lecture Series is organized by the Musicology and Ethnomusicology Division and features new research by guest speakers throughout the academic year.