Performance fields are the core of an in-depth theory of performance structure. They are a distinguished type of vector fields which give an infinitely precise, i.e., infinitesimal, account of the ‘shaping forces’ of a given local performance transformation. Although performance fields are not recognized as such in musicology and traditional performance research, they arise in a completely natural way in the traditional context of tempo, intonation, and dynamics. We give a careful account of this basic fact. A closer look at articulation and further sound parameters (apart from onset, pitch and loudness which are used for tempo, intonation, and dynamics) reveals that performance fields should be viewed within a fairly general approach. We define the formal setup. In order to provide a deeper understanding of the semiotic signification process of performance fields, we review the performance philosophies of Theodor W. Adorno, Benjamin, and Diana Raffman.
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