Initial Sets and Initial Performances

  • Guerino Mazzola
Part of the Computational Music Science book series (CMS)


Performance has to start somewhere. The theory of this initialization deals with initial sets and initial performance. Naively speaking, initial sets are the first notes of a performance. Semiotically, initial theory describes a turning point from lexicality to reality in music which is supported by shifters; we explain this rationale. Since music deals with many parameters, initialization has to be specified in all dimensions. We first comment on the classical initial sets in onset, pitch, and duration. On an initial set, the performance cannot be calculated from previous performance, an initial performance has to be defined. We discuss ways to do so. On a more technical level, we introduce the hit point theory, a mathematical account for the control of performance field ows as their curves approach initial sets. Strategies of guessing best approaches to initial sets are presented.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guerino Mazzola
    • 1
  1. 1.School of MusicUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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