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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Karl Miller" <[log in to unmask]>
> On Wed, 29 Mar 2006, Steven Smolian wrote:
> > After all, true rhythm is seldom accurately
> > reflected in music notation.
> While I am in total agreement with you, I believe that many musicians
> today would disagree, which is probably why I find performances today to
> be so dull...another reason why I value those old performances.
> I am reminded of one critic who, when reviewing my release of the Scriabin
> rolls, took objection to rhythmic liberties Scriabin took with his own
> music!
> > In addition, much is taken for granted.  Has anyone seen sheet music for
> > rock that has a hard accent over the second beat?
> Your statement reminded me of something one of my musicology professors
> once said. We were discussing jazz charts at the time. My teacher stated,
> "can you see it...think of some musicologist in the year 3,000. They
> discover one of these charts. All of the recordings were lost in a huge
> magnetic storm. One musicological paper after another is written to try to
> determine how those sections marked 'ad lib' were performed. Reputations
> are made and lost over the controversy...and in reality, they were rarely
> done the same way twice." In a seminar the next semester, one of my
> assignments was to find out how the "Haydn ornament" was to be performed.
> I spent about an hour or so, every day for 3 months and couldn't find the
> answer. I went back to my professor and asked him the answer. He said he
> didn't know and had been spending a bit of his own time for the last five
> years trying to find out the answer. Too bad we didn't have recordings
> back in the time of Haydn.
>
I recall a story told by a Toronto musician I once knew:

It seems that, for whatever reason, the Duke Ellington band had arrived
in Toronto for a show...short their third sax! My acquaintance was a
sax player (and Ellinton fan) so volunteered his services. He was told
"Just follow the charts...it's all in there..." At the show, he was
following his charts, when he noticed that the only notation on
one particular chart and line of music was "Third sax takes 32 bars
here!"

Steven C. Barr