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The Recueils d’airs sérieux et à boire de différents autheurs (“RASB”) published by Christophe Ballard represent the major source in which airs sérieux are preserved. The cultural elite sang from these publications in the salon, and in so doing, participated in a highly codified form of communication within society. Ballard, on the other hand, was running a business and his commercial strategies favoured the publication of those airs which would guarantee the sale of the highest number of copies. The enduring commercial success of the RASB indicates that Ballard’s editorial choices were reflective of the tastes of the avid and elite music-public, and successful predictors of the next day’s fashion.
Kevin Toksöz Fairbairn performs contemporary repertoire distinguished by physically decoupled notations or physical polyphonic notations, a unique and relatively recent trend in musical notation that notates physical actions instead of just notes.
The thesis presents a new perspective on Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger (ca.1580-1651), who is nowadays only famous for his works for theorbo and lute, his remarkable output of vocal music of all genres being still mostly neglected from musicologists and performers.
The thesis wishes to examine the pathways of thought underlying the creative act of music making and the performance practice of complex music from the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. The questions at stake in the case of a ‘new’ complexity score, that is to say what is the significance of the extreme complex notation, are the score and the music playable and do they work, and how and under what condition do they work, these are the issues to be resolved by the performer.