Programmert interpretasjon. Serinetten som kilde till 1700-tallets musikalske fremførelsespraksis
In his famous treatise on organ-building, L'art du facteur d'orgues (1766-78), the French Bénédictine monk, organist and organ-builder Dom François Bédos de Celles devotes a chapter to the procedure of pinning cylinders for automatic organs. The chapter, based on the treatise La Tonotechnie by Dom Bédos' contemporary Joseph Engramelle, Dom Bédos contains detailed descriptions of basic practices of performance, including the precise nature of ornaments, articulation and notes inégales, with the aim of making possible the mechanical reproduction of a good human performance. The descriptions are presented in textual and diagrammatic form. The diagrams, which represent the surface of a pinned cylinder, are mathematically accurate and can be translated into ordinary notation. In describing the refinements of articulation, ornaments and "unequal notes" (inégales), Dom Bédos provides examples to serve as visual aids for the programmer or "pinner". The chapter is especially interesting as a testimony of historical performance practices since, in preparing it, the author collaborated with Claude Balbastre, a pupil of Rameau and an important organist in Paris. The study of pinned cylinders, seen as pictorial records of contemporary practices, may throw additional light on the teachings of eighteenth century theorists and composers, thus forming an important contribution to the search for a manner of performance suitable to the keyboard music of the period. To learn to understand the conditions of programming music on cylinders, and thereby also to be able to evaluate extant examples of music preserved in this form from a performance perspective, I have programmed examples described in Engramelle's Tonotechnie onto a cylinder of a small automatic organ, a serinette, built according to the engravings and descriptions in Dom Bédos' chapter. The aim of my study is to acquire a better understanding of the nature of a programmed performance, and especially to assess the extent to which music programmed on a cylinder can supply relevant information on late eighteenth century performance practices that cannot be found in other kinds of sources.
Bratsberg, Bjørn A.