Expressiveness in historical perspective: Nineteenth-century ideals and practices

David Milsom, Neal Peres Da Costa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines ways in which nineteenth-century musicians practiced expressivity. These methods differ strikingly from current, 'manistream' notions of what it is to play tastefully, and expressively, including notable distinctions compared to recent times in respect of tempo rubato, sychronicity of melody and accompaniment, as well as applications of vocal-derived devices such as portamento, and vibrato. The central tenet of the chapter is to summarise, with examples, how nineteenth-century expressivity differs from more recent, received notions, proposing that studies of expressivity need to be responsive to different chronological and cultural contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExpressiveness in Music Performance
Subtitle of host publicationEmpirical Approaches Across Styles and Cultures
EditorsDorottya Fabian, Renee Timmers, Emery Schubert
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780191634550
ISBN (Print)9780199659647
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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