Frameworks of Interpretive Variation and Johannes Brahms’s Violin Concerto in D Major, op. 77
From approximately 1900 onwards there are a large number of extant recordings of violin performance. The opportunity has emerged for these recordings to be used as the source material to both construct histories and expand the academic understanding of how violin associated factors of music function. While there are many highly descriptive analyses of recorded violin music, they tend to focus heavily on describing form, content, or trends in the use of certain features while shying away from making claims about the relation of these to how they may be perceived by a listener. Research into the relationship between a musical event and its perception or phenomenology has been expanded on significantly through the theory of embodied music perception, which highlights the corporally mediated perception of music and the importance of cognitive metaphor in the description of musical perception.
This exegesis employs the theory of embodied musical cognition as the basis of an analytical methodology, which presents findings about the function of musical factors through metaphoric description. It provides six analyses of recordings of sections of Brahms’s Violin Concerto in D Major Op. 77. The dependence of this methodology on the underlying principles of the symbolic interpretive theory of culture, autoethnography and an expanded locus of the musical ‘work’ are also discussed. It finds that the methodology imposes certain limits on the scope of findings and that the current mass availability of recorded music provides the opportunity for this expanded concept of the musical ‘work’.