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Between Performance, Manuscript, And Print: Imagining The Musical Text In Seventeenth-Century Plays And Songbooks

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Chapter Summary

This chapter proposes a modified combination of van Orden's and Boorman's definitions: A musical song text is that form of musical information which is written or printed and which proclaims itself to be intended for realization in performance or as an aid to performance in some fashion, often including some form of notation or traces of notation, in addition to tune title and song lyrics. It mainly focuses on three seventeenth-century chuanqi plays featuring scenes that revolve around transcribing, notating, or performing musical texts: Yuan Yuling's 袁于令 Xilou ji 西 樓記, completed by 1611; Hong Sheng's 洪昇 Changsheng dian 長生殿, completed circa 1688; and Kong Shangren's 孔尚任 Taohua shan 桃花扇, completed circa 1699.

Keywords: seventeenth-century plays; songbooks

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