Peer-reviewed research article  The music-related gestures of la danse grotesque in Rameau’s Les Sauvages published in Trio Research Journal 2015
DMus Assi Karttunen
Figure 1. The poster

The music-related gestures of la danse grotesque in Rameau’s Les Sauvages

Nowadays many of us agree that a historically informed performance, HIP, is not an objectied, historical truth about the music of previous centuries. Even so, we still need to reect upon the many possibilities of how we actually embody historically informed performing in practice.

In this article I will explore the music-related movements of la danse grotesque in Jean- Philippe Rameau’s composition, Les Sauvages, as a musician-researcher, harpsichordist, and a basso continuo player. The article deals with the solo harpsichord composition as well as with the version for soloists, vocal ensemble and orchestra as part of the opéraballet Les Indes galantes.

One of the key concepts in my research is the rhetorical
actio. However, rhetorical actio is not only about speech or oratory. When applied to music, the tradition encompasses a range of other bodily actions not necessarily related to the act of speaking.

By positioning ourselves in the dialectical space between history and the musical material, we process and modify it. As a result we gain a whole gamut of artistic possibilities. These alternatives are much more historically informed than we might think at rst, because our own, temporal position in the historical continuum is comprehended as a part of it.

Keywords: baroque, la danse grotesque, embodiment, historically informed performance, musical gestures, music-related movements, performance practice, practice-based research, rhetorical actio.

About the Author: Assi Karttunen DMus is a harpsichordist specialized in performing and researching Baroque music. She also performs in interdisciplinary groups with experimental and contemporary repertory. Karttunen works as a musician-researcher at DocMus, Doctoral school of the Sibelius Academy, and teaches harpsichord playing and basso continuo at the Early music faculty, Sibelius Academy. She has recorded solo albums (Alba, Divine Arts), has played in several orchestras and ensembles, and is currently working in her Elysian Fields Workshop.

TRIO 1/2016 – Artikkelit: Assi Karttunen

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