Here are a few early notes from my thinking on the topic of performance design:
Performance Design: An interdiscipline which examines and prescribes the tools and methods for designing a performance. Includes those tools under the traditional rubric of “interpretation” (examining manuscripts, historical studies, structural analysis) but also includes music perception fields (music cognition, information theory and neuroscience), programming, venue selection, and marketing.
Interpretation is a commonly understood term among musicians, a term denoting the “stylistic representation of a creative work,” (Stevenson 2010). However, interpretation is often wrongly believed to be a self-consistent and complete toolset for preparing the score for performance. Rather than merely augment the accepted definition of interpretation, I argue that a new term must be used to represent the superset of tools valuable to the performer, of which the traditional methods of interpretation are a subset. I argue for the use of the term Performance Design (PD) to indicate the totality of means and methods by which live concert performances are planned and prepared. Included in these means are tools from Neuroscience, Information Theory, and other audience-centric disciplines.