The Dilemma of Translation

The Dilemma of Translation - John Hawkins Medieval and...

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John Hawkins Medieval and Renaissance Music Dr. Zayaruznaya November 10, 2009 The Dilemma of Translation: Reflection and Commentary on Bent The goal of Bent’s methodology towards medieval music is, ironically, authenticity. She invokes and renounces the principal in one breath, lamenting “how little we aspire to re-create the sounds and techniques of… works even when we have recordings,” but inciting us “to abandon use of the word [authenticity].” She then goes on to explain how the editors of old music get it right, how they could get it wrong, what it means for the possible misreadings of a performance of a translated score, all the while carrying with her not the word authenticity, but its premise. That point aside, she does raise interesting points about what is lost and retained when a written work is changed from mensural notation to that of the modern day. The conceptual difference between transliteration and translation is key. It’s not simply that the sounds of one notation have been transplanted into a different notation but that they’ve been put into an entirely different framework, which carries wide implications for “meaning”. Bent seems most worried about performance issues, and rightfully so: Imagine what the outcome would be of a work of literature that had been translated from Latin into French and then from French into English. If at both steps the translators
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This document was uploaded on 10/27/2011 for the course MAP CA102 at NYU.

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The Dilemma of Translation - John Hawkins Medieval and...

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