Thursday, September 28, 2017

OSCAR Student Dylan Van Vierssen and the Peter Ritter Transcription Project

I wanted to work a position this summer that involved music, and when I saw that there was a research position with Dr. Guessford as a mentor, I put in my application. I feel like being able to do musical research, along with working with a team, can push me further towards potentially working within the music industry. What do you actually do on a weekly basis? On Monday through Friday, I come to George Mason and meet up with my team. During a typical workday, I will look at the manuscripts of Peter Ritter's music and enter in the notation on my software, Sibelius. Some movements of music may take half an hour to an hour, and some may take a full workday to complete, depending on the length of the piece and how many instruments there are. Most of the other time is spent reading about and researching his general life, along with performance practices and musical styles of his time period. I would also work on my research question, and look to address the significance of his role in classical music. I discovered that there are only a few performances of Ritter's works following his death, which contributes to my understanding of why details of Ritter have failed to previously come light. There are as many as seven recorded performances from the time of his death in 1846 to when the Library of Congress acquired Ritter's manuscripts in 1911.