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Scores

A piece of music exists in the form of a written composition in musical notation or as a single acoustic event (a live performance or recorded track). If composed before being performed, music can be performed from memory, through written musical notation, or through a combination of both. Compositions comprise musical elements, which vary widely from person to person and between cultures. Improvisation is the act of composing during the performance, assembling musical elements spontaneously.

Piece is a, “general, non-technical term [that began to be] applied mainly to instrumental compositions from the 17th century onwards….other than when they are taken individually ‘piece’ and its equivalents are rarely used of movements in sonatas or symphonies….composers have used all these terms [in their different languages] frequently in compound forms [e.g. Clavierstück]….In vocal music…the term is most frequently used for operatic ensembles…”