Journal of Undergraduate Research


performance power, classifying note, publishing notes, Douglas Bush


Fine Arts and Communications




Great performers often rely on the wisdom of other great performers to inform their musical interpretations. Understanding historical context and expert interpretations can not only make a performance more historically accurate but also more engaging. Because most of the music that performers play originates from deceased composers, performers rely heavily on secondary sources to give extramusical information about the pieces they play. Dr. Douglas Bush shared his love of music throughout his 35 years as a faculty member in BYU’s School of Music before his death in October 2013. A Bach enthusiast and organist extraordinaire, he took myriad notes about scores, performances and styles throughout his prolific career. Upon his passing,

Dr. Bush left behind a plethora of valuable notes and performance scores that could help students draw from his knowledge even after his death. However, those notes sat in large filing cabinets that were difficult for students to access. As a former student of Dr. Bush and an organ performance major, I understood what value these notes could provide organists if they could use them. This project increased the accessibility of Dr. Bush’s notes by cataloging them so that students, faculty and the public can easily view the information online. Four-hundred pages of Dr. Bush’s musicological notes are now available on the BYU Organ Department website, www.organ.byu.edu. Having this information readily available to musicians empowers them to increase their knowledge and improve the authenticity and quality of their performances.

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