- Early music
The early music movement of the 20th century has been closely associated with the concept of
performance practice. With the renewed interest in early music came an interest in using period instruments and historically aware playing techniques.
Notation and performance
According to Margaret Bent (1998), Early
music notation, "is under-prescriptive by our standards; when translated into modern form it acquires a prescriptive weight that overspecifies and distorts its original openness." Before about 1600, written music did not consistently state which instruments are used when. A century earlier, people who wrote down music did not always specify whether lines of polyphonywere to be sung or played on an instrument. Similarly, the notation frequently does not indicate what key to play the music in, if any. Accidentals were not necessary. Notations for rhythm go back only to about 1200. There is thus a speculative element to all modern performances of Medieval and Renaissance music. However, Renaissance musicians would have been highly trained in dyadic counterpointand thus possessed this and other information necessary to read a score, "what modern notation [now] requires [accidentals] would then have been perfectly apparent without notation to a singer versed in counterpoint" (ibid). See the article on Renaissance musicand its section on notation and performance.
In the early music revival of the 20th century, the concept of
historically informed performance--that is, using available documentation and other contextual evidence to recreate as closely as possible the original ways of playing the instruments used in early music--became an important facet of the performance of early music.
Early Music Network
Early Music Revival
Historically informed performance
List of early music ensembles
*Judd, Cristle Collins. "Introduction: Analyzing Early Music" in Judd, Cristle Collins (ed.) (1998). "Tonal Structures of Early Music". New York: Garland Publishing. ISBN 0-8153-2388-3.
*Bent, Margaret. "The Grammar of Early Music: Preconditions for Analysis" in Judd, Cristle Collins (ed.) (1998). "Tonal Structures of Early Music". New York: Garland Publishing. ISBN 0-8153-2388-3.
* [http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/ Early Music FAQ]
** [http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/misc/whatis.htm What is Early Music?]
* [http://www.learningmusician.com/features/0607/EarlyMusicForKids/ Ancient Tunes, Young Ears: Teaching Early Music to Kids]
* [http://earlymusichicago.org Early MusiChicago] - Early Music in Chicago and Beyond, with many links and resources of general interest
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