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 A&H 296 - Performance Practice


This branch of musicology is the closest related to practical music making. It starts from the assumption that able com­posers of all centuries would have written works to suit the forces available to them. Specul­a­tions such as “If Bach would have had a Steinway grand piano...” are therefore out of the question. Covering Wes­tern music from Gregorian chant to Berlioz, the objective of this course is to introduce the student to the various aspects that may lead to a historically informed performance: The development of musical in­stru­­ments and vocal techniques; tuning and temperament; tempo; ensemble sizes; interpretation of music­al notation and its trans­lation into a critical per­for­mance edition. Part of the course is devoted to the study of theoretical sources and iconographic evidence. These in­sights are then applied to the analysis of actual per­­formances. This will enable students to produce independent critic­al discussions and reviews of con­certs and recordings.



Music Theory

The following course is required in order to take this course:

  • A&H 196 Introduction to Music Theory