Bernard D. Sherman

in Inside Early Music

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780195169454
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199865017 | DOI:

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The musicians interviewed in this book can be divided into three broad types. Artists of the first type uphold what might be called the central early music tradition: they adhere firmly to the ideal of trying to play music as it was played in its own time. The interviews show that historical evidence does not inspire everyone in the same way. The second type of artists rejects, at least partially, the core ideal of historical authenticity. Such artists are not complacent but rather know their history, and have rethought their styles. But unlike the first type, they flout history openly when they prefer something else. We might assume that these artists have been emboldened by the skeptics’ battering at the historicist ideal. On the whole though, it seems that both types one and two reach their positions not through the intellect but through temperament or artistic need. The third type is often a subset of the first type, which uses history radically to undermine a more basic assumption, one that the first two groups share with the mainstream.

Keywords: early music; musicians; audience appeal; classical music; historical performance

Chapter.  5328 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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