History of Performance Practice - Fall 2018
(HMS313-1 FA2018)

What did the instruments of Bach's time sound like? Would Beethoven or Mozart have preferred the sound of the modern Steinway over the Pianoforte? Are modern instruments an improvement over so-called authentic "period instruments"? Is the modern vocal style really what the great bel Canto singers really had in mind? What about pitch, intonation or vibrato? This survey course seeks to open the debate through the study of original source materials and treatises on performance practice. We will study the earliest recordings of legendary performers and composers who hand us an astonishing glimpse into the sound world of the 19th century. This class will not only trace the origins of the so-called early music movement and its effect on the performance of the music of the Baroque, but look at the evolution through the 19th and 20th centuries as well.