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date: 14 December 2019

Performing practicelocked

  • Howard Mayer Brown,
  • David Hiley,
  • Christopher Page,
  • Kenneth Kreitner,
  • Peter Walls,
  • Janet K. Page,
  • D. Kern Holoman,
  • Robert Winter,
  • Robert Philip
  •  and Benjamin Brinner


A term adapted from the German Aufführungspraxis (in America the usage ‘performance practice’ is generally preferred).

As applied to Western music, the subject involves all aspects of the way in which music is and has been performed, and its study is of particular importance to the modern performer concerned with historically informed performance. Topics that may be considered aspects of performing practice include notational ones (i.e. the relationship between written notes and the sounds they symbolize, especially such matters as rhythm, tempo and articulation); improvisation and ornaments; instruments, their history and physical structure and the ways in which they are played; voice production; matters of tuning, pitch and temperament; and ensembles, their size, disposition, and the modes in which they are directed. Performing practice is generally approached through the study of treatises and instruction books, critical writings and iconographical material, as well as actual instruments and music. The present article summarizes the issues involved in different periods; particular topics relevant to instruments and their use are treated in separate entries....

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