- Harry Haskell
A term once applied to music of the Baroque and earlier periods, but now commonly used to denote any music for which a historically appropriate style of performance must be reconstructed on the basis of surviving scores, treatises, instruments and other contemporary evidence. The ‘early music movement’, involving a revival of interest in this repertory and in the instruments and performing styles associated with it, had a wide-ranging impact on musical life in the closing decades of the 20th century.
The roots of the modern early music revival lie in early 18th-century England, France and Prussia, where a complex of social and cultural conditions gave rise to the concept of a canonical repertory of ‘ancient’ music. In England, the religious upheavals of the Commonwealth and Restoration fostered a renewed appreciation of the sacred music tradition. Preservation efforts, led by musicians of the cathedrals and Chapel Royal, took on an increasingly moralistic character. The clergyman Arthur Bedford, for instance, in his ...