Early Music: A Very Short Introduction

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Oxford University Press, Apr 25, 2011 - Music - 144 pages
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From Gregorian chant to Bach's Brandenburg Concerti, the music of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods is both beautiful and intriguing, expanding our horizons as it nourishes our souls. In this Very Short Introduction, Thomas Forrest Kelly provides not only a compact overview of the music itself, but also a lively look at the many attempts over the last two centuries to revive it. Kelly shows that the early-music revival has long been grounded in the idea of spontaneity, of excitement, and of recapturing experiences otherwise lost to us--either the rediscovery of little-known repertories or the recovery of lost performing styles, with the conviction that, with the right performance, the music will come to life anew. Blending musical and social history, he shows how the Early Music movement in the 1960s took on political overtones, fueled by a rebellion against received wisdom and enforced conformity. Kelly also discusses ongoing debates about authenticity, the desirability of period instruments, and the relationship of mainstream opera companies and symphony orchestras to music that they often ignore, or play in modern fashion.
 

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Contents

1 What does early music mean?
1
Medieval
16
Renaissance
30
Baroque
49
5 Performing issues
69
6 The modern earlymusic revival
94
Further reading
123
Index
125
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About the author (2011)

Thomas Forrest Kelly is Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music at Harvard University and a past president of Early Music America.

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