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Early music
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Early music

Early music is a term used to describe pre-Classical Western music, from the earliest written music (ca. 1000 A.D.) to 1500 at the earliest (Judd, 1998, p.4) and the end of the Baroque era in about 1750 at the latest. For information on early music, see the following articles:

The term "early music" is closely associated with the concept of authentic performance. The authentic performance movement began with the performance of early music, and in general, the earlier the music, the more likely it is that its performers will show an interest in authentic performance as it becomes more difficult for the reason listed below and others.

Table of contents
1 Notation and performance
2 Sources
3 External link

Notation and performance

According to Margaret Bent (1998), Early music notation, "is under-prescriptive by our standards; when translated into modern form it acquires a prescriptive weight that overspecifies and distorts its original openness." Before about 1600, written music did not consistently state which instruments are used when. A century earlier, people who wrote down music did not always specify whether lines of polyphony were to be sung or played on an instrument. Similarly, the notation frequently does not indicate what key to play the music in, if any. Accidentals were not necessary. Notations for rhythm go back only to about 1200. There is thus a speculative element to all modern performances of Medieval and Renaissance music. However, Renaissance musicians would have been highly trained in dyadic counterpoint and thus possessed this and other information necessary to read a score, "what modern notation requires [accidentals] would then have been perfectly apparent without notation to a singer versed in counterpoint." See: Renaissance music#Notation and performance.

Sources

External link