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Encyclopedia > Early music
History of classical music
Medieval (476 – 1400)
Renaissance (1400 – 1600)
Baroque (1600 – 1760)
Classical (1730 – 1820)
Romantic (1815 – 1910)
20th century classical (1900 – 2000)
Contemporary classical (1975 – present)

Early music is commonly defined as European classical music from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Baroque. Classical music is a term with three distinct meanings: The European tradition of music which is associated with high culture, as distinct from popular or folk forms (including works in this tradition in non-European countries). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Renaissance music is European classical music written during the Renaissance, approximately 1400 to 1600. ... Baroque music describes an era and a set of styles of European classical music which were in widespread use between approximately 1600 and 1750 (see Dates of classical music eras for a discussion of the problems inherent in defining the beginning and end points). ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The era of Romantic music is defined as the period of European classical music that runs roughly from the early 1800s to the first decade of the 20th century, as well as music written according to the norms and styles of that period. ... 20th century classical music, the classical music of the 20th century, was extremely diverse, beginning with the late Romantic style of Sergei Rachmaninoff, Impressionism of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, and continuing through the Neoclassicism of middle-period Igor Stravinsky, and ranging to such distant sound-worlds as the complete... In the broadest sense, contemporary music is any music being written in the present day. ... Classical music is a broad, somewhat imprecise term, referring to music produced in, or rooted in the traditions of, European art, ecclesiastical and concert music, encompassing a broad period from roughly 1000 to the present day. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... Renaissance music is European classical music written during the Renaissance, approximately 1400 to 1600. ... Baroque music describes an era and a set of styles of European classical music which were in widespread use between approximately 1600 and 1750 (see Dates of classical music eras for a discussion of the problems inherent in defining the beginning and end points). ...

Contents

Performance practice

The early music movement of the 20th century has been closely associated with the concept of performance practice. With the renewed interest in early music came an interest in using historically adequate playing techniques and instruments. The authentic performance movement is an effort on the part of musicians and scholars to perform works of classical music in ways similar to how they were performed when they were originally written. ...


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 [now] requires [accidentals] would then have been perfectly apparent without notation to a singer versed in counterpoint" (ibid). See the article on Renaissance music and its section on notation and performance. Music notation is a system of writing for music. ... Polyphony is a musical texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice (monophony) or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords (homophony). ... Polyphony is a musical texture consisting of several independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice (monophony) or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords (homophony). ... Renaissance music is European classical music written during the Renaissance, approximately 1400 to 1600. ...


In the early music revival of the 20th century, the concept of historically informed performance--that is, using available documentation and other contextual evidence to recreate as closely as possible the original ways of playing the instruments used in early music--became an important facet of the performance of early music. The authentic performance movement is an effort on the part of musicians and scholars to perform works of classical music in ways similar to how they were performed when they were originally written. ...


See also

An early music ensemble is one that specializes in performing music of the European classical tradition from the Baroque era and before, i. ... Neo-Medieval music is a term used to describe a variety of styles within modern popular music. ... The authentic performance movement is an effort on the part of musicians and scholars to perform works of classical music in ways similar to how they were performed when they were originally written. ...

Sources

  • Judd, Cristle Collins. "Introduction: Analyzing Early Music" in Judd, Cristle Collins (ed.) (1998). Tonal Structures of Early Music. New York: Garland Publishing. ISBN 0-8153-2388-3.
  • Bent, Margaret. "The Grammar of Early Music: Preconditions for Analysis" in Judd, Cristle Collins (ed.) (1998). Tonal Structures of Early Music. New York: Garland Publishing. ISBN 0-8153-2388-3.

External links

  • Early Music FAQ
    • What is Early Music?


  Results from FactBites:
 
What is Early Music? (2997 words)
Their early entry into this repertory was facilitated by various embryonic musicological revival efforts in England in the 1800s and even notably the 1700s, and buoyed by interest in Renaissance music among early 20th century English composers.
By the 1950s, early music was a definite phenomenon, with such performers as Safford Cape, Alfred Deller, Noah Greenberg, etc. Since then, the number of early music performers has increased steadily, as has audience interest, to the point where early music sales are more or less equal to those of non-early classical music.
Early music performers have a history of going directly to written and manuscript sources, and consequently not basing their interpretations so much on what other performers have done, but more on their own direct intuition of the sources themselves.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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