This volume presents the early views of philosophers and musicians having to do with the general background of what is known as Performance Practice. Performance Practice refers to the knowledge needed by musicians in bringing to life, in the form of present tense performance, older compositions, in view of the fact that we have a very incomplete system for the notation of music.
But there are other problems besides our inadequate notational system. These include broad issues of society, the nature of the musical instruments themselves, acoustics, how the listener’s brain “hears” music and performance traditions of earlier centuries.
Modern musicians usually mean by “performance practice” the knowledge of small detail, such as trills, turns and improvisation. It is the hope of the present author that this volume will supply some of the background needed to help understand the solution of the smaller details.