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Historical Performance Program

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Historical Performance Program
The Historical Performance Program is an interdisciplinary program which cuts across departmental and divisional boundaries. Its primary aim is to explore several aspects of the study of performance: determining those questions a musician should ask about any repertoire in order to make informed choices about performance; integrating the learning of a piece by investigating its historical and cultural context, as well as the practical aspects of instruments and performance conventions; and developing a perspective on the history of performing styles and traditions up to and including the twentieth century.
The program is broad in its application as it includes course offerings in both academic work and applied study. For those students wishing to specialize, there is the opportunity to major in performance on a historical instrument (see Historical Performance major in the Undergraduate and Graduate Program sections of this catalog).

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Academic Courses

All course offerings listed below are open to Conservatory and College of Arts and Science students (subject to meeting the prerequisites for individual courses). These courses will be granted HPRF (Historical Performance) credit on student transcripts, or in the cases of HPRF 302 and 312, may be taken to fulfill an upper-division music history requirement. To receive music history credit for these two courses, a student must register using the music history numbers, MHST 302 and 312.
Introduction to Performance Practice (HPRF 302/502 or MHST 302) is designed to introduce the non-specialist and specialist alike to the nature of a historically informed approach to performance; Seminar in Performance Practice (HPRF 303/503) and Special Topics in Performance Practice (HPRF 312/512 or MHST 312) are intended to allow students to pursue certain areas of historical performance in greater depth, either as a sub-specialty or as part of a performance major or minor on a historical instrument.
302. Introduction to Historical Performance 3 hours
What does a score tell us? What does it not tell us? And what is expected of the performer? A study of changing performance styles in music from the nineteenth century to the Middle Ages. Topics include the evolution of instruments, ensembles, and orchestras; and conventions of rhythm, tempo, articulation, phrasing, and ornamentation. Students will compare editions and prepare an edition themselves. Identical to MHST 302. Also see HPRF 502. Prerequisites: MHST 101, and one 200-level Music History course, or consent of the instructor.
Enrollment Limit: 30.
Sem 1 HPRF-302-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Breitman
303. Seminar in Performance Practice 3 hours
For students specializing in historical performance. Specialized subjects, different each time the course is offered, introduce research techniques and close reading of original texts, editions, and manuscripts. Also see HPRF 503. Prerequisites: HPRF 302 or consent of the instructor. Enrollment Limit: 15.
Sem 2 HPRF-303-01 TuTh 8:35-9:50 Mr. Breitman
312. Special Topics in Performance Practice 3 hours
Topic: Musical performance in the 20th century. A study of changing 20th century attitudes, tastes, and approaches to the performance of orchestral, vocal, chamber, and keyboard repertoires. Performing styles and traditions will be examined by listening to historically significant recordings. The Early Music revival and critical issues. Identical to MHST 312. Also see HPRF 512. Prerequisites: HPRF 302 (or MHST 302). Notes: May be repeated for credit if the topic changes. Consent: Consent of instructor required. Enrollment Limit: 30.
Sem 2 HPRF-312-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Breitman
502. Introduction to Historical Performance 3 hours
Identical to HPRF 302 but with additional assignments for graduate students.
Enrollment Limit: 30.
Sem 1 HPRF-502-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Breitman
503. Seminar in Performance Practice 3 hours
Identical to HPRF 303 but with additional assignments for graduate students.
Enrollment Limit: 15.
Sem 2 HPRF-503-01 TuTh 8:35-9:50 Mr. Breitman
512. Special Topics in Performance Practice 3 hours
Identical to HPRF 312 but with additional assignments for graduate students. Prerequisites: HPRF 302/502 or MHST 302. Identical to MHST 512. Consent: Consent of instructor required. Enrollment Limit: 30.
Sem 2 HPRF-512-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Breitman

 

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Applied Music

These offerings include private study (principal or secondary) on historical instruments, and coached ensembles or applied study classes in which the emphasis is on a historically informed approach to performance.
Private study is available on harpsichord, fortepiano, organ, recorder, Baroque flute, Baroque oboe, Baroque violin, Baroque cello and viola da gamba.
Applied courses and ensembles include (see Applied Studies section of this catalog for more detailed information on these):
APST 240 Continuo Realization at the Keyboard
APST 242, 244 Baroque Violin for Violinists
APST 340 Continuo Accompanying
APST 730 Collegium Musicum
APST 841 Viola da Gamba Consort
APST 843 Baroque Ensemble
APST 844 Renaissance Recorder Ensemble

 

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