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Modern musical training tends to focus primarily on performance practices of the Classical and Romantic periods, and most performers come to the music of the Renaissance with well-honed but anachronistic ideas and concepts. As a result, elemental differences between 16th-century repertoire and that of later epochs tend to be overlooked-yet it is just these differences which can make a performance truly stunning.
The Performance of 16th-Century Music offers a remedy for the performer, presenting the information and guidance that will enable them to better understand the music and advance their technical and expressive abilities. Drawing from nearly 40 years of performing, teaching, and studying this repertoire and its theoretical sources, renowned early music specialist Anne Smith outlines several major areas of technical knowledge and skill needed to perform the music of this period. She takes the reader through part-books and choirbooks; solmization; rhythmic inequality; and elements of structure in relation to rhetoric of the time; while familiarizing them with contemporary criteria and standards of excellence for performance. Through The Performance of 16th-Century Music, today's musicians will gain fundamental insight into how 16th-century polyphony functions, and the tools necessary to perform this repertoire to its fullest and glorious potential.
an engaging and useful study (Richard Wistreich, Early Music)
[a] subtle and coherent story ... No one who performs sixteenth-century music, and no one who cares about what this music sounded like or how they understood it back then, can afford to be without this ... book. (Kenneth Kreitner, Performance Practice Review)
Ann Smith ... does an immense service to performers, and especially to students, not only by bringing relevant quotations together, but also by contextualizing them without in any other way over-simplifying their ambiguities. ...we should expect nothing less of someone who has devoted her working life to developing and imparting such understanding. (Richard Wistreich, Early Music)