Early Music and Historically Informed Performance Practice

Reading Lists

The Louise Hanson-Dyer Music Library at the University of Melbourne has many books and articles relating to the topics covered by this course.

The books can be found by performing a Subject Search using the keywords “Performance Practice”. The librarians can help you with this if necessary.

The area of Historical Performance Practice has evolved remarkably over the past 20 years. A lot of the issues involved have been resolved as far as is possible within the limits of surviving source materials (though there is still plenty of heated debate). In particular, the area is becoming less the exclusive domain of musicology and is addressing more of the practical problems faced by performers. As part of this shift, there is an increasing amount of material available written by highly respected and knowledgeable performers.

When searching for books and articles you should therefore focus mainly on those published after about 1980. Generally speaking, the more recent the better.

The following lists contain books and articles I have found useful (as well as some I have not yet read, but which look interesting) or are by the most recognised names in the field.

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Primary Sources

Updated 6 Aug 2002

These are treatises that I will be referring to in the classes. As well as specific information relating to the instrument(s) mentioned in the title, they also contain much general information on performance practice relevant to all performers regardless of instrument.

Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel. Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen. Berlin, 1753 [Part 1] and 1762 [Part 2].


William J Mitchell, trans. Essay on the true art of playing keyboard instruments. London: Cassell, 1951. [UniM Music 786.2193 BACH]

Couperin, François. L’art de toucher le clavecin. Paris, 1716.

Translation (with original French text and score of 8 Preludes):

Margery Halford, trans. The art of playing the harpsichord. Sherman Oaks, Calif.: Alfred Pubishing, c1974. [UniM Music Score D C856 ART]

Descartes, René. Les passion de l’âme (1649).

Translation with annotations:

Stephen Voss, trans. The passions of the soul / René Descartes. Indianapolis / Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Co., 1989. [UniM ERC B 128.3 DESC]

Geminiani, Francesco. A treatise of good taste in the art of musick. London, 1749. Facsimile reprint, New York: Da Capo Press, 1969. [UniM Music 781.67 GEMI]

Hotteterre, Jacques, dit le Romain. Principes de la flûte traversière ou flûte d’Allemagne, de la flüte a bec our flûte douce, et du haut-bois, divisez par traitez. Paris: Christophe Ballard, 1707. Facsimile reprint of 1720 nouvelle edition, Genève: Minkoff, 1971. Facsimile reprint of {1710] Amsterdam edition with German translation, Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1941; reprinted 1958.


David Lasocki, trans. Principles of the flute, recorder and oboe. London: Barrie & Rockliff, 1968; reprinted London; Barrie & Jenkins, 1978. [UniM Music 788.3 HOTT]

Translation of the flute treatise:

Greg Dikmans, trans. Principles of the transverse flute. Volume II in ‘The performance practice of early 18th-century French flute music: a critical translation of Jacques Hotteterre’s Principes de la fûte traversière commentary and recording of selected works.’ (MA thesis, La Trobe University, 1991). [UniM Music F 788.31430944 DIKM]

Mattheson, Johann. Der vollkommene Capellmeister. Hamburg, 1739.


Ernest C. Harriss. Johann Mattheson’s Der vollkommene Capellmeister: a revised translation with critical commentary. Ann Arbor, Mich: UMI Research Press, c1981. [UniM Music 781 Matt]

Mozart, Leopold. Versuch einer gründlichen Violinschule. Augsburg, 1756.


Editha Knocker, trans. A treatise on the fundamental principles of violin playing. London: Oxford University Press, 1948. [UniM Music 787.2193 MOZA]

Quantz, Johann Joachim. Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversiere zu spielen. Berlin, 1752. Essai d’une methode pour apprendre à jouer de la flute traversiere. Berlin, 1752. Facsimile reprint (with an introduction by Bartholt Kuijken) of 1752 German edition, Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1988. Facsimile reprint of 3rd edition (Breslau, 1789), Kassel & Basel: Bärenreiter, 1953.


Edward R Reilly, trans. On playing the flute. London: Faber, 1966. 2nd edition, London: Faber, 1985. [UniM Music 788.32193 QUAN]

Saint-Lambert, Michel de. Les Principes du clavecin. Paris, 1702.


Rebecca Harris-Warrick, trans. and ed. Principles of the harpsichord by Monsieur de Saint Lambert. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984. [UniM Music 786.4193 SAIN]

Tosi, Pier Francesco (1653-1732). Opinioni de’ cantori antichi e moderni.

18th-century German translation:

Johann Friedrich Agricola. Anleitung zur Singkunst: aus dem italänischen de Herrn Peter Franz Tosi. Berlin, 1757.

18th-century English translation:

John Ernst Galliard. Observations on the florid song. Edited with additional notes by Michael Pilkington. London: Stainer & Bell, c1987. [UniM Music 783.043 TOSI]

English translation of Agricola’s translation:

Julianne C. Baird, trans. & ed. Introduction to the art of singing. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995. [UniM Music 783.043 TOSI]

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Secondary Sources

Updated 18 Aug 2002

Badura-Skoda, Paul. Interpreting Bach at the keyboard. Translated by Alfred Clayton. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Barbieri, Patrizio. ‘Violin intonation: a historical survey.’ Early Music 19.1 (1991): 69-88.

Brown, Clive. Classical and Romantic performing practice, 1750-1900. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Brown, Howard Mayer and Stanley Sadie, eds. Performance practice. Vol. 1: Music before 1600. Vol. 2: Music after 1600. Basingstoke, England: Macmillan, 1989.

Buelow, George J. ‘Music, rhetoric, and the concept of the affections: a selective bibliography.’ Notes 30 (1973-4): 250-259.

Buelow, George J. ‘The Loci Topici and Affect in late baroque Music Heinichen’s practical Demonstration.’ Music Review 27 (1966): 161-176.

Burstyn, Shai. ‘In quest of the period ear’. Early Music 25.4 (1997): 693-701.

Butler, Gregory G. ‘Music and rhetoric in early seventeenth-century English sources.’ Musical Quarterly 66.1 (1980): 53-64.

Butler, Gregory G. ‘The projection of affect in Baroque dance music,’ Early Music 12.2 (1984): 200-207.

Collins, Michael. ‘A reconsideration of French overdotting.’ Music and Letters 1 (1969): 111-123.

Dikmans, Greg. ‘The performance practice of early 18th-century French flute music: a critical translation of Jacques Hotteterre’s Principes de la fûte traversière commentary and recording of selected works.’ (MA thesis, La Trobe University, 1991). [UniM Music F 788.31430944 DIKM]

Donnington, Robert. The interpretation of Early Music. London: Faber, 1963; 2nd ed. 1965; revised version 1974; reprint with corrections 1975.

Dreyfus, Laurence. ‘Early Music defended against its devotees: a theory of historical performance in the twentieth century.’ Musical Quarterly 69.3 (1983): 297-322.

Duncan, David Allen. ‘Persuading the affections: rhetorical theory and Mersenne’s advice to harmonic orators.’ French musical thought, 1600-1800. Ed. Georgia Cowart. (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1989): 149-175.

Fuller, David. ‘Dotted rhythms.’ New Grove Dictionary.

Fuller, David. ‘Notes inégales.’ New Grove Dictionary.

Fuller, David. ‘Notes and inégales unjoined: defending a definition.’ Journal of Musicology 6.1 (1989): 21-28.

Fuller, David. ‘The performer as composer.’ [Ch. 6] in Performance practice: music after 1600. Howard Mayer Brown and Stanley Sadie, eds. London: Macmillan, 1989.

Harnoncourt, Nikolaus. Baroque music today: music as speech: ways to a new understanding of music. Translated by Mary O’Neill. Portland, Or.: Amadeus Press, c1988.

Harrison, Bernard. Haydn’s keyboard music: studies in performance practice. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Harrison, Daniel. ‘Rhetoric and fugue: an analytical application.’ Music Theory Spectrum 12.1 (1990): 1-42.

Haynes, Bruce. ‘Beyond temperament: non-keyboard intonation in the 17th and 18th centuries.’ Early Music 19.3 (1991): 357-381.

Hefling, Stephen E. Rhythmic alteration in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century music: notes inégales and overdotting. New York: Schirmer; Toronto: Maxwell Macmillan; New York, Oxford, Singapore, Sydney: Maxwell Macmillan International, 1993.

Houle, George. Doulce moire: a study in performance practices. Includes 24 versions of the chanson. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, c1990.

Kenyon, Nicholas, ed. Authenticity and early music: a symposium. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Koury, Daniel J. Orchestral performance practices in the nineteenth century: size, proportions, and seating. Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI Research Press, c1986.

Lawson, Colin James and Robin Stowell. The historical performance of music: an introduction. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Le Huray, Peter and James Day, eds. Music and aesthetics in the eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981.

Le Huray, Peter. Authenticity in performance: eighteenth-century case studies. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Lenneberg, Hans. ‘Johann Mattheson on affect and rhetoric in music,’ Journal of Music Theory 2 (1958): 47-84, 193-236.

MacClinTable of Contentsk, Carol, ed. Readings in the history of music in performance. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, c1979.

Mather, Betty Bang. Dance rhythms of the French baroque: a handbook for performance. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987.

Newman, William S. Beethoven on Beethoven: playing his piano music his way. New York: Norton, c1988.

O’Donnell, John. ‘The French style and the overtures of Bach.’ Early Music 7 (1979), Part 1: 190-196; Part 2: 336-345.

Ranum, Patricia M. ‘Audible rhetoric and mute rhetoric: the 17th-century French sarabande.’ Early Music 14.1 (1986): 22-39.

Ranum, Patricia M. ‘Do French dance songs obey the rules of rhetoric?’ Fluting and Dancing, Articles and Reminiscences for Betty Bang Mather. Ed. David Lasocki. (New York: McGinnis & Marx, 1992): 104-130.

Reede, Rien de, ed. Concerning the flute. Amsterdam: Broekmans & Van Poppel, 1984.

Reilly, Edward R. Quantz and his Versuch: three studies. New York: Galaxy Music for The American Musicological Society, 1971.

Rosow, Lois. ‘French Baroque recitative as an expression of tragic declamation.’ Early Music 11.4 (October, 1983): 468-479.

Sherman, Bernard D. Inside early music: conversations with performers. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Stowell, Robin ed. Performing Beethoven. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Stowell, Robin. Violin technique and performance practice in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

Taruskin, Richard. ‘The pastness of the present and the presence of the past.’ [Ch. 6] in Authenticity and early music: a symposium. Nicholas Kenyon, ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Taruskin, Richard. Text and act: essays on music and performance. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Ed. Stanley Sadie. London: Macmillan, 1980.
Relevant entries: ‘Aesthetics of music’ §§ 8, 9 and 10; ‘Affections, doctrine of the’; ‘Analysis’ § II.: 1; ‘Figures, doctrine of musical’; ‘Rhetoric and music’.

Todd, Larry R. and Peter Williams, eds. Perspectives on Mozart performance. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Waite, William G. ‘Bernard Lamy, rhetorician of the passions’. Studies in eighteenth-century music: a tribute to Karl Geringer on his seventieth birthday. Ed. H. C. Robbins Landon in collaboration with Roger E. Chapman. London: Allen and Unwin, 1970: pp. 388-396.

Warner, Thomas E. An annotated bibliography of woodwind instruction books, 1600-1830. Detroit: Information Coordinators, 1967; second printing, 1974.

Zaslaw, Neal. Mozart’s symphonies: context, performance practice, reception. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

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