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Historically Informed Performance (HIP)

Purpose of the Course

This course, Historically Informed Performance, focuses on the art of piano performance with an emphasis on knowledge of piano technique, repertoire, and pedagogy literature, while fostering a student's individual approach to performance.

We will explore the use of historical evidence, such as letters, treatises, and printed music, to inform our understanding of tuning, tempo, rhythm, phrasing, articulation, and dynamics. Additionally, we will investigate the use of period instruments in early music performance.

The goal of this course is to provide students with the tools and knowledge necessary to achieve a historically informed performance that is both aesthetically pleasing and in good taste. Through research and personal discovery, we aim to empower musicians to bring new insights and understanding to their performances.

Required Materials

1 Brown, Clive. 1999. Classical and Romantic Performance Practice, 1750–1900. New York: Oxford University Press.
2 Parakilas, James, Edwin M. Good, Cynthia Adams Hoover, et. al. 2001. Piano Roles: Three Hundred Years of Life with the Piano. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
3 Peres da Costa, Neal. 2012. Off the Record. New York: Oxford University Press.
4 Apel, Willi. 1972. The History of Keyboard Music to 1700. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
5 Rosen, Charles. 1988. The Classical Style: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
6 Lindley, Mark. 2000. Tuning: Containing the Perfection of Eighteenth-Century Temperament, the Lost Art of Nineteenth-Century Temperament, and the Science of Equal Temperament. New York: Oxford University Press.
7 Girdlestone, Cuthbert. 1972. Music and Letters in the Age of Bach. London: Oxford University Press.
8 Koster, John. 1993. Keyboard Interpretation from the 14th to the 19th century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Program Learning Outcome

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to analyze and interpret historical performance practices by:

• Understanding the composer's intentions and context through examination of primary sources such as letters and treatises.
• Utilizing historical evidence to inform their choices of tuning, tempo, rhythm, phrasing, articulation, and dynamics in performances.
• Evaluating different interpretations and making informed, tasteful choices based on historical context and research.
• Being open to multiple interpretations and understanding the importance of flexibility in historical performance.
• Communicating their own interpretation effectively and with meaning.
• Applying their knowledge and skills to a wide range of repertoire.

Course Schedule

Week 1: Introduction to Historically Informed Performance (HIP) and the Fortepiano. Overview of the importance of HIP in piano performance and examination of the unique characteristics of the fortepiano.
Week 2-3: Historical Context and Aesthetics. Exploration of the main players in the history of piano performance, including composers, performers, and musicologists. Examination of the concept of "affekt" and good taste in historical performance.
Week 4-5: Structural and Technical Considerations. Analysis of formal structure and harmonic function in piano repertoire, and examination of historical techniques and traditions in piano performance.
Week 6-7: Rhythm and Dynamics. Study of the history and influences of rhythm and dynamics in piano performance, with a focus on interpreting historical notation and indications.
Week 8-9: Expression and Articulation. Examination of historical practices related to expression, accents, and touch in piano performance.
Week 10-11: Ornamentation and Conventions. Study of historical ornamentation and conventions in piano performance, including the use of trills, mordents, and other embellishments.
Week 12-13: Formal Structures and Pedaling. Analysis of sonata form, theme and variations, and repeats in piano repertoire. Examination of historical pedaling practices, including the use of the damper pedal.
Week 14: Tempi and Metronomes. Study of historical approaches to tempo and the use of metronomes in piano performance.
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Dr. Archie Chen is a Sony Classical Recording Artist
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