Choral Performance / Edition 1

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This guide presents a detailed discussion of various aspects of historical performance practice, especially as they relate to liturgical polyphony of the Renaissance. The author considers such issues as timbre, tempo, and rhythm, the makeup of the ensemble, articulation, ornamentation, pitch and tuning, and interpretive goals—issues in which pre-modern choral technique and modern practice have often distinctively diverged. Musicological and performance perspectives are both drawn upon to address these issues in a manner that is both documentary as well as practical. This study will be of interest to musicians who specialize in early music, but it is also particularly addressed to conductors and singers who come to early music from the mainstream and perform it in that context. Mainstream choral conductors faced with the need to develop expression in multiple styles across a broad repertory will come to find the interpretation of historical style a congenial ally.

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Editorial Reviews

...the volume alerts conductors and conductors-in-training to important performance issues. Recommended.
Church Music Quarterly
...this book will certainly be of value to choral singers and directors who perform early music.
Reference and Research Book News
With an emphasis on the liturgical polyphony of the Renaissance, Plank discusses various aspects of historical choral performance practice. Some of the performance issues addressed include timber, pitch, articulation, ornamentation, tempo, and tuning. Although likely to be of interest to professionals specializing in early music, the text is particularly aimed at conductors and singers who come to "early music" from the mainstream.
...the volume alerts conductors and conductors-in-training to important performance issues. Recommended.
Andrew Kirkman
Stephen Plank's book clearly offers the fruits of years of practice and thought on the subject of teaching historical choral singing. It will be of considerable value to singers in and directors of such groups, but also, in casting light on and offering potential solutions to perennial issues and problems, it contains much food for thought for professionals in the field.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810851412
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 1/1/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 138
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven E. Plank is Chair of the Department of Musicology at Oberlin College. He is the author of the chapter "'Wrapped all in Woe': Passion Music in Late Medieval England" in The Broken Body (Groningen, 1998) and The Way to Heavens Doore: An Introduction to Liturgical Process and Musical Style (Scarecrow, 1994). He has also been a contributor to diverse music journals, including Early Music, Musical Times, Music & Letters, and Choir and Organ.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Acknowledgments Chapter 2 1 Introduction Chapter 3 2 "It's on Account of the Sound It Is" Chapter 4 3 The Ensemble Chapter 5 4 What Pitches Shall We Sing? Chapter 6 5 Rhythm, Tempo, and the Conductor's Gesture Chapter 7 6 Articulation, Ornamentation, and Interpretation Chapter 8 7 Putting Things into Practice Chapter 9 8 So What? Part 10 Bibliography Part 11 Index Part 12 About the Author

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