What is Early Music?, pt. 2



Thomas Forrest Kelly uses the term as a title in a new book published by Oxford University Press, “Early Music: A Very Short Introduction.” True to its claims, the book is quite brief, yet takes us through most of the possibilities for what early music is understood to be today.

A review in the Independent sums it up.

What is “early music”? It used to mean earnest huddles of sandalled beardies playing crumhorns, serpents and sackbuts.

Today, it can mean Brahms, Mahler and Stravinsky performed by top orchestras, on instruments of the appropriate period. It means rediscovered repertoire and rediscovered performance styles and its historical span has widened dramatically; like “world music”, early music has become a major industry.

Read more: Early Music: A Very Short Introduction, By Thomas Forrest Kelly (The Independent)

Buy: Early Music (Amazon)

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