Period Performances 0:00

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There's a great debate at the heart of classical music performance - should you try to be historically accurate? "Historically Informed Performance" or "Period Performance" as it is known privlieges the aesthetic criteria of the era in question, rather than adapting a work to fit with modern practises and patterns familiar to listeners. Using historical documents, scholars determine the ways in which early pieces should be performed. For instance, period instruments are often used by specialist ensembles - the harpsichord being a common example, but also viols and recorders, as well as old string instruments. Even singers can train their voices for a less loud tone, with less vibrato, to sound 'authentic'. Many believe that incorporating in the performance cultural elements from the time of the composer results in a stronger, deeper rendition. This phenomenon, known as the Early Music Revival, began in the 19th century. However, it is obvious that no audio or video recordings of the performing arts survive prior to the invention of recorded sound - so who really knows what's 'correct'?

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