TCS > Volume 2, Number 1


Voices and Instruments During the Classical Era:
Performance Practices Related by Primary Sources (pdf)

  by Dennis Shrock


The understanding of performance practice is of fundamental importance to any performer approaching the music of an earlier era. This article presents an exploration of contemporary discussions of performance practices of the Classical era through excerpts from treatises, essays, and books by musicians and writers such as Quantz, C. P. E. Bach, Türk, Burney, and others. Primary sources are presented and annotated to build a coherent view of such complex issues as tempo, scored and unscored instrumentation, orchestral doubling, balance of choral forces, and concert staging, with matters of geographical and institutional variation also considered where applicable.