Historically Uninformed Views of Historically Informed Performance

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This paper argues that contemporary analytic philosophy of music has characterized historically informed performance practice as compliance-focused, impersonal, and work-centered. The first part of the paper gathers evidence in support of this claim from the works of Julian Dodd, Peter Kivy, James O. Young, Aron Edidin, and Stephen Davies. In the second part of the paper, I reject this received view. Evidence from actual performance practice, as well as from the practitioners’ reflection on their activity, belies the received view outlined in the first part of the paper. I conclude by drawing three methodological lessons from the oversights I attempt to rectify.
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