I am a musicologist and scholar-performer specializing in historical performance practices of classical music from the 14th through early19th centuries, as well as vernacular music in the American Southwest and the Louisiana Territory/Lower Mississippi Valley. For more details about my work as a musicologist and performer, please visit my website.
“What do you need to know to play this music?”
I ask myself this question every time I put a piece of music on my stand. The gateway into the realm of historical performance is filled with many layers. Those layers (and primary sources) are seemingly never-ending and paradoxical. The skills used for conducting musicological and ethnomusicological research are invaluable for my work. The scholar-performer needs to be aware that each primary source is merely a snapshot of a particular place and time. The mission of the scholar-performer, should you decide to accept it, is to survey the available information for each situation, and then try to use it in the context of a modern performance. A challenging task, to be sure, and not without obstacles. It is also filled with musical and intellectual rewards.