Author Topic: The Historically Informed Performances (HIP) debate  (Read 76413 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Biffo

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 555
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: The Historically Informed Performances (HIP) debate
« Reply #1600 on: September 20, 2018, 12:03:22 AM »
In a discussion today someone suggested that the work of the monks at Solesmes Abbey is an example of HIP. For the past 150 years or so these guys have tried to make sense of medieval performance practice, specifically for Gregorian chant. They claim to use scientific methods to decipher parchments full of neums and the like.  Maybe it’s all linked to the 19th century interest in philology (remember Casaubon in Middlemarch, wasn’t he interested in philology - or was it myths or the authors of the Bible? Can’t remember.)

Anyway if this is right it’s not quite correct to say that HIP is a preoccupation of the second half of the 20th century.

I find a little Gregorian Chant goes a long way but this is an interesting discussion. Here is a link to Solesmes Abbey and the history of chant.

I suppose their attempts to return to the original purity of GC does count as 'historically informed'

Back in the 1980s (?) a choir of Spanish monks (forgotten their name) recorded a number of albums of Gregorian Chant and they became wildly popular, mainly due to TV advertising. The publicity blurb described it as 'the sound of the Middle Ages'. A letter to Gramophone (I think) pointed out that the monk's vocal technique/style derived from 19th century Spanish operetta. Clearly, some chant is more authentic than others.