The Notation Is Not the Music

The Notation Is Not the Music

Reflections on Early Music Practice and Performance
Barthold Kuijken
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 09/13/2013
Format: Hardback 5 b&w illus., 2 music exx.
ISBN: 978-0-253-01060-5
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Written by a leading authority and artist of the historical transverse flute, The Notation Is Not the Music offers invaluable insight into the issues of historically informed performance and the parameters—and limitations—of notation-dependent performance. As Barthold Kuijken illustrates, performers of historical music should consider what is written on the page as a mere steppingstone for performance. Only by continual examination and reexamination of the sources to discover original intent can an early music practitioner come close to authentic performance.

Author Bio

Barthold Kuijken is Professor of Baroque Flute and Head of the Early Music Section at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and The Hague.


“Kuijken is peerless. He is a professional musician and the apotheosis of historical flute playing, who utilizes musicology in his broader goal of moving the hearts of his listeners.”
 — Barbara Kallaur, founding member of Ensemble Voltaire and the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra

“This book is in a different category altogether from most books written on early music. Not only is Barthold Kuijken a world famous baroque flautist and conductor, he is also a passionate researcher of music in the genre. He has a lively style, which, supported by his long experience as a performer, compels the reader to consider fundamentally important questions such as: what is music? What is musical performance? This book is a treasure trove for anyone who has dedicated his or her life in the service of music, whether musicologist or general reader.”
 — Masahiro Arita, Baroque and modern flautist, conductor, and professor

“The Early Music movement owes much to a group of Dutch and Belgian musicians, notable among whom is flautist Barthold Kuijken. His book is an eminently readable compendium of information invaluable to anyone interested in knowing how Mr. Kuijken and other skilled, historically-informed interpreters of Baroque music arrive at their conclusions. His inspiring, carefully-researched work is at once insightful—a comprehensive exploration of source material—and provocative, challenging tradition and posing questions for readers to answer for themselves.”
 — Stanley Ritchie, Professor of Violin, Early Music Institute, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

“In a climate where marketing and convenient practicalities have increasingly tended to overwhelm historical evidence, Kuijken’s book is timely and worthwhile.”
 — Performance Practice Review

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Table of Contents

1. The Underlying Philosophy
2. My Way Towards Research
3. The Limits of Notation
4. The Notation, Its Perception and Rendering
5. Outlook

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