Researching Early Music with a focus on historical performance practice.
The work of the Research Department focuses principally on two areas: music from the Middle Ages to the 19th century, and historical performance practice. Research looks at both the technical aspects (notation, repertoires, conventions etc.) and the application of historical performance practices in a present-day setting, with particular weight given to the critical examination of the role of primary sources in the performance of Early Music.
We present our findings in a wide range of publications, CD recordings and via the research portal of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. Events such as symposia and conferences, concert performances and the regularly held "Thursday Academies" with their different formats (such as lectures, workshops or experimental presentations) also enable us to share our work in a variety of ways.
The Department of Research has a permanent team of researchers, who are supported by scholars working on specific projects. Their work helps to inform the teaching and concert activities of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.
The work of the Research Department focuses principally on two areas. From long-term research projects of a large team to experimental workshops or PhD dissertations, our projects strive to broaden our knowledge in these topics essential to the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis:
- Historical Performance Practice
- This area of research is concerned with the technical aspects of playing Early Music: from its historical context to the source material right up to its interpretation and performance. Non-written practices of musical performance and historical conventions are also taken into account.
- A critical approach to sources and careful examination of interpretive approaches are essential to the performance of Early Music. Our research deals with subjects and issues related to historically-informed performance practice, develops the requisite groundwork and shares this with musicians. Our findings are used in teaching, concerts and CD recordings.
- Period instruments are an essential source in the study of Early Music. Interdisciplinary projects explore the design, playing techniques and influence of period instruments on historical performance practice. Research teams devise Early Music revival plans, which they then put to the test with assistance from members of the academic staff and students. In doing so, our researchers endow Early Music with a new sound aesthetic and a fresh approach to its repertoires. These activities ensure that the present-day musical landscape is able to benefit from the unique sound of historical instruments.