Musicking: Cultural Considerations

University of Oregon Oratorio Orchestra, Winter 2017

2018 Musicking: Cultural Considerations

Since John Butt renamed musical practice of the “early music revival” that has developed from the 1960s on as Historically Informed Performance (HIP) now almost of couple of decades ago, many have also used such terms as Historically Inspired Performance, Historical Performance Practice (HPP), and other variations upon the same theme. However, the more this discipline has settled within academia, the more the adverb historically seems to impose some sort of limitation. Answers to questions about performance practices are often found outside the score to be sure, even outside the strictly musical context. Nevertheless, they cannot always be found in their historical context only, but also in their literary, sociological, economic, artistic, ethnic, gender, … in short, in their general cultural context. Ethnomusicology has taught us that an awareness of the full cultural context of music making is key to its specific understanding. Performance practice studies are beginning to take the same approach, where cultural understanding provides more comprehensive answers to performance questions of music of both the past and the present.

– Marc Vanscheeuwijck, Artistic Director

The Musicking Mission

Musicking’s mission is to stimulate student and community interest in early music and historical performance practice studies by offering five days of academic scholarship, educational performance classes, and a variety of performances that are free and open to all students and community members. This conference is inspired, organized, and facilitated by University of Oregon historical performance practice faculty and students, who are enthusiastic about sharing their passion with other students and community members outside of their intimate early music cohort, providing them with more opportunities to engage in historical performance practice and early music studies.

William Dongois working with participant, Bodie Pfost during the 2017 Musicking Masterclass

During last year’s Musicking Conference, we were joined by distinguished guest artist, William Dongois, who lead Eugene audiences through various aspects of historically informed improvisation, ornamentation, and variation. It was a treasure for students and community members alike to hear his extraordinary playing, and to learn from him as he shared with us improvisation techniques and studies that have served him well throughout his extensive performance and teaching career. His presence in Eugene delighted audiences, and inspired students to dive deeper into early music treatises, as they continually strive to bridge the gaps between early music scholarship and performance.

In our 2018 season, we are delighted to move forward with our third annual conference. This year, we broaden our Musicking lens and explore how music and musicking exist within all aspects of cultures, past and present. In the spirit of our Musicking mission, we look forward to exploring new ideas, challenging accepted conventions, and enjoying the totality of music scholarship, performance, and education under our new theme, Musicking: Cultural Considerations.

– Holly Roberts, Executive Director

* The Musicking conference is free and open to the public. Click HERE to donate to the conference and keep musicking  free for our community.

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