A Handbook for historical performance practice(s) of Western chant traditions should be edited:
It should make clear what we know for CERTAIN about historical performance practices in Western chant traditions throughout the centuries (c. 800-c.1800) and what seems probable in the light of sources. A good selection of notational sources with performance practice informations should be discussed. ALL relevant theoretical sources should be excerpted and the relevant passages should be included in the original languages as well as in English translations.
Relevant iconographical sources and the rooms where chant was being performed should also be considered.
Parameters of performance practice which should be discussed are: chant ensemble sizes; voice types and combinations of voice types used (where, when, on which occasions); positioning of singers; pitches; tempi; rhythm and agogics; phrasing; articulation; ornaments; declamation; cheironomy.
The relevance of liturgical occasion/text for certain performance practice parameters should also be made clear.
Important would be to outline the differences of performance practices according to place and time (in chronological order) and to try to describe which practices were (probably) more widespread, which lasted longer and which were (probably) more confined to a particular place or time.
The book should be provided with well-chosen notational examples (always with transcription in modern notation) and some facsimiles of especially relevant passages in original notation sources.
The monograph should include an exhaustive bibliography for books and articles on historical performance practices in Western chant traditions.
A good index should include all sources, places, names, neumes, terms etc..
The book should also include a CD/DVD with audio examples in which certain performance practice informations from sources are being performed according to their (probable) musical meaning: for instance certain neumes (alone and then in a longer chant context) etc..
All chant recordings which the editors deem especially relevant for the understanding of historical performance practices of Western chant traditions should also be listed.
The monograph could first be made as a web project (with many links to original sources and other websites) and then be published in the form of a book (also as an e-book).

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  • Have you any idea who would be the author/editor of such a big project? Which publisher? Funding?

    Regards,

    Karin Strinnholm Lagergren

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