Separation between compositing and performing has not always existed. Before the rise of Romanticism, improvisation and composition were normal activities for any musician. In a time when new pieces were in constant demand, being a composer was nothing special, just part of the process of producing music. But even if a musician did not always write their improvisations down, they had to know how to make up music on the spot. Without that ability, they could not play the music of the time. What hangs like a veil between the musicians of today and those of pre-Romantic times are the changes in ideals and mentality, the paradigm shifts that are symbolized by the Industrial Revolution that took place between about 1760 and 1840, and more specifically the French Revolution that began in 1789. This chapter discusses canonism and classicism in early music, musical rhetoric, and authenticity as a statement of intent.
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