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The Art of Re-enchantmentMaking Early Music in the Modern Age$
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Nick Wilson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199939930

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199939930.001.0001

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The Thief Who Came to Dinner

The Thief Who Came to Dinner

(p.177) 10 The Thief Who Came to Dinner
The Art of Re-enchantment

Nick Wilson

Oxford University Press

The title of this chapter alludes to the sense in which Early Music started out as a largely unwelcome visitor by the professional establishment;but over the years it has increasingly become an integral, even much-loved part of the classical music field. At issue is the ‘mainstreaming’ of Early Music. The chapter considers the extent to which Early Music has ceded ground to the classical music mainstream. A balance sheet of the early music movement is presented. This works through seven key areas where transformation has taken place: legitimacy; repertoire; training; recordings; authenticity; leadership; and integration. The chapter draws on survey evidence from the most comprehensive study of early music performers and instrument-makers (2003) so far carried out. After weighing up all the evidence the chapter concludes that there has been movement on both sides (i.e. symmetrical syncretism), but Early Music’s journey of research and experimentation is far from over.

Keywords:   mainstreaming, syncretism, artistic legitimacy, musical repertoire, musical training, early music recordings, synchronicity, musical leadership, professionalization, ideational unification

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