Centre for Research into Historically-Informed Performance
The Centre for Research into Historically-Informed Performance (CRHIP) was established in 2004, as a result of a Science Research Investment Fund (SRIF2) grant of £140k. It seeks to provide the equivalent of a 'well-found laboratory' for research into performance through history and its resources include a collection of ‘period’ musical instruments, specialist technological equipment to support analytical research into technique, style and performance in early recordings and a collection of 78rpm records.
- to promote and support the study and practice of historically-informed performance
- to apply musical theory to practical performance
- to promote student experiment with ‘period’ instruments and student concert activity in ‘period’ performance
- to facilitate research into aspects of performance gleaned from texts and recordings
- to host conferences and symposia appropriate to its mission
- to serve as a catalyst for individual and collaborative research projects
- to collaborate, as appropriate, with local, national and international organisations in the pursuit of research into issues of historical performance.
CHRIP has dedicated facilities in the School of Music. Its staff offers expertise in research-led teaching and supervision at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It provides opportunities for experiment with ‘period’ instruments and for the practical application of historical techniques and styles to performance. Its inventory includes the following ‘period instruments’ (i.e. baroque/classical instruments in original condition, or modern reproductions):
- 8 violins; 3 violas, 2 cellos; 1 violone
- 2 flutes; 2 oboes; 2 bassoons (@ a’=415Hz)
- 2 natural horns (+ crooks) and 2 natural trumpets
- a fortepiano (after Stein c.1785)
- a consort of viols
These instruments complement the School of Music’s collection of ‘period’ keyboard instruments, which include two harpsichords and a chamber organ.
Research with Recordings
CRHIP also recognises the significance of early recordings as primary source materials, which not only preserve the performances and performance practices of celebrated virtuosi and conductors but also establish a context in which printed and manuscript sources may be better understood (for example, the theoretical and technical instruction included in instrumental/vocal treatises and the myriad ways in which musical notation is realised in practice). The Centre is fully equipped for the study and analysis of technique and style in early recordings, its resources including facilities for remastering 78rpms on CD and relevant software for the provision of vital analytical data concerning tempo fluctuation, tempo rubato, the treatment of rhythm, the use of vibrato and the employment of portamento and other elements of musical expression.
CRHIP Research Projects
Research projects associated with CRHIP have included a doctoral dissertation on 'Stylistic Change in the Hungarian Violin School 1900-1960'. Current research projects include work on the legacies of the French cellist André Navarra and of the Austrian conductor and pedagogue Hans Swarowsky, as well as projects on the Baroque flute and early clarinet. The Centre welcomes approaches from individuals and organisations interested in collaborative research projects.