French harpsichord doubles and the creative art of the 17th-century clavecinistes


Abstract / About the project


This article provides the first comprehensive study of French harpsichord doubles, with a comprehensive list of concordant sources. Three performance practice issues are considered in detail: (1) the possible variants between performances; (2) the role of improvisation; and (3) the ways how seventeenth-century musicians cultivated their individual voices. By identifying elements of the music that are decorative and those that are integral to the musical fabric, this article aims to encourage modern performers to nurture ways to be spontaneous yet stay faithful to the original spirit of the music through an increased awareness of the creativity embedded in the performance.

This article is published in: Musical Improvisation in the Baroque Era, edited by Fulvia Morabito. Turnhot: Brepols, 2019, pp. 3–29.