Early Music, Notation and Performance

an interview with Clive Brown





Clive Brown, Early Music, Musical Notation, Critical Editing, Performance Practice


In this interview granted to Marcus Held, Clive Brown discourses about his career dedicated to the historical investigations related to the 18th and 19th centuries music, with emphasis on past performance practices. Brown, who witnessed the consolidation of the Early Music in England, recalls the processes of (re)discovery not only of the past repertoire, but also of the musical thought. With particular interest in musical notation and its intellectual processes, the researcher points that the approach to the score has definitely changed throughout the centuries and, from that, many challenges are posed for the activity of contemporary musical editing.      


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Author Biographies

Marcus Held, Universidade de São Paulo

Doctor in Musicology from the University of São Paulo, under the guidance of  Mônica Lucas, PhD. Violinist and researcher dedicated to the music of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, he produced the first translation of the entirety of the treatises by Francesco Geminiani (1687-1762). He specialized at the São Paulo State School of Music (EMESP), with Luís Otávio Santos, and at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (ESMUC-Barcelona), with Emílio Moreno. Held is currently a member-researcher of the String Instrument Performance Study Group (GEPInC – Unicamp), Concertmaster of EOS – Música Antiga USP, of Trupe Barroca (ES) and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of São Paulo. Creator and founder of Música Pretérita, a project dedicated to the dissemination of music research to the general public (YouTube and Instagram).

Clive Brown, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Austria

Clive Brown read History and then Music at Cambridge (BA 1970, MA, 1972) and Oxford, where he took his D.Phil. in 1980 with a dissertation on The Popularity and Influence of Spohr in England. He was a member of the Faculty of Music at the University of Oxford between 1980 and 1991. Until 2016 he was Professor of Applied Musicology at the University of Leeds and is now Emeritus Professor. He currently gives an Elective as Guest Professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. His research has focused strongly on German music in the nineteenth century, and he has a special interest in historical performing practice.


Brown, Clive. 1991. Historical Performance, Metronome Marks and Tempo in Beethoven’s Symphonies. In: Early Music, 19 (2), 247-258.

_______________. 1999. Classical and Romantic Performing Practice, 1750-1900. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

_______________. 2021. The deceptive simplicity of musical notation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2BUt52zYCs. Access: March 1st, 2022.



How to Cite

Held, Marcus, and Clive Brown. 2022. “Early Music, Notation and Performance: An Interview With Clive Brown”. Per Musi, no. 42 (October):1-10. https://doi.org/10.35699/2317-6377.2022.39099.