1st Edition

Early Sound Recordings Academic Research and Practice

Edited By Eva Moreda Rodriguez, Inja Stanović Copyright 2023
    278 Pages 93 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The use of historical recordings as primary sources is relatively well established in both musicology and performance studies and has demonstrated how early recording technologies transformed the ways in which musicians and audiences engaged with music. This edited volume offers a timely snapshot of a wide range of contemporary research in the area of performance practice and performance histories, inviting readers to consider the wide range of research methods that are used in this ever-expanding area of scholarship. The volume brings together a diverse team of researchers who all use early recordings as their primary source to research performance in its broadest sense in a wide range of repertoires within and on the margins of the classical canon – from the analysis of specific performing practices and parameters in certain repertoires, to broader contextual issues that call attention to the relationship between recorded performance and topics such as analysis, notation and composition. Including a range of accessible music examples, which allow readers to experience the music under discussion, this book is designed to engage with academic and non-academic readers alike, being an ideal research aid for students, scholars and performers, as well as an interesting read for early sound recording enthusiasts.


    Eva Moreda Rodríguez and Inja Stanović

    Part I: Interpreting early recordings: cultural, critical, and contextual approaches

    1. Kate Bennett Wadsworth (Guildhall School of Music and Drama), "Dactyls and Fire Spirits: Carl Reinecke’s written publications on Mozart as a guide to his piano rolls"

    2. Emily Worthington (University of York), "Individuality, Corporate Identity and the Development of Wind Playing Style in the Recordings of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra, 1930-1939"

    3. Gabrielle Kaufman (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), "Expressive Portamento in "Ombra mai fu": an analysis of recordings by cellists, violinists and singers 1906-1925"

    4. Barbara Gentili (Cardiff University) and Daniele Palma (Università di Bologna), "Earthy Singing, Sensuous Voices: Timbre and orthodoxies of beautiful singing in operatic early recordings (1900-1940)"

    Part II. Animating the archive: early recordings in practice-led research

    5. David Milsom (University of Huddersfield), "Understanding Joseph Joachim’s Style and Practice: recordings as a research tool"

    6. Richard Beaudoin (Darmouth College), "Micro-temporal Measurements of Two Early Debussy Recordings as the Foundation for New Music"

    7. Joanna Staruch-Smolec (Université Libre de Bruxelles and Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles), "Towards a Better Understanding of Ysaÿe’s Portamento: a comparative study of recorded and annotated evidence in a practice-based approach"

    8. Inja Stanović (City, University of London), "(Re)constructing Early Recordings: Experimental research as a guide in performance"

    Part III. Rethinking theory and analysis: the musical work viewed through early recordings

    9. Eva Moreda Rodríguez (University of Glasgow), "From Notation to Stage to Recording in Spanish Zarzuela, 1896-1958"

    10. Georgia Volioti (University of Surrey), "The Written and the Sung: Grieg’s piano ballade and the performativity of genre"

    11. Ana Llorens (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), "Early recorded structures: non-organic forms in Brahms’s cello sonatas as performed by Feuermann and Casals"

    12. Adam Stanović (London College of Communication, University of the Arts), "Trust in Early Recordings: documents, performances and works"


    Eva Moreda Rodriguez is Reader in Musicology at the University of Glasgow and the author of three monographs, the most recent being Inventing the recording. The phonograph and national culture in Spain, 1877–1914. She has also published extensively on the political history of Spanish music under Franco and in exile.

    Inja Stanović specialises in early recordings and historic performance practices. As a pianist, Inja has performed in Croatia, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Mexico, UK and USA. Her research into early recordings has been widely funded (Leverhulme, Croatian, French and Australian Governments). Inja currently lectures at City, University of London.