This is a list of books, articles, recordings, and other items that we have found useful to our understanding of Baroque music. We aim to present concerts that require little or no specialized education on the part of the listener, but for those whose interest is piqued and who want to know more about the philosophies behind historically informed performance, we offer this as a starting point.
The Weapons Of Rhetoric: A Guide For Musicians And Audiences by Judy Tarling (Corda Music, 2004)
Baroque violinist Tarling assimilates an array of historical writings on rhetorical speaking, singing, and playing, tying the communicative style of Baroque music to principles of argument and persuasion inherited from Antiquity. This book is a practical survey, engagingly written.
The End Of Early Music: A Period Performer’s History Of Music by Bruce Haynes (Oxford University Press, 2007)
Haynes outlines the history of the early music movement itself, describing the changes that took place in the performance of “old” music as developments in research, resources, and attitudes dictated.
Musica Poetica: Musical-Rhetorical Figures In German Baroque Music by Dietrich Bartel (University of Nebraska Press, 1997)
A staple of Baroque music research, Bartel’s book provides valuable information on the grammar of German Baroque music. After a general overview of the concepts, he offers a detailed and cross-referenced index of the musical vocabulary used by composers to add layers of specific meaning to vocal and instrumental expressions, which would have been recognized and understood by contemporary listeners.
Early Music Sources (https://www.earlymusicsources.com/)
This is primarily a tool for finding source material relevant to early music, but is also affiliated with a delightful YouTube series unpacking a variety of specific performance issues.