Courses for Fall 2023

Performance Practicality

Historical performance practice on modern instruments

Study Levels: Undergraduate, Postgraduate
Faculty: Christian Westergaard and Toke Møldrup
Royal Danish Academy of Music

Tentative online meeting dates in 2023:

  • Friday, February 24, 2023, 4pm CET
  • Friday, March 31, 2023, 4pm CET
  • Monday, April 24, 2023, 4pm CET

Christian Westergaard and Toke Møldrup introduce Performance Practicality

Performance Practicality – historical performance practice on modern instruments


Do you want to expand your choices and possibilities when it comes to expression and interpretation of music from the baroque and classical periods? Do you want to find knowledge that is directly applicable to your repertoire studies? Are you curious about historical performance practices but want to stay within the performance on modern instruments? Do you want to speak the musical languages of Bach and Mozart in a more fluent way? Do you want to excite your audiences with performances that keep them up at night but still remain respectful to the composer?
Then this course might be interesting for you. It focuses on building bridges between the craft of music making in the past and the art of interpretation today. Through concrete tools, through stepping in the shoes of the well-educated musician of 17th and 18th century, you will gain knowledge about composition, performance, context and concrete practice, all with the purpose of gaining stylistic fluency and vocabulary.



  • Add new angles to your instrumental practise of music of the Baroque and Classical period by
    • Making well-considered artistic and interpretative decisions based on and validated by knowledge of historical practice.
    • Improving the understanding of the musical language of Bach, Mozart and their contemporaries
    • Understanding the difference between a “modern-traditional” performance and a HIP (inspired) performance?
    • Implementing and applying practical tools derived from Historical Practice into your everyday practice of music from the Baroque and Classical period, thus expanding your array of different activities within repertoire study.
    • Distinguishing between matters of execution and expression
    • Distinguishing between the different layers in the musical fabric
  • Via course specific tools you will be able to perform with
    • Improved sense of harmony
    • Improved sense of rhythm
    • Improved sense of gestures
    • Improved sense of articulation
    • Stylistically convincing and deepening embellishment
  • By use of course-specific theoretical knowledge you will be able to enhance your reflection abilities by
    • Finding and using relevant information on Historically Informed Practice (HIP) derived from sources, modern books and online resources
    • Reading information with a nuanced and critical perspective
    • Referencing key points of the HIP movement aesthetics and performance practice
    • Understanding the origins and contexts of particular styles of baroque and classical period repertoire
    • Understanding and distinguishing various performance practice traditions, HIP as well as the “modern tradition”
    • Reflect on the potential artistic development derived from an extended every day practice with course tools.
    • Reflect on the neighbouring practices as composer and performer and reaching out for the historical practice of a collected continuum between creating and recreating.