We, the founders of this institution, are a group of five research masters students at Maastricht University who for the past two months have each undertaken a research project. While each project is quite distinct in character, they are thematically bound by an examination into musical cultures. Our starting point was exploring how different musical actors translate aspects of complex historical cultures in order to create new cultures of performance and listening for the twenty-first century. We each sought, within the parameters of our own personal interests, to explore what musical practices consist in; how they are contingent upon social and historical contexts; what assumptions may underlie contemporary attempts to reconstruct musical cultures from the past; how these assumptions may manifest themselves materially. What you see beyond these doors is the culmination of these efforts; a unified exposition of our individual projects. The name of our museum is an amalgamation of the practice of Historically Informed Performance (HIP) and Christopher Small’s concept of “Musicking” (1988). In Small’s view, music is not to be conceived as a static object, but rather as a dynamic process. Small substitutes the noun ‘music’ with a verb ‘to music’ to indicate that music cannot be simply located in any score, instrument or text, but can be thought of as any human activity relating to music performance that takes place in temporal and spatial dimensions.
We do not intend to present this collection of “old ideas” as definitive or closed, but as a discursive insight into a “novel”, if not strictly new, self-reflexive manner of observing and practising the presentation of research on the matter. The aim of the collection is not to conclude, but to stimulate and develop discussion into the future, from the past. The Museum of Historically Informed Musicking therefore proudly presents an interconnected collection of artefacts, activities, relationships and locations involved in historically informed musicking; a fusion of the past and present.