Throughout the year 2021, as part of the lectorate project “Look Again” we researched the performance practice of music written in Italy between 1675 and 1760. Our project was to look again at the well-known Italian sources but also discover new sources of information for this period, being open to what the sources might say that could be in shock with what we usually do. We collected more than 150 documents, in situ at Italian libraries or through online resources, and presented a preliminary summary of our findings.1 Our overarching realization was that one cannot speak of one “performance practice of music written in Italy between 1675 and 1760”. Standardization, which has had a strong impact in the current early music practice, is a concept that, we proposed, should be forgotten.
However, we realized also that this was the start of a process with different stages, which would require more time: in order to start to absorb our findings in practical terms, we would need to try things out in a variety of ways, over time deconstructing much of what we normally do. Therefore, during the second phase of this research project in 2022 ("Look and listen again: practical application of an in-depth study of the performance practice of music written in Italy in the early 18th century"), we focused on the application of what we have found. In this phase, we aimed to approach the sources from a more practical, musical angle. [...]