||At the end of nineteenth century, as a result of the revival of the early music, harpsichord, the most important instrument in the Baroque period, was emphasized again and back to the stage. However, without any recordings been made and left, the scores and the documents became the significant references for the interpretation. This study will discuss about the performance practice issues in French composer François Couperin’s treatise “L’art de toucher le clavecin”. |
The representative of Couperin’s work is his four harpsichord books. In his 1716’s treatise “L’art de toucher le clavecin”, he explained the performance practice issues of his harpsichord music. The discussion includes the body gesture, articulation, tempo, characteristic of the instrument, ornamentation, fingering, notes inégales and the tradition of prelude. Moreover, he composed eight preludes and put them at the end of the treatise for practicing. Although the treatise was not the only one which discussed about harpsichord at that time, it is rare that composers wrote instruction for other musician in order to interpret his own music.
This study includes three parts. First, the development of the harpsichord music in baroque period and François Couperin’s life are introduced. The second part explicate the historical background of the François Couperin’s four harpsichord collections, eight preludes and “L’art de toucher le clavecin”. The third part focuses on discussion of the performance practice. Finally, the conclusion will be made.