R. G. Collingwood, Historical Reenactment and the Early Music Revival

Part of the Reenactment History book series (REH)


As a young boy, Robin George Collingwood would steal from his bed and sit on the stairs with his sisters shrouded in darkness secretly listening to his mother playing the piano below. In this way, he remembered in his autobiography, he became familiar with all the Beethoven sonatas and most of Chopin’s music.1 Music, it turns out, played not only an important role in Collingwood’s personal life, but was also central to his preliminary formulations of historical reenactment. The circles in which his father moved brought him into contact with what came to be known as the Early Music Revival pioneered in England by the eccentric French émigré, Arnold Dolmetsch. The influence of this movement, which centres on a historically considered reconstruction of music from a distant past, can be detected in his early writings on reenactment.


Performance Practice Musical Performance Original Instrument Historical Performance Musical Work 
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© Kate Bowan 2010

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