Historically informed performance  

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Historically informed performance (also referred to as period performance, authentic performance, or HIP) is an approach to the performance of Western music and theater. Within this approach, the performance adheres to state-of-the-art knowledge of the aesthetic criteria of the period in which the music or theatre work was conceived. Whenever this knowledge conflicts with current aesthetic criteria, the option of re-training the listener/viewer, as opposed to adapting the work, is normally followed. Music is usually played on instruments corresponding to the period of the piece being played, such as period instruments for early music. Historical treatises, as well as additional historical evidence, are used to gain insight into the performance practice (the stylistic and technical aspects of performance) of a historic era. Corresponding types of acting and scenery are deployed. Historically informed performance has originated in the performance of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music, but has come to encompass music from the Classical and Romantic eras as well. Quite recently, the phenomenon has begun to affect the theatrical stage, for instance in the production of Baroque opera.

There are some critics who contest the methodology of the HIP movement, contending that its selection of practices and aesthetics are a product of the 20th century and that it is ultimately impossible to know what performances of an earlier time sounded like.

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