Reconnecting with the Past: Knowledge, Intuition, and Experience

Clive Brown

Our relationship with the past, even in our own lives, is complex. Knowledge based on historical accounts of events or experience is problematic, since it derives from a context, which is entirely different from ours. Knowledge derived from historical artefacts, for instance scores and performing material, appears perhaps to have more objectivity, but the messages it conveys to us will not be those it was expected to convey to the composer's contemporaries. Nevertheless, the more deeply we interrogate these resources, the more productively we stimulate our intuition, and through the experience of applying intuition in practice, we may move beyond our earlier conceptions, to reconnect with the spirit, if not the reality, of the past.

Clive Brown took degrees from the Universities of Cambridge (MA) and Oxford (MA and DPhil). He is Emeritus Professor of Applied Musicology at the University of Leeds and Guest Professor at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna.