As musicians, we live and work in a period of great change, where our industry is affected by various transformations related to globalisation, involving emergent technologies and social, economic and political ideals. This turbulent time has seen new forms of aesthetic come in to play which can be challenging for musicians, forcing them to question taken for granted premises and habitual routines. The contemporary 'Historically Informed Performance' (HIP) music movement has accepted this challenge head-on: addressing the struggle between traditional modernist ideas of authoritative performance and the postmodern reference to diversity of perspectives.
This thesis explores the role the HIP movement has played historically itself in confronting issues of authority and integrity in relation to musical performance. The transition from modernism to postmodernism provides the context of change, through which I am able to consider a range of contemporary performance practice issues. I situate the debates surrounding the early music movement by reference to my own analysis of the performance of Bach's viola da gamba sonata BWV1027.