Schola Cantorum Basiliensis

Overall concept of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis

Guiding principles and goals

  • The Schola Cantorum Basiliensis - ‘Hochschule’ for Early Music (SCB) strives to maintain and develop its reputation as an internationally leading center of competence in the fields of teaching, performance and research in Early Music. The close connection between teaching, erforming and research was already a central concept when the SCB was founded in 1933.

  • The SCB is an independent part of the ‘Musik-Academie der Stadt Basel’ and, together with the ‘Hochschule für Musik’ represents the part of the Music Academy dedicated to professional training.
  • The focus of activity is to maintain and stimulate awareness of the musical heritage of the so-called ‘western world’, while taking into account influences from neighboring cultures.
  • The SCB is open to a broad concept of music and music-making.What is essential is the approach to understanding music in its historical context, the interest in a form of interpretation which appeals to today’s audiences, as well as the curiosity to explore new territory. In this spirit the SCB considers the focus on Early Music to be a relevant aspect of contemporary musical creativity.
  • The SCB accepts a variety of esthetic and historical approaches.
  • The SCB strives to play an important role in the world of public performance. Its general principles are determined through a realistic vision (and revision) of its own activities as well as a careful examination of the tendencies of the current ‘music marketplace’.
  • Through its history and structure, the SCB is closely bound to Basel and its cultural heritage. At the same time it aspires to a distinctly international profile, which is clearly evident from the composition of the student body as well as the faculty.

Teaching and learning

  • The SCB is a place where especially gifted young people can meet and be trained to become qualified professional musicians.
  • The goal of the Schola education is to provide a solid technical foundation in voice/the major instrument, as well as thorough knowledge of music history and theory, in order to nurture the development of an independent and creative artistic personality.
  • This education is oriented to the highest international standards of performance, and at the same time aims to set new standards.
  • ‘Reproducing’ and ‘producing’ music (performance, historically-informed realization) are considered to be of equal importance.
  • The SCB believes that a thorough training in history and theory is essential for a true understanding of Early Music. For this reason, theory subjects receive special attention and therefore have an important place in the Schola education.
  • In special cases, the SCB offers the possiblilty of a qualified preparation for diploma studies.
  • The SCB offers a post-graduate non-diploma program for further training and specialization.
  • The SCB cooperates with the other institutes of the ‘Musik-Akademie der Stadt Basel’ as well as with the Musicology Institute of the University of Basel.
  • The SCB ‘Hochschule’ cooperates with the SCB ‘Musikschule’ in the fields of professional preparation, pedagogy, and instrumental instruction.
  • The instructors’ competence is based on their experience as performing musicians, theoreticians and scholars.

Research and Collections

  • The SCB is a center for research on subjects having to do with historical music practise.
  • The SCB has sufficient financial backing to maintain a research staff capable of dealing with challenging tasks (‘Research Department’). In particular, practise-oriented research done by students as well as teachers receives appropriate support.
  • The SCB strives to acquire all possible materials (archives, collections) in relevant fields, in the form of books, microfilms, recordings, instruments, etc.

Public life, Cooperation, Concerts, Documentation

  • The SCB makes an effort to maintain a permanent dialogue with the general public.
  • The SCB creates its own means of communicating the results of its activities to the public, through musical performance (concerts, recordings, radio), debate (conferences, colloquia, lectures), and documentation (texts, editions, the ‘Jahrbuch’).
  • The SCB assures entry to concerts in the context of the educational programs, and also acts as a concert organizer outside the framework of the school. It encourages friendly cooperation with other organizers of musical events, festivals and musical theater.
  • The SCB maintains close contact, exchange of ideas and cooperation with related organizations as well as distinguished individuals in art, scholarship and instrument-making, regionally, nationally, and internationally.