A Bibliography of the Musical Works Published by John Walsh during the Years 1695-1720

A Bibliography of the Musical Works Published by John Walsh during the Years 1695-1720

A Bibliography of the Musical Works Published by John Walsh during the Years 1695-1720

A Bibliography of the Musical Works Published by John Walsh during the Years 1695-1720

Excerpt

Of the music published in England during the Elizabethan period very little remains unknown to the musician of to-day or is unrecorded by the authorities on the subject. In addition to existing copies of many of the works, there is a comprehensive summary of the output of professional and art music, as distinct from whatever existed of folk-music, in A Catalogue of all the Musick-Bookes That have been Printed in England, either for Voyce or Instruments, printed by John Playford in 1653.

From an examination of the catalogue, which consists mainly of an Elizabethan section up to about 1620, it is easy to see that the practised and professional musicians of the day had definite and limited spheres for the exercise of their art, and that there was very little published music for the amateur and less skilled performers, such as was offered to them in increasing quantities in the developments of music and music-publishing of the later seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. In the Playford catalogue there is little to indicate the existence of music amongst the ordinary folk--few tutors or instruction books, no popular songs or dance books, no theatre music. This is not to be wondered at, as these branches of music were largely subsequent developments of the art, and appear much more frequently in the later catalogues and publications.

For some twenty years or so after 1620 music publishing in England suffered an eclipse until the foundation of the historic house of the Playfords, who, pre-eminent among a number of less important publishers, were responsible for much of the music issued until the end of the seventeenth century, the firm continuing until 1707.

From the various Playford and other seventeenth-century catalogues, and from available copies of published works, many of which have other works advertised in them, it is possible, as in the case of Elizabethan music, to obtain a fairly complete idea of what was published, the kinds of music practised, the spread and evolution of the art, both professional and amateur, and public and private. The works recorded show the steady development of music from religious, scholastic, and highly cultured forms to the more popular and intimate music of the wealthy and leisured folk, who were . . .

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