Henry Purcell: The English Musical Tradition

By A. K. Holland | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I
ANTECEDENTS

UNTIL comparatively recent times, English musical history has been written almost exclusively from the angle of the great foreign schools. Preferable as this, no doubt, is to the task which French writers have so often set themselves, of relating every phase of the national music to a pure, home-bred tradition, the converse method of referring English music at every stage to the main tendencies elsewhere, whether in Italy, Germany or wherever the current seemed to be running most strongly at the moment, has its own peculiar disadvantages. For it has resulted that whenever English music has assumed a leading importance, our historians have been rather at a loss to explain its place in the general scheme of things. It would appear to the casual student of musical history that the erratic English genius has rarely been capable of doing the right thing, from the evolutionary point of view, at the right moment. Thus, judged by European standards, the famous 13th century round 'Sumer is icumen in' has seemed as premature as the

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Henry Purcell: The English Musical Tradition
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Part One - The Times 1
  • Chapter I - Antecedents 3
  • Chapter II - The Restoration Scene 33
  • Chapter III - Purcell and His Age 62
  • Part Two - The Music 105
  • Chapter I - Elements of Style 107
  • Chapter II - Poetic Materials 149
  • Chapter III - Music and Spectacle 192
  • Epilogue 236
  • Short Bibliography 242
  • Index 243
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