A General History of Music: From the Earliest Ages to the Present Period

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Charles Burney (1726-1814), was the foremost music historian of his day. The General History, his most famous work, was published in four volumes between 1776 and 1789 and is still of great value today. Burney wanted to write something which would appeal to and inform the musician and the general reader. Research for the History was undertaken during two European tours, in 1770 and 1772, consulting original sources and meeting the great musicians of the time. The resultant work is engaging and elegantly written, offering the reader a fascinating view not only of Burney's own musical preferences and enthusiasms, but also a reflection of contemporary fashionable taste. All four volumes contain generous musical examples, quotations from original sources and an index. Volume 1, originally published in 1776 (of which this is the revised edition of 1789) is devoted to the music of the ancient civilisations, in particular of Greece.