Category Archives: Music

A composer and his copyright

Here’s something else for the Edinburgh book fair: an interesting piece of music, published 1834/5, with local connections (and a fine lithographed title-page). Charles H. Purday (1799–1885) was a composer, writer, and lecturer on music, the youngest son of the … Continue reading

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For St Patrick’s Day

I may only have just returned from the New York Book Fair, but next week I’ll be off to Edinburgh.  This year is going to be a busy one.  One book I shall on my stand there is this: Published in … Continue reading

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O say, can you see…?

The last few weeks have been busy preparing for the California Book Fair.  America has been in the news recently, of course, and so I am interested to see what people make of one item I shall be exhibiting next … Continue reading

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Lovely litho

The past couple of weeks I have written about the opportunities offered by lithography to British musicians in the nineteenth century, and the problems they also encountered. One of the obvious benefits of the new medium was illustration, and a … Continue reading

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Disappointed of Merseyside

Here’s rare book: the first (and probably only) edition of A Selection from the Music in use at the Church of St John the Divine Fairfield, privately printed in—presumably—a small number of copies, in 1858.  (This is Fairfield, Merseyside, by … Continue reading

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The new opportunities of lithography

I’m currently putting together a list on Music, to be sent out next week.  One item in particular brings together a number of things which interest me: a) music, b) illustration, c) lithography, d) provincial imprints, e) private printing: Lithography, as … Continue reading

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Donald: the mask’s thrown off

Sometimes, in the book world, there are wonderful coincidences; you can come across a book you’ve never heard of at precisely the right moment.  Take this, which I found just earlier this week: Published in about 1794, it was written … Continue reading

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Liturgy and litigation

It’s been a few years since I blogged about Tchaikovsky, but as I sang a movement from the following piece last night, it seems apt to write something today. This is a copy of the first edition of Tchaikovsky’s Liturgy … Continue reading

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‘In the most fashionable colours’

At the London International Antiquarian Book Fair next week, I shall be featuring a number of books printed on coloured paper on my stand.  Here’s a sneak preview of one: The Semiquaver was a charming privately-printed magazine, produced in 1869–70, in which each … Continue reading

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Songs for the pocket (and the pub)

I have a soft spot for glees, a peculiarly English genre of unaccompanied part-song which developed from the madrigal in the eighteenth century.  Percy Young, in his introduction to The English Glee, notes that ‘such music was in the first … Continue reading

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