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Ancients and Moderns: William Crotch and The Development of Classical Music - Howard Irving

Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper.

From the cover: “The improvement of modem music, since the period usually assigned to its lowest stage of decline, is indescribably great; and the general advancement of the public taste in this country, and especially in this metropolis, since the commencement of the present century, clearly is perceptible.

In this manner, William Crotch, Heather Professor of Music at Oxford University, began one of his popular lecture series at the Surrey Institution in 1818. Crotch’s opening lecture continues with one of the most extensive and candid accounts by an eyewitness of a bitter and protracted quarrel between partisans supporting ancient and modern music. The ancient-modern quarrel, Crotch maintains, began perhaps as early as the late seventeenth century, and reached a resolution — one might better say, detente — in the second decade of the nineteenth century. On the surface, the debate appeared to be a straightforward argument over the merits of old and new music. As Crotch’s lectures indicate, however, the issues went much deeper and involved the question — crucial for music’s developing classical tradition — of whether the art should be regarded as a mere gratification of the sense of hearing or an intellectual art form.

In Part I of this book, Howard Irving details Crotch’s lecturing career and examines the influences of figures such as Charles Burney and Sir Joshua Reynolds on his approach to the ancient-modern debate. Part II makes available for the first time in a modern edition Crotch’s 1818 lecture series. These texts help to fill a gap in our knowledge of the development of musical classics, as they span a period of years that were crucial to the history of canon formation.”


Size: 9½" x 6¼". Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. In the Music in Nineteenth-century Britain series. 284 pages.
£9.50

This one has already found a new owner.