20th August. William Chappell, antiquarian author, ballad and song collector, died 123 years ago on 20th August 1888. Although seldom mentioned except amongst musicologists nowadays, he was certainly an influential - and controversial - figure in his day. His views about English and Scottish national music set the heather on fire and irritated many north of the Border.
But what did he write? See below for a brief list of his musical publications. Check in COPAC to see where your nearest copies are. RSAMD also has a copy of Popular Music of the Olden Time.
- William Chappell, and others, A Collection of National English Airs, Consisting of Ancient Song, Ballad and Dance Tunes, Interspersed with Remarks and Anecdote, and preceded by An Essay on English Minstrelsy (London: Chappell, 1838)
- Chappell, Popular Music of the Olden Time: a Collection of Ancient Songs, Ballads, and Dance Tunes, Illustrative of the National Music of England, airs harmonized by G. A. Macfarren, 2 vols (London: Cramer, Beale and Chappell, [1855–59])
- Chappell, The Ballad Literature and Popular Music of the Olden Time: a History of the Ancient Songs, Ballads, and of the Dance Tunes of England, with Numerous Anecdotes and entire Ballads; also, a Short Account of the Minstrels, airs harmonized by G.A. Macfarren, 2 vols (London: Cramer, Beale and Chappelll, 1859)
- Chappell, The Ballad Literature and Popular Music of the Olden Time […], new introduction by Frederick W. Sternfeld, 2 vols (New York: Dover, 1965)
- Chappell, The History of Music (Art and Science). Vol. 1, from the Earliest Records to the Fall of the Roman Empire, with Explanations of Ancient Systems of Music, Instruments, and of the True Physiological Basis for the Science of Music, Whether Ancient or Modern ( London: Chappell, 1874)
- Chappell, Old English Popular Music, new edn with a preface and notes and the earlier examples entirely revised by H. Ellis Wooldridge, 2 vols (London: Chappell and MacMillan, 1893)