Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

'An agreeable mixture of Italian, English and Scots'

Have you ever seen an 18th century history of music? 

No, we don't mean a history of 18th century music, but a book written in that era about the history of music to date.

The Whittaker Library is tidying up our rare books.  We came across Charles Burney's 4-volume A General History of Music (1776  -1789).
Charles Burney (Vol.4), on Arne

In Vol.4, Burney wrote of Arne's music that,
The general melody of our countryman, if analized, would perhaps appear to be neither Italian nor English, but an agreeable mixture of Italian, English, and Scots.  Many of his ballads, indeed, were professed imitations of the Scots style; but in his other songs he frequently dropped into it, perhaps, without design.'
To find out more of our forefathers' views, in their own olde-worlde spelling, you can find this book digitised in Google Books - or visit the Library to turn the pages for yourself and get that special 'old book' experience in tangible form!

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