Published online by Cambridge University Press: 21 August 2019
All histories are partial. All histories are simplifications. Anyone professing to write about history, to write a history, never mind writing or compiling the history of anything should be aware of these twin a priori limitations. Even before considering the prejudices, philosophy or political intent of the author, history is written from a particular perspective, at a particular time, with access to particular evidence. While such basic observations are readily apparent with any area of historical investigation, two factors make them especially pertinent for the study of music criticism. First, although music criticism has long been an integral aspect of musical life, and is an obvious source material for musicological areas such as reception studies, it is only relatively recently that it has been regarded as a field of study in its own right. Second, although this translates to a paucity of secondary sources compared to other subjects of musicological enquiry, there is a vast amount of primary source material.