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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: August 2019

5 - Music Criticism in Britain up to Burney

from Part I - The Early History of Music Criticism

Summary

Burney’s claim that Charles Avison’s Essay on Musical Expression (1752) was virtually the only piece of British music criticism that had been produced by the closing years of the eighteenth century was obviously something of an exaggeration – one designed in this case to help establish Burney’s own critical authority in his General History of Music. Nevertheless, music criticism in Britain did develop more slowly than in some other European centres, particularly France and Germany, and it was only in the nineteenth century that dedicated music periodicals and magazines, equivalent to those that had been established in Germany in the 1720s, such as Mattheson’s Critica musica, began to be produced.