Thomas Salmon: Writings on Music
Volume I: An Essay to the Advancement of Musick and the Ensuing Controversy, 1672-3
Thomas Salmon (1647-1706) is remembered today for the fury with which Matthew Locke greeted his first foray into musical writing, the Essay to the Advancement of Musick (1672), and the near-farcical level to which the subsequent pamphlet dispute quickly descended. Salmon proposed a radical reform of musical notation, involving a new set of clefs which he claimed, and Locke denied, would make learning and performing music much easier. The incident has tended to be passed over rather briefly in the scholarly literature, but beneath the unedifying invective employed by Salmon, Locke and their supporters, serious and novel statements were being made about what constituted musical knowledge and what was the proper way to acquire it. This volume is the first published scholarly edition of Salmon's writings on notation, previously available only in microfilm and online facsimiles. A second volume to follow will present Salmon's writings on pitch - previously only available mostly in manuscript.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction. Thomas Salmon, An essay to the advancement of musick (1672); Matthew Locke, Observations upon a late book (1672); Thomas Salmon, A vindication of an essay (1672); Matthew Locke, The present practice of musick vindicated (1673); Select bibliography; Index.
'... fascinating insights into a vibrant period of English music history. Both volumes are highly recommended'. Early Music America 'The texts are meticulously edited by Wardhaugh; much useful historical information is given. There are copious endnotes and an introduction to each text, as well as an extended general introduction to each volume. Wardhaugh’s prose style is clear to read ... the standard of scholarship appears to be exemplary. The volumes will be a valuable, if highly specialised, addition to any music library ...'. The Consort ’The series Music Theory in Britain, 1 500-1 700: Critical Editions, helmed by Jessie Ann Owens, has already made great strides toward bringing English theory treatises into more university libraries and, hopefully, more curricula and scholarship. Earlier volumes in this series have provided excellent starting points for scholars entering into the morass that is early modern British music theory, and Benjamin Wardhaugh’s new two-volume contribution, Thomas Salmon: Writings on Music is no exception. Of course, with the resources of Early English Books Online (EEBO), the majority of English theory texts from this period are available in facsimile and, often, searchable full text. It is critical, then, that new scholarly editions of these works have something to add, and Wardhaugh delivers’. NABMSA ’The present critical edition of Salmon’s writings on music is highly commendable. Not only because the texts in themselves are very original and answer intriguing questions regarding music theory and temperaments in the late seventeenth-century England; it is indeed Wardhaugh’s introduction, evaluation of sources, comments, and explanations enriching the edition that provoke the reader in new directions; this is the very reason why modern critical editions are so valuable. Downloadable digital facsimiles of many of the publications are certainly available, but the reader is not challenged in his or her views and