In contrast to today's music industry, whose principal products are recorded songs sold to customers round the world, the music trade in Georgian England was based upon London firms that published and sold printed music and manufactured and sold instruments on which this music could be played. The destruction of business records and other primary sources has hampered investigation of this trade, but recent research into legal proceedings, apprenticeship registers, surviving correspondence and other archived documentation has enabled aspects of its workings to be reconstructed. The first part of the book deals with Longman & Broderip, arguably the foremost English music seller in the late eighteenth century, and the firm's two successors - Broderip & Wilkinson and Muzio Clementi's variously styled partnerships - who carried on after Longman & Broderip's assets were divided in 1798. The next part shows how a rival music seller, John Bland, and his successors, used textual and thematic catalogues to advertise their publications. This is followed by a comprehensive review of the development of musical copyright in this period, a report of efforts by a leading inventor, Charles 3rd Earl Stanhope, to transform the ways in which music was printed and recorded, and a study of Georg Jacob Vollweiler's endeavour to introduce music lithography into England. The book should appeal not only to music historians but also to readers interested in English business history, publishing history and legal history between 1714 and 1830.
'The depth of knowledge displayed by the contributors to this book is deeply impressive and the reader comes away with a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms of music production, sale and reproduction in Georgian England… Mr Kassler is to be congratulated on the production of such a rigorous and readable work… It's the best book on music in Georgian London I've encountered… this work deserves a wide audience amongst historians and musicians alike.' www.georgianlondon.com.
'… [an] invaluable book…' Early Music America
'The standard of accuracy and presentation is exemplary… [the volume] will provide much enlightenment to all interested in the commercial side of English music of the period, and John Small’s copyright essay in particular is destined to become a standard work of reference in itself.' The Library
'Literature relating to music printing and publishing in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Britain is rather scant… It is good, therefore, to have a book that ties together many of the musical activities that went hand-in-hand with a publisher’s business in the eighteenth century…' BRIO
'Packed with detail and graced with copious black and white illustrations, this book is a guide to the industry, and a significant reference tool…' Script & Print
'The essays in this book suggest how rich and complicated [music publishing in Georgian England] was. The output was prolific. Kassler, the preeminent scholar of early nineteenth-century music publishing and moving force behind this book, has elsewhere presented the evidence that shows that around 1800, the number of music registrations at Stationers Hall nearly equalled that of books, and in 1802 and 1807 actually exceeded it (see Music Entries at Stationers’ Hall, 1710-1818, Ashgate, 2004, pp. xxv-xxviii).' D.W. Krummel, North American British Music Studies Association
’In all, this is a fascinating tome, with meticulous research and highly detailed footnotes: a diverse work but a welcome addition nonetheless to an ever-growing bibliography of these fascinating years.’ Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
‘… [an] admirable and exemplary volume… Michael Kassler and his team of contributors have assembled detailed information from a wide range of sources in what ought surely to become an indispensable reference work on its subject.’ Music and Letters
‘This is a fascinating book, rich in detail and animated by the clear expertise and passion of the contributors, and it contains much that will be of interest to historians interested in how the world of business operated in late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth-century England.' Business History Review
'… the strength of this book lies in its meticulous attention to factual detail… the source work is impressive … we are fortunate to have this particular volume as a work of reference, a database and catalogue of available sources, a springboard for future publications'. Journal of the Printing Historical Society
Contents: Preface; Part I Longman, Broderip and Their Successors: Chronology of the business begun by James Longman; Longman and Broderip, Jenny Nex; Broderip and Wilkinson, Michael Kassler; Clementi's music business, David Rowland; Clementi as publisher, David Rowland. Part II Music Sellers' Catalogues: A Case Study: The periodical music collections of John Bland and his successors, Yu Lee An. Part III The Legal Context: The development of musical copyright, John Small. Part IV New Technologies: Earl Stanhope's 'letter-music', Michael Kassler; Stanhope's novel musical instruments, Michael Kassler; Vollweiler's introduction of music lithography to England, Michael Kassler; Summary of legal cases; Index of persons.