Music and its media
Music and its media

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Music and its media

3 Music publications of eighteenth-century London

We are now going to turn to a later historical period to examine the printing and publishing of music, which generally allowed for the wider and easier dissemination of pieces. As I mentioned earlier, publication did not necessarily mean that a work was printed – there are examples of repertory circulating in manuscript into the nineteenth century. Conversely, the fact that a work was printed did not indicate that it was published – some prints were produced as luxurious keepsakes while others were restricted in their circulation to maintain a degree of control over performances (Boorman et al., 2014b). In this section, you will examine the wider publication of music in print by focusing on the output of one particular printer-publisher.

From the appearance of the first printed music publications in the late fifteenth century, particular European cities emerged as centres for the production of music prints: Venice, Nuremberg, Paris and Antwerp in the sixteenth century; London from around 1700; Paris between c.1740 and 1760; Vienna from c.1780 and Leipzig from around 1800. From the beginning of the eighteenth century, the quality and quantity of music publications became markedly greater, aided by technological developments in printing, competition between publishers and an increase in the public’s interest in music (Boorman et al. 2014b). In this case study you are going to focus on one of these centres of music publishing – London in the early eighteenth century – and the work of a single music printer-publisher there, John Walsh (c.1665/66–1736). In the same way that you have just looked at the recipients of the manuscripts of Pierre Alamire, here you will consider how the appearance and content of Walsh’s publications (and related documents) reflect the tastes of his London music market c.1700.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371