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Burney-General-History-of-Music-1024x923

Charles Burney (1726-1814) took on the three roles of music historian, composer, and musician. His first music books, The Present State of Music in France and Italy… (London, 1771) and The Present State of Music in Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Provinces… (London, 1773), were the results of his extensive travels around Europe. His 1770 trip took him from London to Paris, Geneva, Turin, Milan, Padua, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome, and Naples. His second tour, through Germany and the Low Countries, resulted in his second book. All of this was in support of his General History of Music, which came out in 4 volumes (I: 1776, II: 1782, III and IV: 1789).

His daughter, the novelist Frances (Fanny) Burney, wrote a biography of her father after his death in 1814. The
Memoirs of Doctor Burney, three in volumes, appeared in 1832 and is where much of the information about Burney’s social circles comes to life.


 Charles Burney
by Francesco Bartolozzi, after Sir Joshua Reynolds crayon, (1781)

Charles Burney George Dance

by George Dance pencil, 1794

Charles Burney-Sir Joshua Reynold
by Sir Joshua Reynolds - oil on canvas, 1781



A Sunday concert Charles Burney

by Charles Loraine Smith (of Enderby), published by M. Rack - etching and aquatint, published 4 June 1782


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Charles Burney by Unknown artist - line engraving, published 1785