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 Language: English
 Collection: Virtual Music Rare Book Room
Artaxerxes. An English opera.

Artaxerxes. An English opera.

Date: 1763
Creator: Arne, Thomas Augustine, 1710-1778
Description: 1763 English libretto for Thomas Arne's opera Artaxerxes. Thomas Arne most likely wrote his own libretto for Artaxerxes, which enjoyed a successful run at Covent Garden beginning on 2 February 1762. Artaxerxes follows the structure of Metastasio’s Italian libretto on the same subject; no other English-language opera has been recognized as following the principles of Metastasian opera seria.
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Vocal Melody Book IV

Vocal Melody Book IV

Date: 1752
Creator: Arne, Thomas Augustine, 1710-1778
Description: This collection of songs from the pantomime "Harlequin Sorcerer" and the play "The Oracle" are scored for various voice types with obbligato instruments and basso continuo (with figured bass). A "Mrs. Cibber" is credited prominently on the title page. Some songs also have alternate parts for the solo line (conflating obbligato and vocal parts) for German flute (sometimes simply designated as "Flute").
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Love in a Village: a Comic Opera As it is Performed at the Theatre Royal in Covent-Garden.  For the Harpsicord, Voice, German Flute, or Violin.

Love in a Village: a Comic Opera As it is Performed at the Theatre Royal in Covent-Garden. For the Harpsicord, Voice, German Flute, or Violin.

Date: 1763
Creator: Arne, Thomas Augustine, 1710-1778 & Bickerstaff, Isaac, 1735-1812
Description: Vocal score for Love in a Village is broken into four labeled sections ('books'), each of which has a separate title page, and includes the music from the comic opera which has figured bass. Some of the music includes underlaid lyrics and the names of the persons who performed the pieces. Table of contents for the entire work is on page [1]. According to Grove Music Online, the opera is the story of a heroine (Rosetta) who runs away from an unhappy marriage.
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Thomas and Sally

Thomas and Sally

Date: 1782
Creator: Arne, Thomas Augustine, 1710-1778 & Bickerstaff, Isaac, 1735-1812
Description: 1782 vocal score of Thomas Arne's opera Thomas and Sally, or the Sailors return. Dramatic pastoral in two acts by Thomas Augustine Arne to a libretto by Isaac Bickerstaff; London, Covent Garden, 28 November 1760. Thomas and Sally can claim to be the first all-sung English comic opera. It is noteworthy as well for the introduction of clarinets into the orchestra (Grove Music Online).
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The Musical Library, Vocal: Volumes 1 & 2

The Musical Library, Vocal: Volumes 1 & 2

Date: 1849
Creator: Ayrton, William, 1777-1858
Description: This is a digital copy of volumes 1 and 2 of "The musical library," a bound collection of part songs and songs with piano accompaniment edited by William Ayrton. It includes arrangements of famous nineteenth-century tunes, madrigals, ballads, canzones, elegies, and opera arias by various composers.
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The Musical Library, Vocal: Volumes 3 & 4

The Musical Library, Vocal: Volumes 3 & 4

Date: 1849
Creator: Ayrton, William, 1777-1858
Description: This is a digital copy of volumes 3 and 4 of "The musical library," a bound collection of part songs and songs with piano accompaniment edited by William Ayrton. It includes arrangements of famous nineteenth-century tunes, madrigals, ballads, canzones, elegies, and opera arias by various composers.
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The Padlock

The Padlock

Date: 1768
Creator: Bickerstaff, Isaac, 1735-1812.
Description: This is a copy of a ca. 1768 edition of Isaac Bickerstaff libretto for the two-act English comic opera "The Paddlock" by Charles Dibdin. The plot is an adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes's "El celoso extremeño" (translated as, The Jealous Estremaduran). The t.p. features a vignette signed by IJ Taylor [possibly by the London engraver Isaac Taylor (1730-1807)] with four infants. The one at the center is holding several keys and is playing horse riding with a walking stick that has a padlock attached to it. In the story, Don Diego, a rich old man, hopes to marry the young Leonora and locks her inside his house using a large padlock on the front door. After bribing the servants, the younger suitor, Leander, climbs over the garden wall to court Leonora. Don Diego returns unexpectedly and catches the lovers, but allows the young couple to wed acknowledging that he is too old for Leonora.
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Rosamond

Rosamond

Date: 1707
Creator: Clayton, Thomas, 1673-1725
Description: This three-act opera is to a libretto by Joseph Addison. Content is printed only on the recto side of each leaf. The score features two title pages: the first, with an engraving and small print describing the contents; the second, with large font. The work opens with a three-part "symphony or overture" for an ensemble of unspecified instrumentation: two treble instruments and one bass instrument. The indication "with Violins" on some the songs suggests the nature of the high instruments. No figures are included on the bass line. All the songs are followed, on the same page, by a version of the vocal line for flute.
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Devil to pay: or, The wives metamorphos'd

Devil to pay: or, The wives metamorphos'd

Date: 1732
Creator: Coffey, Charles, d. 1745; Mottley, John, 1692-1750 & Jevon, Thomas, 1652-1688
Description: English libretto to Charles Coffey's ballad opera The devil to pay or, The wives metamorphos'd. The Devil to Pay is an adaptation of Thomas Jevon’s play The Devil of a Wife (1686). Nearly fifty years later, the ballad opera appeared at Drury Lane with Charles Coffey and John Mottley each responsible for half of the three acts. However, a much shorter and more well-received one-act version, edited by Theophilus Cibber, is represented in the printed libretto. Today Coffey is generally the only name widely attached to The Devil to Pay. The opera’s popularity is attested by the frequent performances and a translation into German, which contributed to the development of the Singspiel.
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XII solos for a violin

XII solos for a violin

Date: 1740~
Creator: Corelli, Arcangelo, 1653-1713
Description: This English edition of Corelli's Op. 5 sonata for violin and continuo is, aside from an engraving of the composer and the title page, printed on both the recto and verso sides of the leaves. The bass line contains figures. A note by the publisher states: "These Solos are Printed from a curious Edition Publish'd at Rome by the Author."
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Elements of Musical Composition; comprehending the Rules of Thorough Bass, and the Theory of Tuning.

Elements of Musical Composition; comprehending the Rules of Thorough Bass, and the Theory of Tuning.

Date: 1812
Creator: Crotch, William, 1775-1847.
Description: Manual describing musical composition for beginners. The manual is divided in 9 chapters and includes 479 musical examples engraved in 59 pages at the end of the book, as well as four plates with figures (plate no. II appears at the beginning of the book. The musical examples cover the following subjects: scales, intervals (diatonic and chromatic) and their inversion, counterpoint rules, harmonic progressions, use of non-harmonic tones (suspensions, passing notes, appoggiaturas, and upper-lower neighbor. It also includes several examples taken from Handel's "Dettingen Te Deum," "Messiah," and from Haydn's oratorio "Creation," among others.
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Achilles. An opera.

Achilles. An opera.

Date: 1733
Creator: Gay, John, 1685-1732
Description: John Gay is credited with inventing the ballad opera, a genre that blends spoken plays and previously composed songs to new texts. Although The Beggar’s Opera (1728) was his most successful endeavor, he continued to compose English musical dramas. Achilles was finally performed in 1733, one year after Gay died. In this story, Achilles appears as a girl named Pyrrha, unknown to most of the inhabitants of the island of Scyros, in order to circumvent a prediction that he will die in battle. Deidamia (the king’s daughter) knows the secret, however, because she is carrying the disguised man’s child. After Achilles’s identity is revealed, he and Deidamia are able to wed. Then, in a fateful twist of irony, Achilles plans to join the Greeks in the Trojan War.
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Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Volume 4

Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Volume 4

Date: 1890
Creator: Grove, George, 1820-1900
Description: This is a copy of the fourth volume of "Dictionary of Music and Musicians," edited by Sir George Grove. This volume, published in 1890, is an encyclopedic work that contains the biographies of well-known composers as well as articles contributed by various authors on music topics, concepts and definitions starting alphabetically from: "S" (continuation of the article about the Medieval rota, "Sume is icumen in" that appears on vol. 3) to "Z" (starting with the singer, Zur Mühlen, Raimund von). The names of contributing authors appear in a list on pp.[vi]-xi. The titles of volumes I and II, indicate that the dictionary was issued in three volumes. However, the titles of the third and fourth volumes changed that statement to indicate that the publication of the dictionary was in four volumes.
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Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Volume 1

Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Volume 1

Date: 1879
Creator: Grove, George, Sir, 1820-1900.
Description: This is a copy of the first volume of "Dictionary of Music and Musicians," edited by Sir George Grove. This volume, published in 1879, is an encyclopedic work that contains the biographies of well-known composers as well as articles contributed by various authors on music topics, concepts and definitions starting alphabetically from: "A" (i.e., the sixth note in the scale of C major) to "I" (impromptu). The names of contributing authors appear in a list on pp.[vii]-viii), signed "Bedford Street, Covent Garden, April 1, 1879." The titles of volumes I and II, indicate that the dictionary was issued in three volumes. However, the titles of the third and fourth volumes changed that statement to indicate that the publication of the dictionary was in four volumes.
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Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Volume 2

Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Volume 2

Date: 1880
Creator: Grove, George, Sir, 1820-1900.
Description: This is a copy of the second volume of "Dictionary of Music and Musicians," edited by Sir George Grove. This volume, published in 1880, is an encyclopedic work that contains the biographies of well-known composers as well as articles contributed by various authors on music topics, concepts and definitions starting alphabetically from: "I" (improperia) to "P" (plain song). The names of contributing authors appear in a list on pp.[v]-vii, signed "Bedford Street, Covent Garden, October 1, 1880." The titles of volumes I and II, indicate that the dictionary was issued in three volumes. However, the titles of the third and fourth volumes changed that statement to indicate that the publication of the dictionary was in four volumes.
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Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Volume 3

Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Volume 3

Date: 1883
Creator: Grove, George, Sir, 1820-1900.
Description: This is a copy of the third volume of "Dictionary of Music and Musicians," edited by Sir George Grove. This volume, published in 1883, is an encyclopedic work that contains the biographies of well-known composers as well as articles contributed by various authors on music topics, concepts and definitions starting alphabetically from: "P" (Planché, James Robinson) to "S" (the title of the Medieval rota, "Sume is icumen in"). The names of contributing authors appear in a list on pp.[v]-vii, signed "29 Bedford Street, Covent Garden, July, 1883." The titles of volumes I and II, indicate that the dictionary was issued in three volumes. However, the titles of the third and fourth volumes changed that statement to indicate that the publication of the dictionary was in four volumes.
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The Occasional : an Oratorio in Score Composed by Mr. Handel

The Occasional : an Oratorio in Score Composed by Mr. Handel

Date: 1784
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759
Description: A sacred oratorio for mixed chorus (SATB) and orchestra (2 violins, viola, "principale", 2 oboes, 2 trumpets, timpani, and continuo). The score includes a list of subscribers and an index for each of the three sections of the oratorio. The anthem "God save the King" is included on pp. 164-26, each page bearing an additional sequence number from 14-26.
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Acis and Galatea

Acis and Galatea

Date: 1743
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759.
Description: This is a ca. 1743 score of Acis and Galatea, a musical masque (also considered an English pastoral opera) by Handel to a libretto by John Gay. The performance forces include: oboes (2), flauto [recorder], violins, basso continuo, and chorus of mixed voices (mostly soprano, three tenors and bass) and vocal soloists. On the front cover the name Morgan appears imprinted on a red stamp with golden ornaments and letters. The names Anna Maria [Lawes] and Mary Anne Morgan were written at the top of the title page and the inscription, "the gift [of] her uncle T. Morgan, 1808." Underneath the dedication: WH London, 1890.
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Esther, a sacred oratorio in score

Esther, a sacred oratorio in score

Date: 1794
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759.
Description: This is a ca. 1794 score of "Esther," a sacred oratorio by Handel. According to the Grove Dictionary of Music, the English libretto of the oratorio was probably a collaborative work between John Arbuthnot and Alexander Pope with additional words by Samuel Humphreys. The engraved frontispiece that precedes the t.p. bears the title "Apotheosis of Handel," and the inscription, "The portrait from an original picture of Hudson's in the possession of Dr. Arnold. Designed by Rebecca [Biagio]. Engraved by [James] Heath. Published the 26th of May 1787, being the anniversary of the commemoration of Handel." A table of contents appears on p. 185 with incipits of first lines of text of recitatives and aria. The performance medium includes: oboes (2), flute, bassoon (2), trumpet, strings (violins, viola, violoncello, and bass), harp, soloists (S) and mixed chorus (SATB), and basso continuo. The choral number that appears in the appendix on p.183, contains a note, "This chorus comes in page 122."
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Esther, a sacred oratorio in score

Esther, a sacred oratorio in score

Date: 1794
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759.
Description: This is a bound copy of a ca. 1794 score of "Esther," a sacred oratorio by Handel. The cover contains the inscription, "The works of Handel, edited by Dr. Arnold." It does not include the frontispiece preceding the t.p. According to the Grove Dictionary of Music, the English libretto of the oratorio was probably a collaborative work between John Arbuthnot and Alexander Pope with additional words by Samuel Humphreys. A table of contents appears on p. 185 with incipits of first lines of text of recitatives and aria. The performance medium includes: oboes (2), flute, bassoon (2), trumpet, strings (violins, viola, violoncello, and bass), harp, soloists (S) and mixed chorus (SATB), and basso continuo. The choral number that appears in the appendix on p.183, contains a note, "This chorus comes in page 122."
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Handel's songs, selected from his oratorios

Handel's songs, selected from his oratorios

Date: 1785
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759.
Description: This is the third volume of a five-volume anthology featuring arias and songs from various oratorios by G. F. Handel. The vocal score contains musical selections arranged for 1-2 voices with unrealized figured bass intended for harpsichord (continuo), oboe, or flute accompaniment. The English text is printed between the treble and bass, or alto staves. A publisher's note on the t.p. announced the availability of instrumental parts sold separately. The table of content indicates the oratorio from which the arias and songs were taken. The songs are numbered continuously from 161-240 paginated from 334-498.
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Handel's songs, selected from his oratorios

Handel's songs, selected from his oratorios

Date: 1780
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759.
Description: This is the second of a five-volume anthology featuring 160 arias and songs from various oratorios by G. F. Handel. The vocal score contains musical selections arranged for 1-2 voices with unrealized figured bass intended for harpsichord (continuo), oboe, or flute accompaniment. The English text is printed between the treble and bass, or alto staves. A publisher's note in the t.p. announced the availability of instrumental parts are available separately for concerts. The table of content that follows after the t.p. indicates the titles of the oratorio from which the arias and songs were taken. The songs are numbered continuously from 81-160 paginated from 172-332.
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Judas Maccabaeus

Judas Maccabaeus

Date: 1740
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759.
Description: This is a [ca. 1740] score of Judas Maccabaeus, a sacred oratorio by Handel. It contains a table of songs for each of the three acts of the oratorio and a descriptive catalog of music composed by Handel, which includes: Italian operas, English oratorios as well as concertos, chamber music and transcription of vocal music for instruments. The performance forces include: vocal soloists (SATB or SATB), strings (violins, viola, violoncello and contra bass), oboes, traverse flute, and bassoon. It also includes figured bass for continuo playing. The names of singers (Gambarini, Galli, Reinhold, and Beard) appear at the heading of each aria. Page [73], incorrectly numbered 48, contains a keyboard march identified as: No.484 Marche.
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Messiah

Messiah

Date: 1767
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759.
Description: This is the score of the first published edition of Handel's sacred oratorio, Messiah to the English text by the librettist Charles Jennens. It includes an engrave lithograph showing a portrait of Handel and musical instruments and mythological figures playing instruments. A list of subscribers before the content index includes the King, Queen [of England], His Royal Highness the Duke of York, His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester, His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland. The content index includes incipit of recitatives and arias of each part. New pagination starts after the end of the oratorio at page 188 for added music.
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