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A General History of Music

A friend and pupil of Mendelssohn, the composer and author William Smith Rockstro (1823-95) was regarded as an expert on early music. He contributed articles on the subject to Sir George Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians as well as teaching counterpoint and plainsong at the Royal College of Music. His published output includes biographies of Handel (1883), Mendelssohn (1884) and the opera singer Jenny Lind (1891), all of which are reissued in this series. The present work was first published in 1886. In its narrative of musical history since the Greeks, it gives due weight to the development of music in England and includes, naturally, a chapter on Handel that reflects his enduring influence on national taste. The final section of the book discusses the contemporary musical scene and considers the importance of the recently deceased Wagner for the music of the future.
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Table of Contents

Preface; Part I. Music in the Early Ages: 1. The music of the Greeks; 2. The music of the early Christians; Part II. Music in the Middle Ages: 3. The condition of music in the early middle ages; 4. Troubadours, minstrels and minnesingers; 5. The invention of counterpoint; 6. Concerning the polyphonic schools; 7. The productions of the polyphonic schools; 8. Polyphonic music in England; 9. Mediaeval hymnody; Part III. Music in the Seventeenth Century: 10. On the schools of the decadence; 11. Early history of the opera; 12. Early history of the oratorio; 13. Instrumental music; 14. The later composers; 15. The English school of the Restoration; Part IV. Music in the Eighteenth Century: 16. Music in Italy; 17. Music in France, England and Germany; 18. The modern system of part-writing; 19. The seven lamps; 20. George Frederick Handel; 21. Johann Sebastian Bach; 22. Christoph Willibald Gluck; 23. Franz Joseph Haydn; 24. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; 25. Ludwig van Beethoven; 26. The development of the piano-forte; 27. Dramatic music in Italy; 28. Dramatic music in France; 29. The schools of Leipzig and Vienna; 30. Music in England; Part V. Music in the Nineteenth Century: 31. The seven lesser lights; 32. Music in Italy; 33. The German schools; 34. The French schools; 35. The English schools; Part VI. The Present Condition of Music, and its Probable Influence upon the Future: 36. The new world; 37. Wilhelm Richard Wagner; 38. L'envoi; Appendix; Index and chronological table.

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