The eponymous book is by Ian Gammie and Dr Derek McCulloch, and is an appraisal of the 8 books of music which are held by the Jane Austen Memorial Trust. These have never been fully catalogued and on closer inspection proved to have 300 musical items, featuring almost every type of vocal and instrumental music available at the time (the pieces range from the late 1750s to approx 1810).
The edition is 64 pages in length. It contains an introduction to the music and its background, a catalogue of all the pieces, with RISM or other reference numbers to identify where the same music can be found in museums and libraries around the world, biographies of the 70 composers represented, indexes of all the songs, and incipits for more than 60 works which either have doubtful attribution or have not yet been identified at all.
The purpose of this publication is to encourage academics and musicians around the world to help in the task of identifying all the music and expand our knowledge not only of Jane Austen's personal musical taste but of domestic music-making in Georgian and Regency times. It will also alleviate the pressure on the Jane Austen Memorial Trust who do not have facilities for microfilming nor even much space for scholars and musicians to study the books in person. The books themselves are not all in good condition and further handling of the pages is detrimental to their survival. The project is currently being developed by Southampton University.
Dr McCulloch and Ian Gammie have undertaken this task entirely at their own expense, and will both welcome and acknowledge any contributions towards a proposed second edition. There are other music books still in private collections which are known to have belonged to the Austen family, and it is hoped to include details of those in a future publication.
CDs from this series are now available.
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Last updated 1st March 2013