BURROWES, John Freckleton.
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
BURROWES, John Freckleton. The Thorough-Base [sic] Primer: containing Explanations and Examples of the Rudiments of Harmony; with fifty Exercises … First American, improved from the London Edition.
Boston: James Loring, Book-seller …  1828.
12mo (143 × 88 mm) in half-sheets, pp. [5], x–xii, [13]–138 (complete); musical examples in the text and the Examples (pp. 104–138) printed typographically; original red quarter morocco, spine lettered and ruled gilt, a few minor stains to the sides; ink ownership inscription of Alonzo Hartwell (presumably the Boston engraver and painter, 1805–1873) to the half-title; booklabel of John Lawson to the front pastedown.
First American edition; a very nice, well-preserved copy. Burrowes (1787–1852) was for nearly forty years organist of St James’s, Piccadilly, and a founding member of the Philharmonic Society. His Thorough-Base Primer (1819, and later editions) is a follow-up work to The Piano-Forte Primer (London, 1818; Philadelphia, 1820) and, like it, is couched in the form of a catechism. The Quarterly Musical Magazine & Review called it ‘the most easily intelligible, and, as a whole, the best essay of the kind we have ever met with.’

It certainly proved popular, on both sides of the Atlantic. ‘Between 1819–1829 eight editions appeared, and between 1829–1881, there were an additional forty-seven editions … Burrowes’ catechisms are part of the era of cheap publishing. They represent as well simplification resulting from reductionist tendencies of the period …, for his books contain only the barest essentials for learning the elements of music. They also reflect the limited scope of music education, the emphasis of which was chiefly on performance’ (Kassler, The Science of Music in Britain, p. 139)

Shoemaker 32534.
£250   
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