THE ART OF THE HARPSICHORD
PASQUALI, Nicolo. The Art of Fingering the Harpsichord. Illustrated with Examples in Notes. To which is added, an approved Method of Tuning that Instrument …
Edinburgh: Printed for Rob. Bremner, the Assigney of Sig. Pasquali, and sold at his Music-Shop … [c.1757/8].  
Oblong folio (255 × 350 mm), pp. vii, [1], 28, with 15 pp. of engraved music interpolated throughout the letterpress text, which is largely printed on folded half-sheets; some staining, dust-soiling, and other marks, small section of title torn away, edges a little ragged, sometime strengthened with Japanese paper, small wormhole in lower margin towards the end; stitched in the original drab wrappers, pen trials and staining to front cover, lower cover sometime replaces with card; early inscription to title-page (‘Newport’).
Rare first edition; others followed in London. ‘Having purchased the whole musical Effects of the Author after his Decease, this Work was found amongst them, ready for the Press, and is presented to the Public without any Alteration’ (publisher’s preface). According to Burney, Pasquali (c.1718–1757) came to London from Italy about 1743 ‘and from then on was extremely active in the three main British musical centres. He spent the period 1748–9 in Dublin, where he produced an oratorio, Noah, and a masque, The Temple of Peace. By 1750 he was back in London, returning to Dublin in 1751. From October 1752 onwards he lived in Edinburgh, where he led the orchestras at both the Canongate Theatre and the Musical Society, wrote and acted in a “whimsical Farce” entitled The Enraged Musician (based on Hogarth’s print), and composed, among other works, a Stabat mater which continued to be performed in Edinburgh after his death’ (New Grove). Much of Pasquali’s music is now lost. The present work ‘covers the first principles of playing the harpsichord but contains little on the first principles of musical notation. In this respect it differs from the vast majority of keyboard tutors published in Britain between 1714–1830 … The first edition was published at 3 shillings and was reissued by Bremner from his London establishment about 1760 (US: DLC, copy of Thomas Jefferson). There were other issues in London by Welcker, Preston, Longman & Broderip, and A. Hamilton and in Dublin by Edmund Lee’ (Kassler, p. 820).
RISM P 993 and Écrits, p. 638.
£1500   
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