Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Burney's Influential History of Music

    Charles Burney. A General History of Music, From the Earliest Ages to the Present Period. To Which is Prefixed, a Dissertation on the Music of the Ancients. London: Printed for the author: and sold by T. Becket; J. Robson; and G. Robinson, 1776, 1782, 1789, 1789.

    All volumes first editions. Four quarto volumes. xx, [xii], 520; 597; xi, 622; 688 pages. Frontispieces. Indices. Numerous engraved plates, woodcuts, and one fold-out plate. Inked name of original owner, R. Sly, who is listed in the subscriber's list as "Richard Sly, Organist of Lynn." He has, in ink, made corrections throughout the entire set in accordance with the errata pages at the end of each volume.

    Bound in contemporary full calf. Gilt lettering to spines. Green morocco title labels with gilt lettering. Raised bands. Marbled endpapers. Older professional restoration to backstrips. Hinges reinforced. Usual rubbing and wear to binding. Foxing and some small dampstains to preliminaries. Only very minor foxing and fading throughout. Very good.

    Even though it took thirteen years for this mammoth study to be completed (six years between Volumes I and II alone), Charles Burney's influential history was considered noteworthy from its first appearance. The subscriber's list following the preface of Volume I contains over 400 names from the cream of British society, including William Beckford, David Garrick, Dr. Samuel Johnson, Joshua Reynolds, et al. An important early study of music history infrequently found with the first edition of Volume I. Julia Gregory and Hazel Bartlett, in their Catalogue of Early Books on Music, note that Volume I of the set in the Library of Congress is the 1789 second edition.

    Gregory and Bartlett, p. 47.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    8th-9th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 953

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 3 days left to consign to the 2018 August 18 Americana & Political - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage Auctions and Mr. Chad Reingold were...professional and courteous in all transactions and provided outstanding service in answering my many emails. I recommend them at the highest level.
    Killy M.,
    Melbourne Beach, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $619,240