250pp. 2013. Paperback. Very good condition. Light rubbing to cover corners. Fine spine. Clean text.
Donald Tovey for the greater part of his life. In 1896, when he was 21, he wrote in a letter to a friend that he had begun a great work on the means of Expression in Music If ever I finish the thing, into print it shall go. Thirty years later, he was talking about a series of four text-books on music. But into print neither the one scheme nor the other went: the final expression of his ideas on music was never written. It never could be written, because it was never final in the mind of that incessant discoverer in music. Nor was his method of writing that of finality. The nearest point to finality which Tovey ever reached in his expression of a formal philosophy in music is to be found in the articles on technique and aesthetics of music (as he called them himself in the list of his writings supplied to Whos Who) which he contributed to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Those articles, written from 1906 onwards for the eleventh edition of the Encyclopaedia, and revised again, almost rewritten, for the fourteenth edition in 1929, were necessarily cast in the imposed form of treatises under word-headings. Yet they coalesce very firmly into a clear and coherent testament, almost into a text-book of the art of music in its widest meaning. Like the Glossary to the Essays in Musical Analysis, the entries are unconnected, the whole comprehensive, and while not attempting completeness, afford the reader a wider range of musical thought and a fuller discussion of technical problems than most of the exhaustive and laborious theses now available. Tovey himself set great store by these articles. They formed for him the basis of his teaching at the Universityof Edinburgh. They are the background to those fuller considerations of musical compositions which are his Essays in Musical Analysis. It was his own proposal that these articles should be gathered together into one volume, an idea expressed to me as long ago as 1926. Means were then taken towards the end of publishing, and it was agreed that Tovey should in his own time make any alterations or corrections necessary for the new method of presentation. But many other fresh and no doubt more important ideas and schemes came bubbling up into that wonderfully fertile brain, and nothing was done about the book of musical articles. I say more important because, though he was in life so fully occupied, it has now been found possible to publish these articles after the authors