The Oxford History of English Music will survey in two volumes the whole field of music by English composers. This first volume begins with the settlement of the North German peoples and the cultivation of church music following the mission of St Augustine in 597. Relations between France and England form the background to the account of medieval music after the Norman Conquest, and the growth of a distinct national style is then traced from the early
fifteenth century, through the early Tudor period and that of the Reformation, to the outstanding achievements of Elizabethan and Stuart England. The arrival of Handel is related to the period of experimentation following Purcell's death in 1695 and the volume concludes with his decision to remain and the end of
the Stuart monarchy.
The contribution of such outstanding figures as Dunstable, Taverner, Byrd, and Purcell is placed in the context of the music of their contemporaries, while the social, religious, and historical background to their music is given full attention. There are over two hundred musical examples and sixteen pages of plates.
John Caldwell is the author of Editing Early Music (OUP, 1985), co-editor of The Well Enchanting Skill: Music, Poetry, and Drama in the Culture of the Renaissance(OUP, 1990), series editor for OUP's Musica de Camera series, editor of John Stanley: Complete Works for Flute and Basso Continuo: Six Concertos (OUP 1974-78 and 1987), and editor of William Boyce: Ten Voluntaries for the Organ or Harpsichord (OUP,