I HAVE here endeavored to provide a readable account of the entire history of the art of music, within the compass of a single small volume, and to treat the luxuriant and many-sided later development with the particularity proportionate to its importance, and the greater interest appertaining to it from its proximity to the times of the reader.
The range of the work can be most easily estimated from the. It will be seen that I have attempted to cover the same extent of history, in treating of which the standard musical histories of Naumann, Ambros, Fétis and others have employed from three times to ten times as much space. In the nature of the case there will be differences of opinion among competent judges concerning my success in this difficult undertaking. Upon this point I can only plead absolute sincerity of purpose, and a certain familiarity with the ground to be covered, due to having treated it in my lectures in the Chicago Musical College for five years, to the extent of about thirty-five lectures yearly. I have made free use of all the standard histories—those of Fétis, Ambros, Naumann, Brendel, Gevaert, Hawkins, Burney, the writings of Dr. Hugo Riemann, Dr. Ritter, Prof. Fillmore, and the dictionaries of Grove and Mendel, as well as many monographs in all the leading modern languages.
I have divided the entire history into books, placing at the beginning of each book a general chapter defining the central idea and salient features of the step in development therein recounted. The student who will attentively peruse these chapters in succession will have in them a fairly complete account of the entire progress.
W. S. B. MATHEWS.
Chicago, May 5, 1891.