Reason without principles

Dr. Charles Burney, (1726–1814), music historian, wrote a General History of Music that was issued in four large tomes between 1776 and 1789.  At the beginning of volume three he inserted an “Essay on Music Criticism”.  As the third volume was treating about the most recent history, Burney thought that he should define and explain his criteria of criticism, before writing about all the more or less contemporary composers. The intended audience was of course among scholars, composers, musicians. According to Burney, everybody is different in taste: “music is the art of pleasing by the succession of … sounds”. But … Continue reading Reason without principles