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Apollo's Swan and Lyre


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The Worshipful company of Musicians, the only City Livery Company dedicated to the Performing Arts, celebrates its 500th anniversary in 2000. A new history by Richard Crewdson (Clerk to the Company 1967-87) marks the occasion by charting the eventful and often troubled life of the Company since 1500, and the earlier years when the London minstrels attempted to organise themselves into a guild. In the book the company's development is illustrated through the lives of individuals who were connected with it in one way or another - wealthy Jacobean musicians like Henry Walker who sold Shakespeare his Blackfriars house; Nicholas Lanier, first Master of the King's Music, determined to destroy the Company; Francis Pendleton, Elizabeth Pepys' dancing master; Tom Britton, the `small-coal man' and pioneer concert promoter, and many others. The company's fortunes ebbed and flowed. Even when it settled down as a 18th-century Dining Club it had to cope with an embezzling Clerk, and its first Alderman proved to be a fraudster and bankrupt. Surviving fitfully through the 19th century it enjoyed a great revival in the 1880s which took it triumphantly into the 20th century in its new role as patron of musicians. The main theme of this eminently readable book is presented against a background of national and local history and of London music, making it of special interest to a wide range of readers.RICHARD CREWDSON was Master of the Musicians Company, 1987-1988; he is now Senior Pastmaster.


First Published: 24 Feb 2000
13 Digit ISBN: 9780851157665
2 colour, 26 black and white illustrations
Pages: 330
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: Boydell Press
BIC Class: AV

Details updated on 05 Oct 2015