A full range of books on music from the 16th to the 20th centuries, including mostly first and early editions, with emphasis on books on musical instruments (especially the violin family), 19th century biographies and difficult-to-find reference material - dictionaries, thematic catalogues and scholarly works in all areas. Many of the books are in fine bindings.
- Abele, Hyacinth and Friedrich Niederheitmann The Violin: Its History & Construction, Illustrated & Described, From Many Sources, Together with a List of Italian and Tyrolese Violin Makers, 29 Illustrations and a Folding Example of the First Music for Lute, Fiddle and Voice London Small octavo. 151 pp. Good condition. BKS-07474 $35InquireBookplate of Rudolph Wurlitzer
- Abele, Hyacinth and Friedrich Niederheitmann The Violin: Its History & Construction, Illustrated & Described, From Many Sources, Together with a List of Italian and Tyrolese Violin Makers, 29 Illustrations and a Folding Example of the First Music for Lute, Fiddle and Voice Translated by John Broadhouse. William Reeves: London, nd. Small octavo. 151 pp. Cloth. Very good condition. BKS-09491 $30Inquire
- Alton, Robert Violin Making and Repairing Cassell & Co.: London, 1923. Small octavo. 152 pp. Wrappers. Top and bottom of spine lightly frayed, otherwise very good condition. BKS-05015 $35InquireConsidered one of the most important works on the contruction and repairing of violins.
- AMERICAN MUSICAL DIGEST American Musical Digest American Musical Digest, Inc.: New York, 1969. Complete run and Prospectus (Sept. 1968). Quarto. Seven issues, each 46 pp. plus cover. Many illustrations, mostly black and white. As new.BKS-13997 $200InquireThe American Musical Digest was a highly successful but short-lived magazine created by the Music Critics Association in contract to the National Endowment for the Arts. Non-profit and with no advertisements, it reprinted reviews and articles about American composers and performers ("American" meant "of the Western hemisphere"). With the advent of the Nixon presidency in 1970, government funding was precipitously withdrawn and the magazine closed.The government burned all copies of the American Musical Digest at the time of its closing, so those remaining were the personal copies of the editor; hence, they are now scarce.
- Anderson, Marian (1897-1993) My Lord, What a Morning: An Autobiography by Marian Anderson Viking Press: New York, 1956. Christian Herald's Family Bookshelf Edition. Octavo. 312 pp. Cloth. D/j chipped, otherwise fine.BKS-09650 $25Inquire
- Arteaga, Esteban (1747-1799) Le rivoluzioni del teatro musicale italiano dalla sua origine fino al presente opera C. Trenti: Bologna, 1783-88. first edition. Small octavo. Three Volumes: 411 pp, 214 pp, 207 pp. Early half calf with decorated paper board. Spines slightly worn, otherwise sound, clean copy. BKS-04617 $400Inquire
- Auer, Leopold (1845-1930) Violin Playing as I Teach It Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd.: London, 1960. Octavo. 99 pp. Buckram with dust jacket. Overall very good (DJ edges a little worn).BKS-14345 $25Inquire
- Auer, Leopold (1845-1930) Violin Playing as I Teach It Frederick A. Stokes: New York, 1921. first edition, sixth printing. Octavo. 225 pp. Cloth with inlaid photograph. Very good condition. BKS-07461 $40Inquire
- Auer, Leopold (1845-1930) Violin Playing as I Teach It Frederick A. Stokes: New York, 1921. first edition, first issue. Octavo. 225 pp. Cloth with inlaid photograph. Very good, several light pencil markings. BKS-07462 $35Inquire
- Azzolina, Umberto Liuteria Italiana dell'ottocento e del novocento Casa Editrice Ceschina: Milan, 1964. first edition. Large quarto. 64 pp. of text. 105 color plates, all with 3 views. Wrappers, with d/j. Fine (wraps just starting). BKS-07476 $350InquireEx Wurlitzer copy with signature of Lee Wurlitzer on first blank.
- Azzolina, Umberto Liuteria Italiana dell'ottocento e del novocento Casa Editrice Ceschina: Milan, 1964. first edition. Large quarto. 64 pp. of text. 105 color plates, all with 3 views. Wrappers, in slipcase. Fine (upper part of wraps just starting). BKS-09489 $350Inquire
- Bachmann, Alberto An Encyclopedia of the Violin Translation by Frederick H. Martens. Introduction by Eugene Ysaÿe. Edited by Albert E. Wier. D. Appleton-Century: New York, 1937. Octavo. 470 pp. Extensive illustrations & music examples. Cloth. Very good condition. BKS-05022 $40Inquire
- Bachmann, Alberto Les Grands Violinistes du Passé Librairie Fischbacher: Paris, 1913. Folio. 468 pp. on coated paper. Extensive illustrations, fold-out plates & music examples. Modern buckram binding with the original covers bound in. Minor repair to top of bound-in original cover, otherwise fine. BKS-05023 $1,200InquireThis impressive and rare volume was Josef Gingold's copy with his name gold-stamped on cover (also inscribed to him by Stefan Sopkin 1944 and additionally a note to Gingold tipped in by a student who had it bound for his 80th birthday in 1989).
- Bagnoli, Giorgio La Scala Encyclopedia of the Opera Translated by Graham Fawcett. Simon & Schuster: New York, 1993. Quarto. 398 pp. B/w & color plates. Buckram with d/j. Fine condition. BKS-05012 $35Inquire
- Baini, Giuseppe (1775-1844) PALESTRINA: Memorie storico-critiche della vita e delle opere di Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina Societa tipografica: Rome, 1828. first edition. Quarto. Two volumes bound in one: Vol. 1: 377 pp.; Vol. 2: 440 pp. + 22 pp. Index + 2 pp. list of Palestrina's works. Frontispiece portrait of Palestrina. Three-quarter red morocco with red leather boards and blue marbled end papers. Spine with raised bands, embossed gold decorative stamps and leather label. On nice wove paper with wide margins. Covers a little spotted and shelfworn, internally excellent and crisp.BKS-13327 $850InquireGiuseppe Baini (1775–1844) joined the Sistine Chapel Choir in 1795 and served as its director and archivist until his death. His Memorie of Palestrina was the first biography of a Renaissance composer. He considered Palestrina not only the master of counterpoint but the "savior of Church music".A beautiful copy of the scarce first edition.
- Balfoort, Dirk J. (1886-1964) Antonius Stradivarius Translated by W.A.G. Doyle-Davidson. Continental Book Company: Stockholm, c 1950. Quarto. 60 pp. 33 illustations. Boards. Boards warped & lower spine missing. BKS-09487 $25Inquire
- Balfoort, Dirk J. (1886-1964) Antonius Stradivarius Translated by W.A.G. Doyle-Davidson. Continental Book Company: Stockholm, c 1950. Quarto. 60 pp. 33 illustations. Boards. Upper spine missing, cover warped, otherwise fine. BKS-09488 $20Inquire
- Balfoort, Dirk J. (1886-1964) Antonius Stradivarius Translated by W.A.G. Doyle-Davidson. Continental Book Company: Stockholm, c 1950. Quarto. 60 pp. 33 illustrations. Boards. Spine chipped, cover a little warped, otherwise fine. BKS-07468 $45InquireEx-libris Josef Gingold, with his stamp on the title page.
- Ballantine, Bill The Violin, An Introduction to the Instrument Franklin Watts: New York, 1971. first edition. Octavo. 127 pp. Extensive b&w illustrations. Boards. As new. BKS-09924 $20Inquire
- Baruzzi, Arnaldo La Casa Nuziale: The Home of Antonio Stadivari, 1667-1680 Translated by Desmond Hill. W.E. Hill & Sons: London, 1962. Small quarto. 85 pp. Extensive b&w plates of documents, maps, instruments from this period etc. Cloth. Very good condition. BKS-05026 $35Inquire
- BAYREUTH FESTIVAL Bayreuth: The Early Years, An account of the Wagner Festival 1876-1914, as seen by celebrated visitors & participants Robert Hartford, ed. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1980. Large octavo. 284 pp. Multiple plates. Gold-stamped purple buckram. As new. BKS-09624 $40Inquire
- Becker, John J. (1886-1961) Signed biographical pamphlet Signed and inscribed by Becker on inside front cover. Forest Leaves, Barat College of the Sacred Heart: Lake Forest, Illinois, 1945. Octavo. 8 pp. Orange wraps. In excellent condition. Wraps just a bit dusty with minor stain at back.BKS-15282 $20More Images/InquireJohn Becker has signed and inscribed the inside front cover of this little pamphlet on his life and works: To my friend, Richard Kirckhoff - with esteem, John J. Becker. Chicago /48/. The pamphlet includes a brief biography, works list, and an essay by the Becker entitled "A Composer Looks At Aesthetics".John Becker was a composer and author on music. His successful career also included several appointments in administrative roles at collegiate music departments, most notable among them a ten-year tenure at Notre Dame University. An advocate for modern American music, Becker gave the midwestern premieres of works by Ruggles, Riegger, and Ives, his close personal friend.
- Beethoven, Ludwig van (1770-1827) Beethoven's Will and Other Papers. The Elkus Press: Berkeley, 1947. One of 250 copies printed. Octavo. 20 pp. Inscribed by the publisher Jonathan Elbus to composer Ernest Bloch on last page. Original paper wraps. Wrappers a little toned with minor chips, otherwise excellent.BKS-14805 $75InquireAn English translation of the famous Heiligenstadt Testament, along with an inventory of the composer's belongings, the invitation to his funeral, and documents relating to the custody and inheritance of his nephew, Karl.
- Bein & Fushi The Miracle Makers: Stradivari, Guarneri, Oliveira Bein & Fushi, Inc.: Chicago, 1998. first edition. Large Quarto (Square). 88 pp. Complete with 3 CDs, colored illustrations throughout. Black watered silk with original DJ. As new.BKS-14353 $200InquireElegant coffee table-sized book with histories of each instrument.
- Bekker, Paul (1882-1937) Gustav Mahlers Sinfonien Schuster & Leoffler: Berlin, 1921. 4to. 360 pp. Musical examples throughout. Red boards. Paper very brittle, title page detached, some fading to cover; otherwise clean and tight. Stamped with previous owner's name: Erst Rudolf Mayer. BKS-13397 $25Inquire
- Bekker, Paul (1882-1937) Wagner: das Leben im Werke Deutsche Verlags: Berlin, 1924. Quarto. 588 pp. Cloth. Minor scratches on cover, otherwise fine. BKS-05275 $40Inquire
- BELLMAN BIOGRAPHY Austin, Paul Britten The Life and Songs of Carl Michael Bellman: Genius of the Swedish Rococo. Allhem Publishers: Malmö, 1967. Quarto. 175 pp. With folding plate map of Stockholm at back. Ivory boards with original D/J. Book is pristine; D/J in poor condition.BKS-13417 $50More Images/InquireThe first English biography of the eighteenth-century songwriter Carl Michael Bellman, who has been called the supreme exponent of Swedish poetry and guitar song and the last great troubadour.
- Berr, Albert Geigengeschichten: Erinnerungen und Notizen Atlantis Verlag: Zürich, 1949. Octavo. 191 pp. Cloth with d/j. Very good condition. BKS-05029 $45Inquire
- Biddulph, Peter The Violin Masterpieces of Guarneri del Gesù: An Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Commemorating the 250th Anniversary of the Maker's Death Peter Biddulph: London, 1994. Quarto. 71 pp. Wrappers.BKS-12615 $325InquireNow out of print and quite scarce.
- Blunt, Wilfrid John Christie of Glyndebourne Theatre Arts Books: New York, 1968. Octavo. 303 pp. Plates. Buckram with d/j. As new. BKS-04978 $15Inquire
- Bonanni, Filippo (1638-1723) Gabinetto Armonico pieno d'Istromenti Sonori indicati, spiegeti, et di nuovo corretti, et accresciuti Nella Stamperia di Giorgio Placho, Intagliatore, e Gettatore de'Caratteri a S. Marco: Rome, 1723 . first edition, second issue. Small Quarto (9" h x 6.50" w). Half-title frontispiece missing, engraving of King David with harp by Arnold Van Westerhout after Stefano Spargioni, 177 pp. and 152 plates as issued ( including fold-out plate XXXIII). Early 19th-century quarter-mottled calf with marbled boards. A few plates professionally repaired, some faint foxing and toning with occasional light soiling. Despite these imperfections, overall a very nice copy.BKS-04668 $7,500InquireInstrument plates: 1-12; 13/14 (one plate); 15-29; extra plate also marked "29" but a different image and instrument, after p. 72; 30-48; extra plate, not numbered, facing p. 94; 49-78; extra plate also marked "78" but a different image and instrument, after p. 118; 79-103; extra plate, not numbered, facing p. 138; 104-148. The four-page "Indice delle materie" appears as pp. 167-170, prior to plate CXXXVII.Bonanni was an Italian Jesuit scholar of many talents. He developed his own microscopes, was an accomplished engraver and published works on many different subjects, ranging from music to anatomy to shell collecting.
The plates in this beautifully-illustrated and famous book include illustrious known instruments such as the Verospi organ in Rome (the fold-out plate) as well as others that were "highly imaginative". Charming inaccuracies might be forgiven in this early attempt to describe and illustrate every known musical instrument including those from America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, most of which the author had never seen.
Because of the collectability of the individual plates, it is increasingly rare to find a good complete copy.
- Bonaventura, Arnaldo (1901-1908) Niccolò Paganini A.F. Formíggini: Modena, 1923. Third edition. 16mo. 96 pp. Frontispiece portrait. Wrappers. Cover detached, evenly browned, splitting at center signature, but a very nice, unopened copy. BKS-05030 $35Inquire
- Borras, Jose Garcia Pablo Casals - Peregrino en America Mexico, 1957. first edition. Large octavo. 349 pp. Extensive b&w illustrations. Cloth boards with gold stamping. Excellent condition. BKS-09922 $65Inquire
- BOSTON MAGAZINE - EARLY AMERICA The Boston Magazine Norman & White: Boston, October 1783. Octavo. Disbound. In very good condition, especially for ephemera of its age. Title page lightly soiled with only occasional stains internally. Last ten pages detached. Folding plate with small tear at center (music affected but legible). Page 5 with a few markings in a contemporary hand; the page was also bound askew and the righthand margin is consequently trimmed so that it is missing just a few letters.BKS-15315 $1,350InquireThe very first issue of The Boston Magazine, published just one month after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War. This issue includes a folding plate of "A New Song" by an A. Hawkins that sets the charming text: Throw an apple up a hill, Down the apple tumble's still; Roll it down it never stops, 'till within the vale it drops, So are all things prone to love, all below and all above.
It is remarkable to think that this very booklet was read by the first citizens of the new nation. The Historical Chronicle on pages 35 and 36, by none other than John Hancock, reflects on the point: Our country, after a long and arduous contest for her rights and independence, is at length blessed with peace. A peace…that closes such scenes of devastation and blood as we have beheld…I hope that ardent affection for liberty and independence, which has already carried us successfully thro' so many difficulties, will still animate us to act up to the grand intention, and the true spirit of the confederation.The Boston Magazine was a monthly publication that ran from October 1783 to December 1786. Its columns engaged a wide variety of topics that encompassed politics, foreign and domestic news, history, morality, aesthetics, poetry, and literature. The magazine also often included a modest musical publication, as this issue does.
- Bouvier, René Farinelli: le Chanteur des Rois Éditions Albin Michel: Paris, 1943. Octavo. 284 pp. Plates. Wrappers. Spine chipped at both ends, otherwise good condition. BKS-04984 $35Inquire
- Boyden, David D. The Hill Collection of Musical Instruments in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford Oxford University Press: London, 1969. Deluxe edition. Small quarto. 51 pp. of text; 44 pp. of illustrations. Red half leather with green cloth, boxed. As new. BKS-09931 $300Inquire
- Briggs, John (1812-1845) Requiem for a Yellow Brick Brewery: A History of the Metropolitan Opera Little, Brown & Company: Boston, 1969. Large octavo. 359 pp. Many photos including frontispiece. Cloth. D/j slightly worn, otherwise fine. BKS-04941 $25Inquire
- Burney, Charles (1726-1814) A General History of Music, from the Earliest Ages to the Present Period. Printed for the Author: London, 1789. Second edition of Vol. I (1789); first editions of Vols. II-IV (1782, 1789, 1789). Large quarto. Portrait of Burney (after the Reynolds painting) in the first volume, engraved plates throughout including several foldouts and musical examples. Attractive new brown linen binding with leather labels. Overall crisp, fine copies; a couple of plates with light foxing.BKS-13556 $1,200More Images/InquireA very nice copy of Burney's influential history which spans ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt, through to the operas of the late eighteenth century. Burney, an eminent music historian, composer and organist, was certainly the foremost writer on music in England and had enormous influence.
- Carpani, Giuseppe Le Rossiniane ossia Lettere Musico-Teatrali di Giuseppe Carpani Tipografia della Minerva: Padua, 1824. Octavo. 230 pp. Frontispiece portrait. Quarter-leather with marbled boards, leather label. Covers rubbed, corners bumped, spine slightly chipped, otherwise solid and very good. BKS-04900 $600Inquire
- Carrieri, Raffaele La Danza In Italia, 1500-1900 Editoriale Domus: Milan, 1946. first edition. Number 866 of 994 copies. Folio. 119 pp. Brown cloth binding with decorative white stamping. Spine top and bottom a little chipped but overall very good.BKS-10788 $150InquireAn exceptionally handsome book and a tribute to the history of dance in Italy.
- CARUSO - SIGNED BOOK OF CARICATURES Caruso, Enrico (1873-1921) Caruso's Book. Being a Collection of Caricatures and Character Studies from Original Drawings of the Metropolitan Opera Company by Caruso. Signed "Enrico Caruso" on designated presentation page. Robert Grier Cooke, Inc.: New York, 1906. Quarto. 38 pages of hand-colored caricatures with protective tissues, plus title pages & endpapers. On wove cream paper with deckled edges. Presentation copy to "Sir John" with penciled inscription from the Enrico Caruso Society of New York, dated June 1960. Textured paper boards. Leather spine with gilt title, colored label on front cover. Excellent condition (front cover very slightly rubbed, last endpaper has some tape residue).BKS-14769 $750More Images/InquireScarce copy of Metropolitan Opera drawings.
There is no better description of this marvelous collection than that offered in the introduction by caricaturist Carlo de Fornaro:
At the suggestion of a friend, Caruso secured caricatures of all the members of the Metropolitan Opera Company, from Director Conried down to the office-boy. This book will be handed down in the musical world as a historical document of the present musical period. What stamps this book as invaluable is that each one of the caricatures was made by the artist while attending rehearsal. Behind the scenes, in his dressing room, in the business-office, among the spectators themselves he drew indefatigably.
Even on the scene the writer of these lines saw him from a box at the opera and watched him through the opera-glasses, in the last act of "La Boheme," sitting at the table and, while singing to the audience, he was actually drawing caricatures of the orchestra-leader…
"He would rather draw than eat," said his friend, Rossi, one night, while waiting for Caruso to dine with him. As far as the work, per se, it is simplicity itself carried to almost childlike sincerity. A little more, a little less drawing would spoil it…
They say that the actor's and singer's fame is the fame of one night, and that after their disappearance from the stage they are forgotten, or remembered only as legends. True; but in this particular case Caruso's fame will not die after his death, and I even make so bold as to prophesy that two or three generations after his death Caruso will be remembered as the clever caricaturist who sang.Inscription on the inside front cover reads: Presented to Sir John by the Enrico Caruso Society of N.Y. on the occasion of Sir John's recital at Carnegie Hall June 1960. We have been unable to figure out the identity of "Sir John"(Carnegie Hall has no record of anyone giving a recital in June of 1960).
- Caruso, Enrico (1873-1921) Caricatures by Caruso. Complete Collection Issued with the Approval of the Artist. Marziale Sisca, ed. La Follia di New York: New York, 1951. first edition. Quarto.BKS-14768 $85More Images/InquireAn intelligent showing of many of the famous tenor's well-known caricatures.
- Caruso, Enrico (1873-1921) How to Sing The Opera Box: Brooklyn, nd. Reprint. Small octavo. 61 pp. Frontispiece portrait. Decorated boards (clear plastic d/j). As new. BKS-09642 $12Inquire
- Christen, Ernest Ysaÿe. Preface de Jaques-Dalcroze Editions Labor et Fides: Geneva, 1946. Octavo. 228 pp. 9 plates. Front cover and spine missing, back cover detached; internally fine. BKS-09564 $30Inquire
- Clarke, A. Mason Fiddlers Ancient and Modern: A Biographical Dictionary of Fiddlers, including Performers on the Violincello and Double Bass William Reeves: London, c 1895. Small octavo. 360 pp. Frontispiece bust portrait of Paganini. B/w portraits. Cloth. Front cover soiled, otherwise very good condition. BKS-05042 $65InquireBookplate of Rudolph H. Wurlitzer.
- Clarke, A. Mason The Violin and Old Violin Makers, being a Historical & Biographical Account of the Violin, with Facsimiles of Labels of the Old Makers William Reeves: London, c 1933. Reprint of 1909 edition. Small octavo. 120 pp. Includes 48-page catalogue: Reeves' Musical Literature List, Catalogue B. Cloth. Very good. BKS-05043 $40Inquire
- Clarke, A. Mason The Violin and Old Violin Makers, being a Historical & Biographical Account of the Violin, with Facsimiles of Labels of the Old Makers William Reeves: London, c 1933. Reprint of 1909 edition. Small octavo. 120 pp. + 47 pp Reeves Catalog. Includes 48-page catalogue: Reeves' Musical Literature List, Catalogue B. Frontispiece picture of an Ole Bull Gasparo da Salo. Paper boards. Taped spine, otherwise very good. BKS-07471 $35Inquire
- Corredor, Jose Maria Conversations with Casals E. P. Dutton: New York, 1956. first edition. Octavo. 240 pp. Cloth boards. Fine. BKS-09565 $25Inquire