MACE, Thomas (1612/13 -?1706). Muisck’s Monument; or, a Remembrancer of the best Practical musick, both devine, and civil, that has ever been known, to have been in the world. London: for the Author, 1676. 2° (308 x 193mm). Engraved frontispiece portrait by W. Faithorne after H. Cooke, 3 full-page engraved illustrations, around 70 pages of woodcut music [pp.136-185 mainly lute tablature, pp.252-264 viol tablature], some type-set music. (Frontispiece, title, first few leaves and last few leaves spotted, 2 ink smears on P3.) Polished panelled calf gilt by Riviere and Son, panels in sprinkled and polished calf with cornerpieces, spine richly gilt, morocco lettering-pieces, gilt edges, cloth slipcase (lightly rubbed along joints). Provenance: John Charrington, the Grange, Shenley (library label on pastedown) – Lord Kennet of the Dene (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION of one of the most famous music books of the English Restoration, containing a complete treatise on the lute, and including eight lute suites. ‘This is a volume of remarkable interest divided into three parts dealing, respectively, with psalm singing in parish churches (“also shewing, How Cathedral Musick, may be much Improved and Refined”); playing the lute (an instrument on which Mace was evidently highly skilled); and “The Generous Viol, In its Rightest Use… and Musick in General”. Musick's Monument was written between 1671 and 1676 and shows Mace to have been of a conservative frame of mind in musical matters, defensive of traditions and chiefly of English music as it stood in the early seventeenth century (preferring, for instance, viols to violins – “Squaling-Scoulding Fiddles”), and deeply suspicious of newly imported French idioms that accompanied the restoration of Charles II … Paradoxically, he was one of the few writers on music in seventeenth-century England to grasp the importance of the affective element in music, advising his students to consider carefully, in learning to play a piece on the lute, not only the technicalities of its composition, but also its "humour", that is, its emotional content. Towards the end of the book, he turns attention towards suitable acoustics for musical performances, implying an awareness of the growing importance of public concerts.’ (ODNB online). Wing M120.