[Taunton, England]: Barnicott and Pearce, 1920-1925. Hardcover. Hardcover, in good condition. Five volumes bound in dark green cloth, without wrappers that accompanied the individual issues. Each spine bears the title, date, and an annual volume number in gold lettering. Front and rear covers are mottled from old moisture damage, but spines and contents are clean aside from light foxing on a few pages and small reddish-orange speckles on the page edges. Item #710
Founded by Fox Strangways, who was editor until 1937, Music and Letters grew from the small enterprise found in these volumes to become a leading international journal of musicology, currently published by Oxford University Press. From the beginning the journal displayed a broad scope, with topics in the first year ranging from Bach to sailor shanties to copyright issues. By the seventh issue, Fox Strangways was able to report that "The venture has been well received. It has now put a year and a half behind it, and a noble six hundred (odd) have rushed into the breach to support it. That, in these days, is magnificent, but it is not business; though, if that six hundred would be so kind as to multiply themselves by two, it would be. . . . I appeal with confidence to my readers to help in this way, on the ground that the magazine is worth making an effort to support. It aims at treating of musical subjects in a readable way. It is the only musical quarterly in this country, and as such can offer space to considered articles. The writers in it are all musical people and have only one axe to grind--the cause of good music in this country." Twenty issues, running from the first, Volume 1, Number 1, through the twenty-fourth, Volume 6, Number 4, lacking the four issues from 1922. Each issue is illustrated with two or three plates.