- Kerry S. Grant
(b Shrewsbury, April 7, 1726; d Chelsea, London, April 12, 1814). English musician, composer and music historian. A fashionable and popular teacher of music, he was a composer and performer of modest talents whose greatest success and legacy are his writings on music.
His father, James Macburney, was a dancer, violinist and portrait painter who dropped the prefix from his surname about the time that Charles was born. Charles and his twin sister Susanna, born to Macburney's second wife, were the last of 20 children in the family. Before the age of eight he was sent to Condover under the care of a nurse. He returned to Shrewsbury to enrol in the Free School, and in 1739 rejoined his family in Chester, where he entered Chester Free School as a King's Scholar. Here the early introduction to music he had received at Condover was continued under the direction of the organist of the cathedral, and he was soon able to perform the services. His education and interest in music were heightened by the many famous musicians who travelled through Chester on their way to or from Ireland.
In 1742 Burney returned to Shrewsbury to assist his half-brother James, who had become the organist of St Mary's Church. James proved to have limited talents and Burney's autobiographical reflections on this period are of intense self-guided study in music, letters and practising. In 1743 he returned to Chester ‘inflamed with a rage for composition’. He again benefited from association with the many notable musicians in transit between London and Dublin. The visit of Thomas Arne in 1744 ultimately led to Burney's becoming apprenticed to him for a period of seven years. Burney's association with Arne was troubled. He was obliged to carry a very heavy burden transcribing music, teaching Arne's less important singers, giving lessons to Arne's instrumental pupils and playing in various orchestras. All of the income from these activities accrued to Arne. Nonetheless, Burney gained invaluable experience and important associations. In 1745 Arne sent him to Handel, who engaged him to play in the orchestra for his new oratorios Hercules and Belshazzar. He eventually obtained a regular place in the orchestra of the Drury Lane Theatre and performed at Vauxhall Gardens.
In 1746 Burney met Fulke Greville, a well-travelled and sophisticated gentleman, who took an interest in Burney because of his uncommon intellect and social ability. For several years Greville purchased a portion of Burney's time from Arne so that Burney could entertain his friends at his country home. In 1748 Greville purchased the remaining years of Burney's apprenticeship from Arne. Burney became apprentice, music-master and intellectual companion to Greville. However, after less than a year, in May 1749, Burney was released from all obligations to Greville so that he could marry Esther Sleepe, who had clandestinely given birth to their first child one month earlier. Freed from all apprentice obligations, he quickly established himself. He became a Freeman of the Musician's Company in July 1749. The friends he had made during his service to Arne and Greville assisted all of his efforts. With their help he was appointed organist of St Dionis Backchurch. In 1749 he replaced John Stanley when the fashionable series of concerts held at the Swan Tavern were relocated, after a fire destroyed the former site, to the King's Arms Tavern. Burney states that he ‘began to be in fashion in the City, as a Master, and had my hands full of professional business of all kinds with scholars at both ends of the town, Composition, & public playing’. Among his pupils were Giulia Frasi and Gaetano Guadagni, two of Handel's leading singers. In 1750 Burney provided the music for the comic opera Robin Hood (with a libretto by Moses Mendez) under the name of the pretend Society of the Temple of Apollo, an institution of which Burney repeatedly asserted he was the sole member. The ‘Society’ also provided music for the pantomime Queen Mab, based on a libretto by Henry Woodward, to great success. Burney subsequently provided many new songs for Garrick's production of The Masque of Alfred (1751), but it was only moderately successful.
Burney fell seriously ill in 1751. Forced to leave London for the cleaner air of the countryside, he settled in King's Lynn, as organist of St Margaret's Church. For nine years he served as organist, music instructor to the best families in the area, and as impresario and performer for concerts. He continued his course of self-directed study of languages, literature and music history and befriended many of the leading citizens in the region. In 1760 he returned to London, where he quickly re-established himself as a leading music teacher. He did this in part by displaying the talents of his daughter Esther, who was already an impressive harpsichordist at the age of ten. His many influential friends ensured the rapid success of his return to London; however, his wife's protracted illness and subsequent death in 1762 deprived him of the full enjoyment of this success. In 1763 David Garrick enlisted him as musical director for his production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Burney provided 14 of the songs for the production which, however, was unsuccessful and quickly withdrawn. He visited Paris for the first time in 1764 to enrol his daughters in a school, and used the occasion to become acquainted with the state of theatre, opera and music. Burney collaborated with Garrick again in an English adaption of Rousseau's pastoral Le devin du village. Burney had translated the work during his stay in King's Lynn and he reworked this version for the production in 1766. Adapted as The Cunning Man, Rousseau's work enjoyed moderate success. Burney was to produce nothing more for the theatre.
In 1767 Burney married his second wife, Mrs Stephen Allen, the widow of a close friend from his time in King's Lynn. In 1769 he sought and gained an appointment to write the ode for the installation of the chancellor of the University of Cambridge, but withdrew over disagreement about the cost of the orchestra. Instead, he wrote an exercise for Oxford and matriculated from University College in June 1769 with the degrees of BMus and DMus.
Burney's lifelong interest in astronomy, as well as his passion for literature, found expression in 1769 in the anonymous publication An Essay towards a History of the Principal Comets that have Appeared since the Year 1742, a work calculated to benefit from the scheduled reappearance of Halley's Comet that autumn. Burney next turned to writing about the history of his own art, but determined that he would need to engage in research in France and Italy to augment his broad acquaintance with the relevant and available material in England. In June 1770 he left England on a tour of the leading cities of France and Italy, bearing numerous letters of introduction to leading intellectuals and musicians on the Continent. Burney's published account of this tour, The Present State of Music in France and Italy, established him as one of music history's keenest observers and most entertaining commentators. By virtue of its reflection of his wide ranging intelligence and interest, it laid the foundation for Burney's acceptance as a man of letters rather than what his daughter Fanny would call ‘a mere musician’.
In 1772 Burney undertook a trip through the Low Countries, Germany and Austria, motivated in part because of his desire to know more about the music in these countries and in part at the prompting of Christopher Daniel Ebeling, who was translating Burney's Italian tour into German. His sojourns in the great musical cities (such as Vienna, Berlin, Potsdam and Hamburg) included visits to Metastasio, Hasse and Gluck, as well as to C.P.E. Bach. Less than a year later he published his extensive The Present State of Music in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Provinces. His work, which contained criticisms of German manners and taste, drew strong protests from loyal Germans, but was highly successful in England.
The success of his writings only increased his fashionable status. His home was the gathering place for prominent musicians, men of letters, politicians and artists. The Sunday Evening Concerts held there were justly famous. His musical activities continued unabated and he secured the post of organist of Oxford Chapel (now St Peter's, Vere Street) in 1773. Burney moved to the former home of Sir Isaac Newton in St Martin's Street, Leicester Fields in 1774.
Three years in the writing, the first volume of Burney's General History of Music was published in 1776, two years later than proposed. He barely succeeded in his ambition to beat to publication the history of music written by Sir John Hawkins. However, Hawkins published his complete five-volume history at one time, whereas it was to take Burney until 1789 to complete his task. Contemporary reviews cast the books as rivals and the relative merits of the two histories have been in debate continuously since. Burney's initial volume enjoyed immediate success and very positive reviews, some of which Burney contrived to manipulate to ensure favourable comment. The second volume of the History was delayed by a relaxing of Burney's ambition, partly because he enjoyed his earlier successes and because of his distaste for the Gothic music that was his subject; it did not appear until 1782. The volume was a critical success, nevertheless, and drew notable attention because its publication coincided with the publication of Cecelia by his daughter Fanny. Work on the third volume of the History was interrupted by Burney's involvement with the Handel Commemoration of 1784. He was appointed official historian of the event, which caused him considerable difficulty and expense. He found himself in the hands of the exclusive admirers of Handel, who expected him to surrender all of his earnings to the charitable fund that was the beneficiary of the event. As a result of the direct intervention of the king, and others whom Burney could not afford to offend, the essays on Handel and his music in the Account of the Commemoration of Handel do not always reflect his honest critical opinion.
In 1789, at the age of 63, Burney published the third and fourth volumes of his History. A new, somewhat revised, edition of the first volume was also published, enabling the purchase of all four volumes (the first volume had gone out of print many years earlier). The completed work, though inevitably compared with that of Hawkins, was favourably received. The following year Burney began writing a biography of Metastasio. He worked on it only sporadically, not completing the work until 1796. In addition to his broad participation in the social and cultural life of London, his work was delayed by Haydn's two visits to England. It was to Burney that Haydn came when he first arrived in England. Burney published a poem of welcome and the two spent a great deal of time together during a total of the three years Haydn spent in England between 1791 and 1795.
In 1801 Burney undertook his last large-scale project, the writing of the articles on music for Rees's Cyclopaedia. This task occupied him for much of the rest of his life. In 1806 he received a pension of £200 a year. In 1810 he was appointed a Correspondant of the Institut de France Classe des Beaux-Arts. During the final years of life Burney worked on his memoirs, attempted to bring order to an immense correspondence and spent time organizing his very extensive library. After his death, his library was separated into three lots. The Miscellaneous Library and his collection of music were sold at two separate auctions. His extensive library of books on music was sold as he had wished, without being separated, to the British Museum. In 1817 a monument to Burney was erected in the North Choir Aisle of Westminster Abbey.
Burney joined the Royal Society of Musicians in 1749 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1764 and the Royal Society (FRS) in 1773. He was a member of the Music Graduates Meeting throughout its existence. In 1767 he was appointed ‘Extra Musician’ in the King's Band, and in 1774 he was promoted to musician-in-ordinary. He made a number of attempts to achieve more notable and more lucrative appointments but without success.
Portraits of Burney exist as follows: (1) Reynolds (original, now in the National Portrait Gallery, and formerly the property of the descendant of the Rev. Dr Charles Burney; copies in the Music Faculty, Oxford, and the Conservatorio di Musica G.B. Martini, Bologna; engraving by Bartolozzi in the History). (2) Drawing by Dance (in the National Portrait Gallery). (3) Engravings in the European Magazine, 1 April 1785 (possibly after the now lost portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds's sister, Frances). (4) Bust by Nollekens (exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1802; copies in the British Museum and the Music Faculty, Oxford). (5) Drawing in black chalk, done at Calais, 1770 (collection of J.M. Osborne, Yale University).
Burney figures in Barry's huge painting Commerce, or the Triumph of the Thames (1783) in the Great Room of the Royal Society of Arts, John Adam Street, London. Finally, there is a well-known colour-print caricature, A Sunday Concert (1782; fig.1), recalling the celebrated musical parties at Burney's St Martin's Street residence: a silhouette copy of this on glass formerly belonged to Percy A. Scholes.
Burney's compositions are competent and reflect his activities as a performer, impresario and church musician. None has achieved lasting fame, although the link to Rousseau's Le devin du village has attracted attention to The Cunning Man. Late in life he described his own music as negligible.
(ii) Literary works.
Burney's Tours and the General History of Music remain wellsprings of observation and insight into 18th-century musical life and practice. The History remains an impressive, if inconsistent, work of great value even after more than 200 years of specialized scholarship. The distinguishing mark of Burney's history, in comparison to that of Hawkins, is his greater familiarity and interest in contemporary music and his skill in addressing the general reader. Burney intended his work to be a distinctively English history of music directed to improving the taste of his readers. He wrote for a specific audience and sought the help of his collaborators, particularly Thomas Twinning (1735–1804) as much to assist him with the literary and general interest aspects of his work as with its musical content. The extensive treatment of Handel in the fourth volume of the History is the result both of Burney being granted access to the king's great collection of Handel manuscripts and of his catering to the general enthusiasm for Handel's music that dominated English taste for many years. Burney himself was a modernist who, though capable of admiring what was exceptional about Handel's music, was unprepared to accept Handel or any other composer as the greatest that ever lived or ever would live.
It is essential in reading Burney's writings to pay due attention to the tenets laid out in his ‘Essay on Musical Criticism’. Many misinterpretations, such as the often-repeated notion that Burney was an ‘enemy of counterpoint’ can be avoided by considering his comments against the principles he followed in making his critical judgments. The prudent reader will remember that Burney wrote in a period and under conditions quite different from those available to contemporary authors. Throughout his life he was hopeful of receiving positions through patronage and later pensions. He consciously avoided placing his ambitions in jeopardy and this affected the content of his work. At its least intrusive this anxiety led him to ‘praise what is worthy and to be silent about the rest’. In at least one instance, his Account of the Commemoration of Handel, Burney's reliance on the favour of those who might be his beneficiaries caused him to alter his opinion to the point of prevarication.
The Memoirs of … Metastasio are largely unsuccessful. His articles for Rees's Cyclopedia are inconsistent and have been frequently ridiculed: they are an uneven compilation of material drawn from other authors, especially from Burney's early translation of Rousseau's Dictionnaire de Musique, and from his own works. Nevertheless, they are valuable in that they offer a good deal of new material, including assessments of Mozart and Haydn, and even mention of Beethoven. The comparison of essays in their original form in Burney's early works with the versions found in the Rees articles yields many interesting insights. Burney assembled his own memoirs late in his life, but his incomplete work was taken up by his daughter Fanny, whose editorial work reshaped his career to her own conception, protecting her sense of family dignity by emphasizing his accomplishments as a man of letters. Her wish to de-emphasize the place of music in Burney's later life led to the destruction of material of inestimable value, including what was essentially a diary of Haydn's activities in London.
(iii) A man of letters.
Unquestionably one of Burney's greatest accomplishments was his transcendence of the cultural and practical limitations of musicians in his time to a place in London's best society. He was largely self-educated, yet could hold his place in the company of England's finest intellects. He was not without character faults – one observer noted that he had no fault save that of obsequiousness – yet he presented himself in such an agreeable manner that Samuel Johnson could say of him ‘my heart goes out to meet him. I much question if there is in the world such another man for mind, intelligence, and manners’. Although he succeeded in moving to such levels of society that he would be in the company of the king and queen, he was constantly aware of the necessity of protecting his success by accommodation to the powerful or merely influential. Not surprisingly, this affected his writings to a greater or lesser degree, depending on his subject.
(iv) His children.
Several of Burney's children achieved recognition in their right: Esther (Hester, ‘Hetty’), a well-known harpsichordist; Frances (‘Fanny’, Madame d'Arblay), diarist and novelist; Rear Admiral James Burney, FRS, who twice sailed round the world with Captain Cook and wrote an important five-volume History of the Voyages and Discoveries in the South Sea or Pacific Ocean; the Rev. Charles Burney, DD, LID, FRS, one of the most eminent classical scholars of his day, whose magnificent library together with his extensive collection of newspapers and materials about the history of the theatre was purchased for the British Museum; and Charlotte Ann (Mrs Broome) and Sarah Harriet, both minor novelists. The musician Charles Rousseau Burney (who married Hester) and the artist Edward Francis (or Francesco) Burney were his nephews, sons of his brother Richard.
printed works published in London, unless otherwise stated
6 Sonatas, 2 vn, vc/hpd, op.1 (1748)
VI Cornet Pieces … and a fugue, hpd (1751)
VI Sonatas or Duets, 2 fl/vn, op.3 (1754)
6 Sonatas, 2 vn, b, op.4 (1759)
6 Concertos a 7, 4 vn, va, vc, bc, op.5 (c1760)
6 Sonatas, hpd (1761)
2 Sonatas, hpd/pf, vn, vc, 1st set (1769)
2 Sonatas, hpd, pf, vn, vc, 2nd set (1772)
4 Sonatas or Duets for 2 performers, pf/hpd (1777/R)
A 2nd set of 4 Sonatas or Duets, pf/hpd (1778/R)
? Sonate à 3 mains, hpd (c1780)
Preludes, fugues and interludes, org, bk 1 (c1787)
6 songs composed for the Temple of Apollo, bk 1, op.2 (c1750)
The Cunning Man [adapted from J.-J. Rousseau: Le devin du village], Drury Lane, 21 Nov 1766 (c1767/R 1998 in RRMCE, l suppl.)
Ode on St Cecilia's Day (burlesque, B. Thornton), Ranelagh Gardens, 1769, ?1760/1763, ?lost
I will love thee, O Lord my strength (Ps xviii), solo vv, chorus, orch, DMus exercise, 1769, GB-Ob
XII Canzonetti a 2 voci in canone (P. Metastasio) (c1790)
Other songs, airs, etc., some perf. in stage works, pubd singly and in 18th-century anthologies, see Scholes, 1948
- Journal of Burney's travels in France and Italy (MS, 1771, GB-Lbl Add.35122) [see Poole, 1969]
- The Present State of Music in France and Italy, or the Journal of a Tour through those Countries, undertaken to collect Materials for a General History of Music (London, 1771, 2/1773) [based on Journal, 1771; see Scholes, 1959, and Poole, 1969]
- Lettere del defonto Signor Giuseppe Tartini alla Signora Maddalena Lombardini inserviente ad una importante lezione per i suonatori di violini/A Letter from the late Signor Tartini to Signora M. Lombardini (now Signora Sirmen) published as an Important Lesson to Performers on the Violin, Translated by Dr Burney (London, 1771, 2/1779/R)
- The Present State of Music in Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Provinces, or the Journal of a Tour through these Countries, undertaken to collect Materials for a General History of Music (London, 1773, 2/1775) [see Scholes, 1959]
- A General History of Music from the Earliest Ages to the Present Period, to which is prefixed, a Dissertation on the Music of the Ancients, 1 (London, 1776, 2/1789), ii (1782, repr. 1811–12), iii–iv (1789); ed. F. Mercer in 2 vols. with the 1789 text of the orig. vol. i (London, 1935/R)
- ‘Account of an Infant Musician [W. Crotch]’, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 69 (1779), 183–206; also pubd separately (London, 1779)
- An Account of Mademoiselle Theresa Paradis (London, 1785)
- An Account of the Musical Performances in Westminster Abbey and the Pantheon, May 26th, 27th, 29th; and June the 3rd and 5th, 1784, in Commemoration of Handel (London, 1785/R)
- Verses on the Arrival in London of the Great Musician Haydn (London, 1791)
- Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Abate Metastasio (London, 1796/R1971)
- Reviews, etc., in Monthly Review (1785–1802) [see index of contributors in B.C. Nangle: The Monthly Review, First Series, 1749–1789 (Oxford, 1934) and The Monthly Review, Second Series, 1790–1815 (Oxford, 1955)]
- Notes signed ‘B’ in J. Boswell The Life of Samuel Johnson, ed. E. Malone (London, 3/1799)
- Articles contributed to Rees's Cyclopaedia (1819–20)
- Memoirs (MS, n.d. US-NH, Osborn collection 73.1–Journal O) [see F. D’Arblay, 1832, Scholes, 1959, and Klima, Brown and Grant, 1988]
- Letters, journals, memoranda, memoirs, etc., in various libraries [summary list in Lonsdale, 1965; complete guide, incl. MSS of other members of Burney family, in J. Hemlow: A Catalogue of the Burney Family Correspondence, 1749–1878 (New York, 1971), see also Ribeiro, 1991]
- J.-J. Rousseau: ‘Lettre à M. Burney sur la musique, avec fragmens d'observations sur l'Alceste italien de M. le chevalier Gluck’, Traités sur la musique (Geneva, 1781), 375–427
- The Late Dr. Burney's Musical Library: a Catalogue of the … Collection of Music … which will be sold … on Monday, the 8th of August, 1814 (London, 1814); facs. edn by A.H. King (Amsterdam, 1973) [review by K.S. Grant, Notes, xxxi (1974–5), 45–8]
- ‘Dr Burney's Letter to Haydn’,The Harmonicon, 5 (1827), 63 only
- F. D'Arblay: Memoirs of Doctor Burney (London, 1832/R)
- J.W. Croker: ‘Madame d'Arblay's Memoirs of Dr Burney’, Quarterly Review, 49 (1833), 97–125
- [C.F. Barrett, ed:]: Diary and Letters of Madame d'Arblay [Fanny Burney] (London, 1842–6, rev. 4/1904–5 by A. Dobson)
- A.R. Ellis, ed.: The Early Diary of Frances Burney, 1768–1778 (London, 1889, 2/1907)
- F.G. Edwards: ‘Dr Charles Burney (1726–1814): a Biographical Sketch’, MT, 45 (1904), 435–9, 513–15, 575–80
- F. Kidson: ‘James Oswald, Dr Burney and “The Temple of Apollo”’, MA, 2 (1910–11), 34–41
- L.M. Isaacs: ‘A Friend of Dr Johnson’, MQ, 1 (1915), 583–91
- J. Pulver: ‘Burney in Berlin’, MMR, 59 (1929), 169–70
- E.M. Lockwood: ‘At Dr Burney's’, ML, 11 (1930), 78–86
- V. Woolf: ‘An Evening at Dr Burney's’, The Second Common Reader (1932), 108–25
- W.W. Roberts: ‘Charles and Fanny Burney in the Light of the New Thrale Correspondence in the John Rylands Library’, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 16 (1932), 115–36
- W.W. Roberts: ‘The Trial of Midas the Second’, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 17 (1933), 322–32; also in ML, xiv (1933), 303–12
- R.H. Nichols and F.A.Wray: The History of the Foundling Hospital (London, 1935)
- A.T. Hazen: Samuel Johnson's Prefaces and Dedications (New Haven, CT, 1937)
- R.S.M. Hughes: ‘Dr Burney's Championship of Haydn’, MQ, 27 (1941), 90–96
- K.C. Balderston, ed.: Thraliana: the Diary of Mrs Hester Lynch Thrale (later Mrs. Piozzi) 1776–1809 (Oxford, 1942, 2/1951)
- P.A. Scholes: ‘Notes on a Collection of Burneyana’, MR, 3 (1942), 130–44
- O.E. Deutsch: ‘Haydn's Hymn and Burney's Translation’, MR, 4 (1943), 157–62
- C.G.T. Dean: ‘Dr Burney's Connection with the Royal Hospital, Chelsea’, Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society, new ser., 8/3 (1944)
- P.A. Scholes: The Great Dr Burney (London, 1948/R)
- A.D. McKillop: ‘Bonnell Thornton's Burlesque Ode’, Notes and Queries, 194 (1949), 321–4
- B.C. Nangle: ‘Charles Burney, Critic’, The Age of Johnson: Essays Presented to Chauncey Brewster Tinker, ed. F.W. Hilles (New Haven, CT, 1949), 99–109
- R. Stevenson: ‘The Rivals: Hawkins, Burney and Boswell’, MQ, 36 (1950), 67–82
- R.A. Leigh: ‘Les amitiés françaises du Dr Burney’, Revue de littérature comparée, 25 (1951), 161–94
- P.A. Scholes: The Life and Activities of Sir John Hawkins, Musician, Magistrate, and Friend of Johnson (London, 1953/R)
- J. Hemlow: The History of Fanny Burney (Oxford, 1958)
- M. Benkovitz: ‘Dr Burney's Memoirs’, Review of English Studies, new ser., 10 (1959), 257
- R. Lonsdale: ‘Dr Burney and the Integrity of Boswell's Quotations’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 53 (1959), 327–31
- P. Scholes, ed.: Dr. Burney's Musical Tours in Europe (London, 1959) [i, An Eighteenth-Century Musical Tour in France and Italy, based on Memoirs, n.d., and The Present State of Music in France and Italy, 2/1773; ii, An Eighteenth-Century Musical Tour in Central Europe and the Netherlands, based on The Present State of Music in Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Provinces, 2/1775]
- A.H. King: Some British Collectors of Music c.1600–1960 (Cambridge, 1963)
- R. Lonsdale: ‘Dr Burney and the Monthly Review’, Review of English Studies, new ser., 14 (1963), 346–58; xv (1964), 27–37
- R. Lonsdale: Dr Charles Burney: a Literary Biography (Oxford, 1965/R)
- H.E. Poole, ed.: Music, Men and Manners in France and Italy, 1770: being the Journal written by Charles Burney during a Tour through these Countries (London, 1969) [based on Journal, 1771, and The Present State of Music in France and Italy, 2/1773]
- R. Lonsdale: ‘Dr. Burney's “Dictionary of Music”’, Musicology, 5 (1977), 159–71
- H. Brofsky: ‘Doctor Burney and Padre Martini: Writing a General History of Music’, MQ, 65 (1979), 313–46
- K.S. Grant: Dr. Burney as Critic and Historian of Music (Ann Arbor, 1983)
- S. Klima, G. Brown and K.S. Grant, eds.: Memoirs of Charles Burney, i: 1726–1769 (Lincoln, NE, 1988)
- A. Ribeiro, ed.: The Letters of Dr. Charles Burney, i: 1751–1784 (Oxford, 1991)
- H.R.C. Landon: ‘A Letter from Dr. Charles Burney to Longman, Clementi & Co.’, Haydn Yearbook 1992, 170–74
- V. Rumbold: ‘Music Aspires to Letters: Charles Burney, Queeney Thrale and the Streatham Circle’, ML, 74 (1993), 24–38
- W. Weber: ‘The Intellectual Origins of Musical Canon in Eighteenth-Century England’, JAMS, 47 (1994), 513–16
- K.S. Grant: ‘Dr. Burney, the Bear and the Knight: E.F. Burney's Amateurs of Tye-Whig Music’, Opera and the Enlightenment, ed. T. Bauman and M.P. McClymonds (Cambridge, 1995), 43–60
- P. Howard: ‘Did Burney Blunder?’, MT, 139 (1998), 29–31