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date: 01 April 2020

Day, Alfredlocked

  • Patricia Collins Jones


(b London, Jan 1810; d London, Feb 11, 1849). English music theorist. His father discouraged his musical interests in favour of medicine, which according to early biographical accounts he studied in London and Paris, receiving a diploma in homeopathic medicine from Heidelberg. Only his death certificate, which lists his profession as ‘surgeon’, indicates that he actually practised medicine. His only music teacher was W.H. Kearns, but he associated with several talented musical contemporaries; the most important of them was Sir George Alexander Macfarren at whose insistence Day began the preparation of his controversial Treatise on Harmony. Work on the treatise was begun in 1840, the year in which Day became a critic of new music for the Musical World. The periodical’s editor George Macfarren, his good friend’s father, soon became dissatisfied with the ‘laconical bitterness’ of Day’s unsigned reviews and appointed J.W. Davison as his replacement. The publication of Day’s treatise (London, ...

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Papers of the American Musicological Society
Proceedings of the Musical Association