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date: 21 November 2019

Holden, Johnlocked

  • Jamie C. Kassler


(d Glasgow, c1771). ?Scottish writer on the theory of music. From 1765 to 1770 he was associated with the University of Glasgow, for the chapel of which he compiled A Collection of Church-Music (Glasgow, 1766). In the same year he published by subscription the first part of a two-part treatise, the two parts together appearing as An Essay Towards a Rational System of Music (Glasgow, 1770, 2/1807). Although Holden summarised current knowledge about sound, including harmonic theory, sound perception, the co-vibration of partials and difference tones, he derived his principles for the practice of music from the ‘natural’ propensities of the human mind, consciousness and common sense. His Essay is thus the first systematic treatise on music founded upon Scottish commonsense philosophy.

J.C. Kassler: British Writings on Music, 1760–1830, 1 (diss., Columbia U., 1971), 107–89 J.C. Kassler: The Science of Music in Britain 1714–1830...

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