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date: 28 November 2020

Playford familylocked

  • Margaret Dean-Smith
  • , revised by Nicholas Temperley


English family of music publishers and booksellers.

(b Norwich, 1623; d London, between Dec 24, 1686 and Feb 7, 1687). Publisher, bookseller, and vicar-choral of St Paul’s Cathedral. During the period 1651–84 he dominated the music publishing trade (then virtually confined to London) in a business to which his son (2) Henry Playford succeeded. For the printing of his books he engaged the services of Thomas Harper (successor to Thomas Snodham, who had inherited the business of Thomas East), William Godbid (successor to Harper) and his own nephew (3) John Playford the younger, who, apprenticed to Godbid, entered into business in 1679 with the latter’s widow Anne. The format, style and printing of Playford’s books, together with evidence from the stationers’ registers, suggest with some certainty that they were printed with East’s types, although for title-pages, other than those engraved, a less florid style than the earlier borders was preferred. In many instances Playford adopted East’s device and its surrounding motto, ‘Laetificat cor musica’...

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Musical Times
Early Music
Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association
Journal of the American Musicological Society
R.M.A. [Royal Musical Association] Research Chronicle
D.W. Krummel: English Music Printing (London, 1975)
Musical Quarterly
Music & Letters