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The following pages were compiled by the late Mr. Alfred Roffe, an intelligent and enthusiastic student of Shakespeare and of music. He finished the work-a labour of love which had occupied very many of his leisure hours—about twelve years ago, when the MSS. passed into my hands. I had been unable, owing to incessant occupation, to pay much attention to it until recently, when, after more careful perusal, it occurred to me and to some other old friends of the author whom I had an opportunity of consulting, that the volume might possibly be welcomed as a useful and interesting addition to many Shakespearian libraries. Hence its publication. It may be as well to add that I have, in no respect, assumed the functions of an editor. The text and arrangement of the writer have been strictly adhered to, and I have made no attempt to verify his authorities; a task which, knowing so thoroughly the scrupulous accuracy of my late friend, I should have considered needless, even had I possessed sufficient time and aptitude for its accomplishment.
A. J. WATERLOW.
25, PARK CRESCENT,
AMONGST all the various tributes paid to Shakespeare's memory, there might surely be very good reasons, some day at least, for an UNIFORM EDITION OF ALL THE MUSIC composed to his Poetry being made one of those tributes ! In such a work as I am here looking forward to, it is conceived to be a sine quá non that everything should be reproduced in its original form, whether that might be the full score, or the simple air, with only its bass. For the sake, however, of that pleasure which more ready perusal can give, it might certainly be allowed to replace any notation which is now obsolete, or nearly so, with that in modern use.
A pianoforte arrangement should be added in the case of compositions which have a full score ; and a third line, with the chords filled in, should be added in the case of airs which have only a simple bass in their original form.
As copyright would prevent the collector of “Shakespeare Music” from proceeding beyond a certain point, he should always note down at the end of his collection whatever he may know of the Shakespearian music of his own time, as a help to future brothercollectors.