The first two sustained efforts to chronicle the history of English music were conducted independently during the 1710s and 1720s by Thomas Tudway and Roger North. They wrote in the context of the escalating popularity of Italian opera in England. Their histories also resonated with contemporaneous developments in partisan history writing in the era of the rage of party. As High-Church Tories writing during the heyday of Italian musical influence in England, they shaped their histories into defenses of the English national musical tradition at precisely the time that tradition was fading from international and even domestic importance. Through their efforts to write music histories that would defend the English musical tradition in the face of foreign incursion and Whiggish impiety, they helped to fashion some of that tradition's most cherished and lasting myths.

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