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Henry Playford

PLAYFORD, Henry. b. Islington, London, 5 May 1657; d. London, May-Dec 1709. As the son of the leading English music publisher of the time, John Playford*, he naturally followed in the same line, being apprenticed to his father in 1674, and inheriting part of the business in 1687. Henry maintained many of John Playford’s titles and adhered to his preference for typeset music, which was steadily losing ground to the new engraving methods; for these reasons he never attained his father’s dominance in the field. His most important achievement was perhaps the publication of most of Henry Purcell*’s music, beginning in 1692 and ending with Orpheus Britannicus (1698, 1702). Playford’s importance...

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