Proceedings from the British Archaeological Association contain music studies from 150 years ago. Lawson raises a historiographical concern for these early discussions, as many of the authors are forgotten.
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Recent bibliographical research into the early history of music-archaeological reporting in Great Britain and Ireland has revealed a wealth of material which, although rarely cited today, nevertheless contains much of interest to the modern music archaeologist. Besides descriptions of early discoveries there is evidence that dialogues of a music-archaeological kind were already taking place both in the literature and amongst antiquaries and archaeologists more than 150 years ago. One flurry of activity is evidenced in the proceedings of the British Archaeological Association, formed in London in 1843. Already in 1846, in the first volume of its Journal, music, instruments and sound-tools are prominently represented, and for about the next 10 to 15 years members deliver a series of synthetical papers as well as numerous reports of new musical finds. Many of the objects and documents remain in museum collections today; yet the authors themselves are mostly forgotten. The writer argues that to ensure a secure future, music archaeology, like any modern discipline, must have a clear understanding of its own past, both recent and remote, and draws attention to the urgent need--and plentiful opportunities--for further historiographical study.