An exceptional child prodigy at the keyboard, the organist and composer William Crotch (1775-1847) attracted the attention of both George III and Charles Burney, going on to become one of the most eminent musical figures of his day. Following a period of study in Cambridge, at the age of fifteen he was appointed organist at Christ Church, Oxford. At twenty-one he assumed the university's chair of music, a post he retained until his death. The first principal of the Royal Academy of Music between 1822 and 1832, Crotch is remembered today for his oratorio Palestine. The present work, which first appeared in 1831, made his expertise available to a wider audience. Based on popular lectures given in Oxford and London, the book includes a penetrating assessment of contemporary musical taste and a list of Crotch's sheet music. His Elements of Musical Composition (1812) is also reissued in this series.