A Practical Introduction to the Organ [part 1]

Francis Linley

Francis Linley was born in Doncaster in 1770 or 1771. Blind from birth, he was taught the organ by Edward Miller, the organist of Doncaster parish church. In his early twenties he moved to London as organist of St James’s Chapel, Pentonville, and in December 1795 he purchased the music publishing business of John Bland in Holborn. After the failure of the business in 1797 he went to America, but returned to his birthplace in 1799, where he died the following year, aged 29.

His book, A Practical Introduction to the Organ, is specifically aimed at young organists. It is usually dated c.1800, but the title-page states that it was ‘Printed & Sold by J. Bland, No 45 High Holborn’, so could it be that he actually published it sometime during the 1790s while he was in London? It must have proved popular since it was still being published in 'corrected and enlarged' editions well after his death.

The book is in five parts. The first is an introduction; the other four consist of music: preludes, voluntaries, ‘full pieces and fugees’ [sic] and psalms [i.e. hymn tunes]’. Part one is reproduced below in facsimile. (Click on the thumbnails to view full screen)

  Linley Title Page
Title Page

Linley Page 1
Page 1
Linley Page 2
Page 2
Linley Page 3
Page 3
Linley Page 4
Page 4
Linley Page 5
Page 5
Linley Page 6
Page 6