Henry Raynor

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Henry Broughton Raynor (29 January 1917 – 23 July 1989[1]) was a musicologist and a British author.


He was born at 11 Mellor Street, Moston, Manchester, in England, to Gertrude Raynor, an examiner of waterproof garments.[2] The Raynor family was poor and Raynor's formal education was limited by the family's lack of resources.[1] Poor health in childhood left him with time to listen to music and to read extensively.[1]

Music biography[edit]

He wrote several books, mainly relating to classical music. His opus magnum, The Social History of Music, ranges from ancient to 20th-century music, placing composers and their work in cultural and economic contexts.[3]

An example of Raynor's thought is his thesis that the orchestral bombast that developed in nineteenth-century Romantic music was spurred by the need to capture and maintain a fickle, musically untrained paying audience. The demise of aristocratic patronage after the Napoleonic Wars left composers and performers in search of new ways to sustain a career in music.


  • Franz Joseph Haydn; his life and work, [London]: Boosey and Hawkes, [c1961]
  • Radio and Television
  • Social History of Music from the Middle Ages to Beethoven (London: Barrie and Jenkins, 1972; New York: Schocken Books, 1972.)
  • Music and society since 1815, (New York: Schocken Books, 1976.)
  • Music in England (1980)
  • Mahler (1975)
  • The Orchestra : a History, (New York: Scribner, 1978.)[4]
  • Mozart
  • Pelican History of Music (Volume 2 - Contributor)
  • Yehudi Menuhin: the story of the man and the musician, (Contributor - Volume 2 by Robert Magidoff) with

Magidoff, Robert, 1905-1970; (London, Hale, 1973.)[5]

  • Grove's Dictionary (Contributor to Volume 6)
  • Dictionnaire de la Musique (Edited by M. Honneger with Contributions)
  • Music in England [6]


  1. ^ a b c Mitchell, Donald, "Counterpoint from Manchester", The Guardian, Monday 7 Aug 1989, page 37
  2. ^ Birth certificate
  3. ^ Weber, William (Autumn 1973). "Reviewed Work: A Social History of Music from the Middle Ages to Beethoven by Henry Raynor (book review)". Journal of Social History. 7 (1): 107–110. doi:10.1353/jsh/7.1.107. JSTOR 3786504.
  4. ^ Schonberg, Harold C. (18 June 1978). "The Orchestra; A History (book review)". New York Times.
  5. ^ Blyth, Alan Blyth (April 1974). "Yehudi Menuhin (book review)". The Musical Times. 115 (1574): 307. doi:10.2307/958248. JSTOR 958248.
  6. ^ The above bibliographic detail taken from a copy of Music in England first published by Robert Hale London in 1980