10 Gifts For Music Lovers

4 min read

We all have our favourite Christmas traditions, from delicious food and drink to gifts and twinkling lights. However, for many people, seasonal festivities are brought to life with music. 

Christmas has long been associated with music. From traditional carols to modern tunes, there’s no doubt that music is an integral part of the festive season. 

For lovers of music and reading, books about music can make wonderful gifts. This list shares ten vintage volumes for you to choose from this Christmas. 


Historical Anthology of Music, Archibald T. Davison and Willi Apel (1950)


This anthology is a great read for anyone interested in the history of music. Starting in the sixteenth century and finishing in 1780, the pages are filled with fascinating facts. The authors share their knowledge of different compositions and styles throughout this period of history. From Baroque, Rococo and Pre-Classical to Oriental and Renaissance, they delve into the history of many epic operas, cantanas and concertos. The book is a treasure trove of musical literature, perfect for all those intrigued by the history of music. 


The Oxford Book of Carols, ed. Percy Dearmer, R. Vaughan Williams, Martin Shaw (1952)



Carols have been a par of Christmas tradition for centuries. The traditional Christmas carols were initially pagan songs, sun at Winter Solstice festivals many years ago.The Oxford Book of Carolshas been adapted many times throughout the decades. This particular pocket-size volume contains the words of 197 traditional and more modern carols. Silent Night and Away in a Manger, The Coventry carol and many other delightful carols fill the pages. With its breadth of material, notes on sources, extended introduction and indexes, this collection is truly enchanting. 


Under the Greenwood Tree, Thomas Hardy (1939)


Under the Greenwood Tree takes its title from a song in William Shakespeare’sAs You Like It. It is a pastoral novel and unlike Hardy’s darker tales, paints a delightful picture of rural society in Victorian England. The story follows the romantic entanglement of a church musician and a schoolteacher. Hardy demonstrates his literary expertise throughout, crafting an optimistic novel with touches of humour and irony. His interest in music is evident, stemming from a desire to preserve the musical traditions of his own rural settings. Music invokes emotional response in his characters and is an integral part of the story. 


Music at Night, Aldous Huxley (1950-55)


Music At Night is a collection of essays, first written by Aldous Huxley in 1931. The essays cover a variety of topics, from music and morality to education and more. Huxley observes the changes within early 20th Century society, discussing various values and problems. One particular essay, titled “The Rest is Silence”, comments on the relationship between music and silence. He suggests that music, second only to silence, is able to express the inexpressible. The importance of music shines through his writings, causing the reader to think about its power  to influence the human experience. 


Jazzbook, Albert J. McCarthy (1955)


This first editionJazzbook takes readers on a journey through the age of jazz. Albert McCarthy explores the affect of jazz on musicians and listeners across the decades. He elevates jazz to a new level, thinking not only of the music itself but of its history and social influence. Alongside McCarthy’s writings, there are thirteen articles all written by different contributors. The beautiful red and gold letter boards on this book, alongside the intriguing content, make it a perfect festive gift. 


Covent Garden, Desmond Shawe-Taylor (1948 with an inscription from 1957)



Covent Garden traces the wonderful history of three covent garden theatres. Three theatres that have rested successfully in the ‘covent’ site since 1732. The book is a delightful chronicle, filled with illustrations and fascinating information to satisfy the curiosity of its readers. It places great emphasis on the famous artists, operas and ballets that of the past 100 years in particular.Covent Garden is a wonderful resource and story and really brings the world of theatre to life. 


Christmas Garland, Margaret Tarrant (1942)


Margaret Tarrant’s charming book features a series of bible stories, poetry and songs penned by famous writers such as William Wordsworth, Hans Christian Andersen and Christina Rossetti. It is a great book for children to read out loud or for families to enjoy together during the festive season. The tales and verses are accompanied by delightful pictures, making the book a true holiday treasure. It offers a touch of the festive spirit and is a wonderfully timeless read. 



English Music, W.J. Turner (1943)


In this book, W.J. Turner explores the history of English music. From the songs and tales of the Sixteenth Century to a musical dry spell in the Nineteenth Century, Turner discusses the progression of English music in fascinating detail. Turner enlightens the reader about the importance of musical history and the connection between people, society and music. With its wealth of content, this book is perfect for musicians and lovers of musical history alike. 


The Globe Song Folio, Various (1898)


This vintage edition of theGlobe Song Foliocontains one hundred classic songs. Including sing along melodies popular at the time in which it was written, it is a fun and entertaining book to own. There are also compositions from other decades, with a series of more modern songs written just after WWI. The pages display sheet music and lyrics, making it the perfect book for singers and lovers of classic music. There’s no better time to buy a vintage gift like this wonderful book than at Christmas. 


The Immortal Gilbert and Sullivan Operas, Volumes 1-4 (Undated)


Gilbert and Sullivan have long been famed in the world of opera. This book contains the stories of their operettas, along with the music and lyrics to some of their most famous compositions. From the fairytale realms of Iolanthe to the deck of Royal Navy ship HMS Pinafore, readers will be enchanted. The beautiful tunes, inventive rhymes, sense of comedy and romantic themes will captivate and delight. This book is the perfect Christmas gift for amateur or professional opera singers and anyone interested in musical history. 


In Summary


Christmas is a time for celebration and for music. If you know someone who would appreciate one of these books, then simply add one to your basket and have it wrapped and ready in time for Christmas. 


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Our Seasonal Book Selections

Summer romance - on holiday or at home
Summer romance - on holiday or at home

5 min read

list of romantic literature for you to fall in love with this summer.
Read More
'Anyone for Tennis?' - vintage books for summer sports
'Anyone for Tennis?' - vintage books for summer sports

4 min read

Popular sports and pastimes of the summer months, through the lens of vintage books.
Read More
Vintage books with inspirational outdoor food recipes
Vintage books with inspirational outdoor food recipes

3 min read

Some excellent vintage books for outdoor food recipes to try out this summer!
Read More