The concerts for the sequence 1821-1846 were held in the New Rooms, Hanover Square. The programmes from the 1876 volume are from concerts held in the New Rooms, Tottenham Street.
The concerts consisted chiefly of vocal music. These were both solo and choral numbers, often including glees, choruses, recitatives and arias. The music of Handel appeared prolifically at these concerts. There was often an instrumental item at the beginning of the second part of the concerts – usually an overture. The chorus and instrumentalists were usually named at the season description at the beginning of each volume.
The concerts took place during the first half of each year, usually from March to late May/June. The seasons were earlier – February to May – in the earlier volumes of this collection. The concerts usually took place on Wednesdays, with occasional years spawning isolated concerts on other days of the week. There were usually 12 concerts per season up until 1833; from 1834 onwards, the norm was 8 concerts.
The collection was an early donation to the Royal Academy: an inscription in the 1821 volume indicates that the collection was donated to the Royal Academy of Music’s Library in 1849.
The programmes are arranged chronologically.