Roger North

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Roger North (1653 - March 1, 1734), English lawyer, biographer, and amateur musician, was the sixth son of the 4th Baron North.

He acquired a good practice at the bar, being helped by his elder brother Francis, who became lord chancellor and was created Baron Guilford, and in 1684 he became solicitor-general. But the Revolution stopped his advancement, and he retired to his estate of Rougham in Norfolk, and increased his fortune by marrying the daughter of Sir Robert Gayer.

He collected books, and was constantly occupied in writing. But he is best known for his Lives of the Norths, published after his death, together with his own. autobiography (see the edition in Bohns Standard Library, 1890, by Jessopp), a classic authority for the period. His comments on musical performance practice, in particular, have proven invaluable for musicologists researching the Baroque style in England. In addition to his writing on performance practice he wrote on musical aesthetics, on pedagogy, and on tuning and temperament; one of his most important achievements in this regard was devising a practical and detailed system for mean-tone tuning in the age before equal temperament.

He died at Rougham on the 1st of March 1734, leaving a family from whom the Norths of Rougham are descended.

He is to be distinguished from Roger North (1585-1652), brother of the 3rd baron, one of the captains who sailed with Raleigh in 1617, who projected the plantation of Guiana with an English colony.

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