John Walsh (1665 or 1666–1736) was an English music
publisher of Irish descent, established off the Strand,
London, by c. 1690. He was appointed musical
instrument-maker-in-ordinary to the king in 1692.
Walsh began publishing music in 1695, at which time he
had few rivals in the trade. The firm established by
John Playford in 1647 was in decline under his son
Henry, and Thomas Cross was more involved with
engraving than publishing. Walsh took advantage of this
situation, and soon his firm was printing engraved
music on a scale previously unknown in England. In
addition to English composers, he published a good deal
of music by foreign composers, which he often copied
from Dutch editions (Kidson et al. 2001a).
During this time there existed an English
pre-occupation with training caged birds to sing. The
Bird Fancyer's Delight (1717) describes how this may be
done with a variety of species including nightingale,
bullfinch, blackbird, canary, woodlark, skylark,
linnett, parrot, mynah bird and house sparrow by
placing them in a darkened cage and playing a suitable
tune to them over and over again on a bird flageolet or
a small recorder.
Although this piece was written for flute (probably
recorder), I transcribed this piece for solo Piccolo.