Different times, and yet they were also struggling with public music making:
"Musick flourished, and exceedingly improved, for the King, being a virtuous prince, loved an enterteinement so commendable as that was, and the Fantazia manner held thro' his reigne, and during the troubles; when most other good arts languished Musick held up her head, not at Court nor (in the cant of those times) profane Theaters, but in private society, for many chose rather to fidle at home, than to goe out, and be knockt on the head abroad, and the enterteinement was very much courted and made use of, not onely in country but in citty familys, in which many of the Ladys were good consortiers, and in this state was Musick dayly improving more or less till the time of (in all other respects but Musick) the happy Restauration."
—Roger North, Memoires of Musick (1728)
I have been thinking a lot about these words, which also inspired the acrostic in the president's letter in the winter NEWS. I'm optimistically looking forward to the new year and hope it will be good to all of us.