Among this musicographer and music historians friends were Georg Frideric Handel and John Stanley. As an attorney in London he worked among the musical and literary echelon. Besides writing on music history Hawkins also owned a significant collection of music and treatises on music. "A General History of the Science and Practice of Music" was quite significant but unfortunately brought him into a rivalry with Charles Burney. Hawkins' history contains important data concerning the musical society of London during his life time but also stressed the innovations of 16th and 17th century composers. John Hawkins also wrote a life of Samuel Johnson. Within the purview of some of his wroks, Hawkins addressed the specific corpus of literature by an idividual composer in its content and context, such as "The General History and Peculiar Character of the Works of Arcangelo Corelli."
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