Johnson, John (ii)
(fl 1740–62). English music publisher, printer, music seller and possibly violin maker. He began his business in London by 1740, and probably acquired part of those of Daniel Wright and benjamin Cooke (i), some of whose publications he reissued from the original plates. Around the mid-18th century the predominance of the Walsh engraving and publishing business began to wane, and Johnson was responsible for publishing some of the best music of the day, including works by Arne, Felton, Geminiani, Nares, Domenico Scarlatti and Stanley, as well as annual volumes and large collections of country dances. Unusually, many of Johnson's editions bore dates; their technical quality was high, some being engraved by John Phillips. A number of fair-quality violins bear the Johnson label, most probably made for rather than actually by him.
Johnson appears to have died about 1762, and from that time to 1777 most of the imprints bear the name of ‘Mrs. Johnson’ or ‘R. Johnson’, presumably his widow. The old imprint ‘John Johnson’ occasionally appears in these years, and may refer to her late husband or to another relative. Johnson's sign from 1748, ‘The Harp and Crown’, is absent from these imprints, having been adopted by J. Longman & Co. when it started business about 1767. Mrs Johnson died in 1777, and in November that year Robert Bremner announced the purchase of most of her stock and plates.
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