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Christoph Wolff and Ulrich Leisinger

Member of Bach family

(46) (b Weimar, March 8, 1714; d Hamburg, Dec 14, 1788). Composer and church musician, the second surviving son of (7) Johann Sebastian Bach (24) and his first wife, Maria Barbara. He was the most important composer in Protestant Germany during the second half of the 18th century, and enjoyed unqualified admiration and recognition particularly as a teacher and keyboard composer.

He was baptized on 10 March 1714, with Telemann as one of his godfathers. In 1717 he moved with the family to Cöthen, where his father had been appointed Kapellmeister. His mother died in 1720, and in spring 1723 the family moved to Leipzig, where Emanuel began attending the Thomasschule as a day-boy on 14 June 1723. J.S. Bach said later that one of his reasons for accepting the post of Kantor at the Thomasschule was that his sons’ intellectual development suggested that they would benefit from a university education. Emanuel Bach received his musical training from his father, who gave him keyboard and organ lessons. There may once have been some kind of ...

Article

Hana Vlhová-Wörner

[Domazlaus Predicator]

(b Bohemia, c. 1300; d c. 1350). Dominican friar and a leading author of liturgical poetry during the period of rising patriotic feelings in Bohemia. Several sequences to Bohemian patron saints appearing after 1300 are attributed to his authorship, among them De superna hierarchia to Corpus Christi (with acrostic ...

Article

Laurie J. Sampsel

(b Cheshire, CT, Aug 29, 1772; d Argyle, NY, April 1850). American psalmodist and singing master, brother to the engraver Amos Doolittle. Eliakim moved to Hampton, New York, around 1800. There he married Hasadiah Fuller in 1811, and the couple had six children. He also lived in Poultney and Pawlet, Vermont, where he taught singing schools. A Congregationalist, Doolittle is remembered primarily for his 45 sacred vocal works. He composed in every genre common during the period, with the exception of the set piece. His most frequently reprinted pieces were his fuging tunes, and his “Exhortation” appeared in print over 40 times by 1820. Doolittle was talented at musically depicting the meaning and mood of the texts he set. Most of his music was published in his own tunebook, The Psalm Singer’s Companion (New Haven, CT, 1806). He also composed a secular tune, “The Hornet Stung the Peacock,” about a naval battle during the War of ...

Article

Jonas Westover

(b Washington, DC, Nov 21, 1947). American hymn writer and seminary professor. She grew up studying piano, then focused on religious studies as an undergraduate at Southwestern at Memphis University, later called Rhodes College (BA 1969). She earned advanced degrees from Chicago Theological Seminary (MDiv 1973, DD 1983), the University of Notre Dame (MA 1987), and Boston University (DD 1989). She was ordained by the United Church of Christ in 1974 and served at various churches until accepting the position of professor of worship at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 1989. Having written songs as a child, she became interested in writing hymn texts in the mid-1970s. She has written nearly 200 poem-texts, including “Arise, your Light Has Come,” “O Loving Maker of the Earth,” and “When we are Tested,” most of which have appeared in various hymnals and edited collections. Some of her texts have been designed for special occasions, such as “Send us your Spirit” for the ...

Article

Margaret Cayward

(b Castellón de Ampurias [now Empúries], Catalonia, Spain, Dec 16, 1776; d Santa Barbara, CA, June 1, 1846). Spanish musician and Franciscan missionary to Alta California. He entered the Franciscan order in Girona in 1792 and was ordained a priest in Barcelona in 1800. He traveled to New Spain in 1803 and was assigned to the College of San Fernando, the Franciscan missionary college in Mexico City that established and served the Alta California missions. He left Mexico City in February 1806, arriving at Mission San José (near present-day Fremont, California) a few months later. For the dedication in 1809 of the new Mission San José church, he rehearsed daily and directed an ensemble of 30 musicians from the local missions. He served at Mission San José until 1833, when all the northern Alta California missions were transferred to the Franciscan friars of the Colegio de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Zacatecas. He served thereafter at Mission Santa Bárbara until his death in ...

Article

Kathleen Sewright

(b Peoria, IL, July 14, 1939). American jesuit priest, educator, and composer. Best known for the post–Vatican II Catholic liturgical congregational music he composed as one of the “St. Louis Jesuits” in the 1960s and 70s, Foley is nevertheless primarily an educator in the field of liturgy. He earned a PhD in Theology (specialty in Liturgy and Aesthetics) from Graduate Theological Union (1993); studied music at the University of Wichita and St. Louis University; and pursued further composition studies with Samuel Dolin, Reginald Smith Brindle, Paul Fetler, and Dominick Argento.

In addition to founding and serving as the director of the St. Louis University Center for Liturgy, Foley has taught liturgy among other courses at the university. His diverse publications include a book, Creativity and the Roots of Liturgy (Pastoral Press, 1994). His dedication to writing prayerful, scripture-based, and accessible vernacular liturgical music for assemblies led naturally to his founding of the National Liturgical Composers Forum....

Article

Carrie Allen Tipton

(b Hogansville, GA, July 14, 1884; d Atlanta, GA, Aug 18, 1945). American Minister and recording artist. He achieved national popularity through his recordings of sermons and sacred song, beginning in 1926 when he recorded “Death’s Black Train is Coming” for a Columbia Records field unit. Until 1941 he made more than 200 recordings for at least 20 different labels; they constituted some of the best-selling race records of the era. His sermons, roughly three minutes in length, employed the mixture of exhortation, scripture and hymn quotation, chanting, and singing that characterizes traditional black Baptist preaching. Contemporary advertisements for his recordings, illustrated with sensationalist iconography, highlighted Gates’s “stirring” and “powerful” oratory, promising buyers a “thrill that will set you tingling.” Gates occasionally recorded with male and female singers whose spoken and sung interjections simulated congregational response. Sometimes the singers sang functional harmony homorhythmically, but more often their collaborative texture was heterophonic with modal harmonies. Typical sermon topics included the afterlife, judgment, current events, and contemporary social vices. Some recordings simulated typical Baptist church events such as deacons’ meetings, occasionally incorporating what appears to be deliberate efforts at comedy or satire. Gates’s sung repertory included spirituals, Baptist long-meter hymns, 19th-century Sunday school songs, and his own songs. According to Paul Oliver, he was the only preacher that recorded extensively in the 1930s, and he possessed a higher, clearer voice relative to contemporary recorded ministers. Throughout his career, Gates pastored several black Baptist churches in Atlanta, was active in local and national Baptist organizations, and occasionally traveled to preach in other states....

Article

J. Bryan Burton

[Goyaałé, Goyathlay, Goyahkla ]

(b New Mexico, 1829; d Fort Sill, OK, Feb 17, 1909). Native American instrument maker, singer, medicine man, prophet, and military leader. He is better known in Western history for his military leadership of Western Apache resistance to reservation life during the 1880s. Goyaałé (“One who yawns”) was given the name Geronimo after an attack on a Mexican village on St. Jerome’s day when terrified Mexican soldiers cried out “Jeronimo” appealing for help from St. Jerome. After his surrender he was held as a prisoner of war, first in St. Augustine, Florida, then in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, until his death. His celebrity was such that he often made public appearances, including at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, rode in Theodore Roosevelt’s inaugural parade in 1904, and wrote an autobiography with S.M. Barrett, the Oklahoma superintendent of education.

As a medicine man (Apache: diyan), Goyaałé performed Apache sacred ceremonies and rituals that required the knowledge of a vast repertoire of traditional songs sung during the ceremonies. A number of the songs he created were collected for Natalie Curtis’s ...

Article

[Sister Aimee ]

(b Salford, ON, Oct 9, 1890; d Oakland, CA, Sept 27, 1944). American evangelist, composer, librettist, and hymn writer. Known worldwide as “Sister Aimee,” she founded the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (FSGC) and built the Angelus Temple in Los Angeles, California. The daughter of a Canadian wheat farmer, she grew up in the Methodist church and the Salvation Army, from which she inherited a strong preference for hymn singing. The Salvation Army also taught her the value of community service, emphasized the potential of women to be active in the ministry, and demonstrated the importance of vigorous and attractive music in worship services, especially brass bands and popular congregational hymns. After the death of her first husband, the preacher and missionary Robert Semple in Hong Kong in 1910, she settled in New York City, where she became active in religious revival work. In 1912 she married businessman Harold McPherson, but her growing interest in pursuing an evangelical ministry led to their divorce in ...

Article

Jonas Westover

[Josef ]

(b Bila Tserkva, Ukraine, May 9, 1882; d Jerusalem, June 19, 1933). Cantor of Ukrainian birth. Regarded by many to be the greatest cantor (hazzan) of his time, he had a remarkable high tenor voice that soared across a wide range and possessed a unique beauty; his perfect pitch, accuracy, and rich falsetto enhanced his reputation. He was born into a large family and was expected to follow in the footsteps of his cantor father. He was a child prodigy, who sang with his father on tours of synagogues. Despite having no formal training, he also began to compose music, focusing on cantorial campositions. In 1912 he immigrated to the United States and became a cantor at the First Hungarian Congregation Ohab Zedek, a synagogue in New York. He recorded extensively, often as Josef Rosenblatt, which led to stardom in both Jewish and gentile circles. His concerts at the Hippodrome (...

Article

Margaret Cayward

[Miguel José ]

(b Petra, Majorca, Spain, Nov 24, 1713; d Mission San Carlos Borromeo, Alta California [now in Carmel, CA], Aug 28, 1784). Spanish Franciscan friar and founder of the Alta California missions. Baptized Miguel José, upon joining the Franciscan order at age 17 he took the name of Junípero, after a companion of St. Francis. In 1742 Serra obtained a doctorate in theology at the Lullian University in Palma de Mallorca, where he was a professor of theology. Known as a forceful and zealous preacher with a resonant voice, in 1749 Serra sailed for New Spain to become a missionary. He served in the missions in the Sierra Gorda from 1750 to 1758, and the missions he administered there prospered. In order to better serve the indigenous population he served there, he learned the Otomí language. In 1758 Serra was recalled to the San Fernando College in Mexico City, where he remained until ...

Article

(b Shoah, Ethiopia, 1949). Ethiopian singer, church musician, and liturgical scholar, naturalized American. Seyoum began studying music at the age of eight and attended various religious schools in his homeland. As he grew older, he began to learn new types of performance, including the Bethlehem style of singing, Christian chant, and sacred dance. At 17 years of age, he was already named a quanygeta, or “leader of the right hand side,” an important position among Ethiopian church musicians (also called dabrata). He quickly rose from deacon to marigeta, the leader of the musicians. He spent ten years in Greece learning more about liturgical practices and then came to the United States in 1982. Seyoum settled in Alexandria, Virgina, and joined the Debre Selam Kidist Mariam Church in Washington, DC. He became a leader there, and his remarkable musical skills have led to the preservation of many traditional elements of the Ethiopian Christian tradition in America. To codify and disseminate these practices, Seyoum released a six-CD set of liturgical materials. He has memorized the entirety of the Ethiopian Psalter (Dawit) and has intimate knowledge of other sacred books, such as the Ethiopian Hymnary. Seyoum is an expert of instrumental church practices, including those that are tied to the extremely complicated notational system from Ethiopia that includes more than 600 symbols. He is also the only living master of the prayer staff and its movements (an art called ...

Article

Esther R. Crookshank

(b Southampton, England, July 17, 1674; Stoke Newington, London, Nov 25, 1748). English hymn writer, clergyman, scholar, and author. Watts wrote hymns from age 20 for his Southampton congregation and from 1702 served as pastor in London. After giving up public ministry for health reasons in 1712, he exerted great influence on Puritan leaders in the American colonies through extensive correspondence and his published collections, which contained nearly 700 hymns and psalm paraphrases.

With The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament (1719) he undertook large-scale reform of Dissenting (non-Anglican) worship by writing new “Christianized” versifications of the Psalms; he believed the Psalter required revision to fit it for New Testament worship. His reform succeeded far beyond his expectations for many reasons, including the strong appeal of his vigorous, singable lyrics to Puritan ministers and worshippers in colonial New England, where they took deep root. Called the “liberator of English hymnody,” Watts produced psalm paraphrases and hymns that broke the grip of strict metrical psalmody in use for over a century in Protestant Britain and North America. Dozens of American compilers produced ...