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Laurie J. Sampsel

(b Milton, MA, Feb 18, 1760; d French Mills, NY, Nov 23, 1813). American composer, singing master, singer, and tunebook compiler. Babcock lived most of his life in Watertown, MA, where he worked as a hatter. As a teenager he fought in the Revolutionary War, and he died while enlisted in the Army during the War of 1812. He was active primarily as a psalmodist during the period from 1790 to 1810. Babcock was the choir leader at the Watertown Congregational church, sang at and composed music for town events, and taught singing schools there in 1798 and 1804. He may also have been an itinerant singing master in the Boston area. Babcock composed 75 extant pieces, including anthems, set pieces, fuging tunes, psalm, and hymn tunes. Most of his music was first published in his own tunebook, Middlesex Harmony, which was published in two editions (1795...

Article

(b Erie, PA, Dec 2, 1866; d Stamford, CT, Sept 12, 1949). American singer, composer, arranger, and music editor. His early music study included piano, voice, guitar, and bass viol. In January 1892 he won a scholarship at the National Conservatory of Music in New York. Among Conservatory faculty who influenced his career were Victor Herbert and Antonín Dvořák, director of the conservatory from September 1892 to April 1895. Burleigh became Dvořák’s copyist and librarian of the Conservatory orchestra, in which he played timpani and bass viol. He sang plantation songs and spirituals for Dvořák that he had learned from his grandfather, a former slave. Dvořák’s Symphony no.9 in E minor, “From the New World,” was written and premiered while Burleigh was at the Conservatory.

In New York Burleigh took his place among prominent African American singers such as soprano Sissieretta Jones (known as the Black Patti). In the years ...

Article

Argia Bertini

revised by Giulia Anna Romana Veneziano

(b Florence, July 8, 1638; d Florence, Jan 16, 1703). Italian composer, teacher, music editor, theorist, organist and singer. He spent his entire life as a priest in Florence. On 1 August 1663 he was appointed chaplain at the cathedral, S Maria del Fiore, where he was also active as an organist and singer. He was particularly admired as a teacher, and it was this above all that determined the nature of his publications; the numerous reprints particularly of Il cantore addottrinato and Scolare addottrinato bear witness to the popularity of his methods. In these two manuals he sought to establish rules for the effective composition and performance of church music, contributing, according to his contemporaries, to the codification of the ‘true rule of ecclesiastical singing’. However, he is better remembered for his Corona di sacre canzoni and Colletta di laude spirituali, which have great importance for the final phase in the history of the ...

Article

Jerome Roche

[Johannes]

(b Veringenstadt, nr Sigmaringen, 1585; d Rottenburg am Neckar, 1654). German music editor, singer, teacher and composer. He studied at the University of Dillingen, one of the main cultural centres of south-west Germany, and in 1610 took a post as singer at St Martin, Rottenburg. This carried with it duties as a schoolteacher: in this capacity he became Rektor of the school in 1622 and in his musical capacity Kapellmeister of the church in 1627.

Donfrid is chiefly interesting as an editor who saw it as his task to propagate in Catholic southern Germany the best and most popular church music by Italian composers of his day. To this end he published five large anthologies at Strasbourg in the 1620s: the tripartite Promptuarii musici, consisting of motets arranged in a liturgical cycle, as had been done by other editors, such as Schadaeus, before him; the Viridarium, devoted to Marian pieces; and the ...

Article

Renate Federhofer-Königs

( b Schwandorf, Oberpfalz, before c 1550; d ?c 1591). German singer, teacher and music editor . There is evidence that he was a singer in the court chapel of Emperor Ferdinand I at Vienna from 1557 to 1564. From 1564 to 1569 he served in a similar capacity at the court of Archduke Ferdinand of the Tyrol, who transferred his household from Prague to Innsbruck late in 1566. He sang tenor at the court of Duke Wilhelm in Landshut in 1573 and from 1580 he held an appointment as organist and schoolmaster in Regensburg. He was active as an editor and brought out two sets of compositions by his friend Christian Hollander, Newe teutsche, geistliche und weltliche Liedlein (1570) and Triciniorum … fasciculus (1573), and a miscellaneous collection of German songs, Schöner ausserlessner geistlicher und weltlicher teutscher Lieder (RISM 1585 37). He also edited a collection of poorly translated chansons by Lassus, reputedly his teacher, under the title of ...

Article

Bruce Degen

(b Middleborough, MA, March 13, 1779; d Providence, RI, Dec 31, 1848). American composer, compiler, teacher, singer, organist and publisher. After accidental eye damage leading to blindness, he undertook musical studies with John L. Berkenhead, Gottlieb Graupner and Thomas Granger about 1800. In 1805 he established himself as a teacher of the piano and organ in Dedham, Massachusetts, where he began to issue his music in collaboration with Herman Mann. Moving to Providence in 1807, Shaw became a central figure in the city’s musical life as organist, organizer of bands and composer of songs, odes, anthems and marches for patriotic and civic occasions. His ‘Military Divertimento’, Welcome the Nation’s Guest, celebrated the visit of Lafayette to Providence in 1824.

Shaw sought to improve the quality of local sacred music, co-founding the Psallonian Society, and provided inspiration to the founding of the Boston Handel and Haydn Society in 1815...

Article

Jeannette Fresne

(b Upshur County, TX, Sept 18, 1892; d Dallas, TX, Aug 19, 1940). American music publisher, singer, teacher, and composer. Known for his success in gospel music education, publishing, and composing gospel music quartets, Stamps founded the V.O. Stamps School of Music in Jacksonville, Texas (1924). Two years later he and Jesse Randall Baxter, Jr., founded the Stamps-baxter music and printing company , followed by the establishment in Dallas of a company headquarters (1929) and printing plant (1934). The company became one of the largest publishers of gospel music and most successful organizers of singing-schools in the 20th century. In addition to convention books and special collections for radio, television, and quartet performances, the company published three periodicals with subscriptions from all states and several foreign countries, and 24 songbooks with four-part harmonies in seven-shape notation. By mid-century annual company sales were in excess of $300,000. The company offered two types of schools: traditional singing-schools, and normal schools for training singing-school teachers. Stamps negotiated with the Texas superintendent of education for a provision for students to earn up to two high school credits for passing a state examination upon completion of either of the schools. After the war (...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Magdeburg, Dec 26, 1800; d Dresden, May 7, 1883). German singer, teacher and music editor. He studied singing and composition with C.F. Zelter and Klein in Berlin, then went to Italy, where he studied with Giorgio Ronconi, Eliodoro Bianchi and Girolamo Crescentini. Through his acquaintance with Fortunato Santini he became interested in old Latin and German church music. Returning to Germany, he studied singing in Dresden, and then settled in Berlin as a singing teacher using Italian principles. In 1873 he was appointed Royal Prussian Professor. His numerous editions of old church music include H.L. Hassler’s Psalmen und christliche Gesänge, Eccard’s Geistliche Lieder auf den Choral and Preussiche Festlieder by Eccard and Stobaeus. He also published several collections of solfèges by Minoja, Crescentini, Zingarelli and Clari, as well as some of his own vocal exercises. His collection of early music is in the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, Berlin. (...