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H. Wiley Hitchcock

revised by Nicholas Temperley

(b Swanton Morley, Norfolk, bap. Jan 15, 1571; d Amsterdam, ?1622–3). English minister and psalmodist. He attended Cambridge University from 1586 to 1591, leaving without a degree. He was expatriated as a ‘Brownist’ in 1593 and settled in Amsterdam, where he became ‘teacher’ of the Ancient Separatist Church in 1596; in 1610 he founded an Independent church, becoming minister of it himself. He took the Calvinist position on predestination. He was the author of a number of controversial religious tracts, annotations, and translations of scripture. Many consider him one of the finest Hebrew scholars of his day. His Book of Psalmes: Englished both in Prose and Metre, with Annotations (Amsterdam, 1612, 4/1644; music ed. in ISAMm, xv, Brooklyn, NY, 1981) contains all 150 psalms in a new metrical version, together with prose translations and annotations. 48 are provided with monophonic tunes (six melodies are used twice and one three times). 21 of the 40 tunes are drawn from the Continental Reformed tradition, and 16 are from English sources (including three of the newer, short variety such as ...

Article

Paul C. Echols

(b Detroit, MI, Feb 19, 1803; d New Haven, CT, Dec 23, 1881). American author of hymn texts and hymnbook compiler. The son of a missionary to the Native Americans, he was educated at Yale University and Andover Theological Seminary. While at Andover he compiled a small pamphlet containing 101 missionary hymns, three of them his own: entitled Hymns and Sacred Songs; for the Monthly Concert (Andover, MA, 1823), it was intended for use at missionary prayer meetings and was the first such collection to be published in the United States. In 1825 Bacon was ordained and became pastor of the Center Church, New Haven, where he served until he joined the faculty of the Yale Divinity School in 1866. In 1833 he published in New Haven a revision of Timothy Dwight’s edition of Isaac Watts’s Psalms and Hymns, to which he appended the collection Additional Hymns, Designed as a Supplement to Dwight’s Psalms & Hymns...

Article

Sally Drage

(bap. Sunningwell, Oxon., June 23, 1700; d after 1758). English psalmodist and singing teacher . He was a farmer's son. One of the first itinerant singing teachers to engrave and print his own music, he was arguably the ‘father’ of the fuging-tune, which became popular in England and America during the late 18th century. A psalmody book, apparently produced in the mid-1720s, has not survived, but four later publications, all undated, make a substantial contribution to our knowledge of country psalmody. The different editions had identical titles, but the use of separate engraving plates meant that contents could vary according to the purchaser's requirements. The music, which Beesly collected but may not have composed, exemplifies the bare harmony and unresolved dissonance of much early Gallery music. Although a few previous examples exist, his claim that the 20 new psalm tunes were ‘Compos'd with veriety of Fuges after a different manner to any yet extant’ is fully justified; his tune to Psalm viii was widely reprinted....

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

Ruth M. Wilson

revised by Stephen L. Pinel

(b Philadelphia, PA, Aug 16, 1771; d Brooklyn, NY, Apr 30, 1861). American organist, church musician, teacher, instrument-maker, tunebook compiler, and composer. In addition to serving as the organist of Trinity Church, Peter Erben was a prominent church musician, organ builder, and music teacher in antebellum New York.

Peter was the son of Johann Adam Erben (d c1781), a Philadelphia distiller. By 1791 he was in New York working as a tanner, but turned his attention to music after a bankruptcy in 1796. He was successively the organist of Christ Church (1800), the Middle Dutch Reformed Church (1806), St. George’s Chapel (1808), St. John’s Chapel (1813), and ultimately Trinity Church (1820–39). From about 1800 he was also the founder and director of the Society for Cultivating Church Music and frequently presented public concerts with the charity children. Between ...

Article

Mel R. Wilhoit

(b Duncannon, PA, Feb 27, 1838; d Germantown, PA, Sept 20, 1921). American compiler of Sunday-school and gospel hymnbooks, composer of hymns and teacher. He worked as a music teacher in the Philadelphia area, where he became associated with a number of Methodist churches.

His own musical style reflected the developing gospel hymn, which he helped to establish and popularize. In 1878 he joined forces with John R. Sweney, and the two men compiled about 50 songbooks and collections: ‘Sweney and Kirkpatrick’ became almost a trademark, and sales of their books ran into millions. They collaborated with the leading poets of gospel hymnody, and published nearly 1000 of Fanny Crosby’s hymns alone. Kirkpatrick’s collections – he produced about 50 further items after Sweney’s death – were used in revivals and camp meetings, such as the Methodist gatherings at Ocean Grove, New Jersey, and many of his more animated tunes, for example, that of ...

Article

Harry Eskew

( b Maury County, TN, April 3, 1836; d Atlanta, GA, July 2, 1899). American composer and arranger of Sunday-school and gospel hymns, and hymnbook compiler . He received his musical training under L.C. and Asa B. Everett, with whom he was associated for several years in teaching and publishing. In the 1860s he became music editor for the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in Nashville, a position he held for 30 years. In 1875 he joined the faculty of Vanderbilt University, leaving two years later for an appointment at Emory and Henry College, Oxford, Georgia. He established the R.M. McIntosh Publishing Company, publishing at least 20 collections for church and Sunday-school use. McIntosh is best known as the arranger of the camp-meeting tune ‘Promised Land’, which he changed into a major key to fit the gospel hymn style. (L.E. Oswalt: Rigdon McCoy McIntosh: Teacher, Composer, Editor, and Publisher, diss., New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, ...