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date: 18 August 2019

Aitken, Johnlocked

  • Richard Crawford
  • , revised by Nym Cooke


(b Dalkeith, c1746; d Philadelphia, Sept 8, 1831). American music engraver, publisher and dealer of Scottish birth. He also worked as a metalsmith for much of his life. Arriving in Philadelphia by 1785, he began his career as a music publisher in 1787 with three large works: Alexander Reinagle’s A Selection of the most Favorite Scots Tunes, William Brown’s Three Rondos for the Piano Forte or Harpsichord, and his own A Compilation of the Litanies and Vespers Hymns and Anthems (2/1791), the only 18th-century American collection of music for the Roman Catholic Church. In 1788 he issued another anthology by Reinagle and also probably Francis Hopkinson’s Seven Songs; a few pieces of sheet music and more of Reinagle’s song collections followed in 1789. By 1793 he had brought out at least 20 titles, but between then and 1806 he published only the compendious Scots Musical Museum...

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R.J. Wolfe: Early American Music Engraving and Printing (Urbana, IL, 1980)