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date: 19 February 2020

Collins, H(enry) B(ird)locked

  • Eric Blom


(b Ipswich, June 13, 1870; d Bromsgrove, Jan 19, 1941). English organist and music scholar. He was a Gilstrap scholar at the RCM, where he was taught the organ by Walter Parratt (1888–93; FRCO 1892, ARCM 1893) and then studied music at New College, Oxford (1893–5, BMus 1895). After serving as organist at St Margaret’s, King’s Lynn, he returned to London (having become a Roman Catholic) as organist of the Italian Church, Hatton Garden (1898–1915); he was then organist of the Birmingham Oratory until his death. He edited the quarterly Music and Liturgy (1932–6), and for several years lectured on polyphony at the Oxford Summer School, and on Latin church music by early English composers at the universities of London and Birmingham.

Collins devoted nearly all his spare time to copying and collecting manuscripts of early church music in London (British Museum), Oxford, Cambridge, Tenbury and elsewhere, editing it initially for his own church and later for general use. His preference was exclusively for polyphonic music of the 15th and 16th centuries and he became the leading authority on its notation in English sources. After his edition of 15 offertories by Lassus was published in Düsseldorf (...

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Eric Blom, ed.: A Dictionary of Music and Musicians (5/1954)