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date: 06 June 2020

Blake, George E.locked

  • Donald W. Krummel


(b England, 1775; d Philadelphia, Feb 20, 1871). American music engraver and publisher. He emigrated to the USA before 1793 and in 1794 began teaching the flute and clarinet. In 1802 he acquired the piano manufactory of John I. Hawkins in Philadelphia, and soon after began to publish and to operate a circulating music library. His production included many American compositions (c1808) and political songs (c1813); an early piracy of Thomas Moore’s Irish Melodies (1808–c1825); a serial, Musical Miscellany (from 1815); and the first American edition of Messiah (c1830), along with other major vocal works by Handel. Most numerous among his output, however, were songs of the Philadelphia theatre, based on London publications. Blake also issued typeset opera librettos and engraved tunebooks. He remained active throughout the 1830s, in later years issuing minstrel music and excerpts from Italian opera. At the height of his career (...

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