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date: 22 October 2019

Flagg, Josiahlocked

  • Richard Crawford
  • , revised by David W. Music


(b Woburn, MA, May 28, 1737; d ?Boston, Dec 30, 1794). American conductor, bandmaster, engraver and tune-book compiler. He became an important figure in the musical life of Boston during the decade beginning in 1764, and was active in both sacred and secular music-making. He organized and performed in at least six concerts in Boston between 1769 and 1773, and also claimed to have founded and trained a regimental band in the city. No music-making by Flagg has been traced after 1773.

Flagg’s two sacred tune books are devoted to the compositions of English psalmodists. A Collection of the Best Psalm Tunes (Boston, 1764), engraved by Paul Revere, was the largest collection of sacred music published in America to that time and the first to be printed on American-made paper. Sixteen Anthems (Boston, n.d. [1766]), intended not for beginners but for ‘those who have made some proficiency in the art of singing’, was engraved and printed by Flagg himself, and he may also have been the engraver of Billings’s ...

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Dictionary of American Biography (New York, 1928-37, suppls., 1944-)