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date: 23 January 2020

Cheney, Simeon Peaselocked

  • Dale Cockrell


(b Meredith, NH, April 18, 1818; d Franklin, MA, May 10, 1890).

American singer, singing-school teacher, and composer. He was the son of Moses Cheney (1776–1853), a well-known local musician. As a young man he was a member, with his three brothers, Nathaniel, Moses Ela, and Joseph Young, and his sister Elizabeth Ela, of the Cheney Singers, a family group that toured throughout New England performing glees, ballads, and hymns (1845–7). He taught singing-schools in Vermont for much of his life, and compiled The American Singing Book (1879/R), a volume containing biographies of earlier American composers and examples of their work, as well as 33 original hymn tunes and three anthems. At the time of his death he was preparing a catalogue of birdsong, Wood Notes Wild: Notations of Bird Music (published posthumously in 1892); he was also one of the first to transcribe field recordings made of Native American music. His brother Moses Ela Cheney (...

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