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Bernarr Rainbow

(fl 1833–56). English organist and pioneer of school music. Music in schools, virtually dead in England since the abolition of the song and monastic schools at the Reformation, began its long period of recovery during the decade immediately following the passing of the first Reform Act (1832). Turner's Manual of Instruction in Vocal Music (1833) was the earliest music textbook published for use in English schools. Ostensibly designed to bring about the improvement of congregational psalmody, it was also meant to exert a wider civilizing effect on the industrial population.

Little is known of Turner’s life; but he wrote as an experienced teacher whose book was presented to the public ‘not as an experiment for the first time tried, but as the result of long experience’. Music master at the Westminster Day Training College for Teachers, Turner was also organist and choirmaster at St Stephen’s Church, Avenue Road, St John’s Wood (since demolished), where one of his choristers, L.C. Venables (...


Martin Stokes

(b Sivrialan, Sivas, 1894; d Sivrialan, Sivas, March 21, 1973). Turkish folk musician who was blind. He was the product of a rural Turkish musical culture shaped by Alevi (heterodox Islamic) mysticism since at least the 15th century and focussed on the music of the bağlama or saz (long-necked plucked lute), played by ritual specialists known as aşık (‘lovers’; see Turkey §II 1.). Veysel was also shaped to a significant extent by the experience of nation-building in the early Turkish Republic, achieving distinction at the Republic’s decennial festival, Cumhuriyet Onuncu Yılı, in Ankara in 1933. His songs attracted the attention of the nationalist intelligentsia for their direct and unadorned expression of national sentiment and a humanistic mysticism; his work, largely improvised around fixed melodic and poetic schemes, was written down and extensively published. Songs such as Dostlar beni hatırlasın and Uzun ince bir yoldayım are widely known throughout Turkey. Along with many rural ...


W.H. Husk

revised by Bruce Carr

(b London, March 20, 1804; d Bexley, Kent, March 8, 1881). English organist and writer on music. In 1834 he became organist of St Mary’s (Roman Catholic) Chapel, Chelsea, and composed some masses for its service. Between 1840 and 1860 he published many instruction books for organ, reed organ, concertina and church singing.

Warren was a careful and thorough editor of earlier English music: his edition of Boyce’s Cathedral Music, for example, included new biographies of the composers with exhaustive lists of their works. Such scholarship was facilitated by the large and valuable library he collected during his life, including the partbooks from which he edited Hilton’s Ayres or Fa Las, many unique sale catalogues, and autograph manuscripts of Purcell, A. Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. The fruits of his research appeared often in the early Musical World.


Vernon Gotwals

(b London, Ont., June 20, 1900; d Fairfield, CT, Sept 21, 1980). American organist of Canadian birth. A graduate of the University of Toronto (1924), he studied organ there with Healey Willan. In 1925 he went to New York to study with Lynnwood Farnam (White had been a boy soprano at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, Ontario, where Farnam was organist). He played at Flatbush Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, then at St George’s, Flushing. From 1927 to 1935 he was organist at St James’s in Philadelphia. He taught at various times at Bard College, Pius X School of Liturgical Music, Swarthmore College, Peabody Conservatory, Union Theological Seminary, and Butler University. His most influential post, however, was as organist, and later director of music, at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, New York (1937–58). In 1962 he became director of music at the Church of the Saviour, Syracuse, New York; his last position was at St George’s in Bridgeport, Connecticut....


N. Lee Orr

(b Woodstock, VT, June 4, 1842; d Brattleboro, VT, d Aug 3, 1914). American organist. After studying organ with local teachers he became a student of John Knowles Paine in Boston and later taught organ at the New England Conservatory. In 1871 he became organist/choirmaster at the Church of the Advent in Boston, working for 26 years as one of the early advocates of the choral excellence and liturgical propriety exemplified by the growing Oxford Movement in England. He also led one of the first boy choirs in the United States and established one of the first English Cathedral Services in this country. With J. C. D. Parker and others he founded and directed the Massachusetts Choir Festival Association and led many choral festivals throughout New England. Along with Dudley Buck and Paine he was among the first organists to introduce the organ works of Bach to American audiences. He was also a founder of the American Guild of Organists....


Gary W. Kennedy

[Roosevelt James]

(b New Orleans or Little Rock, AR, Sept 11, 1933). American organist. He was probably born in New Orleans and grew up in Little Rock, but a conclusive source of information concerning this has yet to be found. His father was a minister of a church in Little Rock and his mother was a missionary and pianist. Willette’s nickname, Baby Face, came from his youthful appearance and small physical stature. He studied piano from 1938 and in his youth played organ in his father’s church. From the early 1950s he worked as a pianist and organist in gospel and rhythm-and-blues groups, touring with, among others, Joe Houston, King Kolax, and Johnny Otis. At some point during these years he made Chicago his home, and while there came to be influenced by local gospel organists; he was also attracted by the recordings of Charlie Parker.

Willette recorded on both piano and organ in a rhythm-and-blues style in ...


Jamie C. Kassler

(b Stockton-on-Tees, Sept 18, 1763; d Wycliffe Rectory, nr Barnard Castle, Nov 24, 1829). English musician and inventor . Wright was instructed in music by his father, Robert, by John Garth and, as an articled apprentice, by Thomas Ebdon. On expiration of his articles about 1784, he succeeded Garth as organist at Sedgefield. In 1794 he married Elizabeth Foxton and set to music her operetta, Rusticity. In the ‘Advertisement’ to his Concerto for Harpsichord or Pianoforte (London, c1796), he promoted his invention of a pendulum for keeping musical time as more practicable than the timekeepers of Loulié, Sauveur and others. A model of the invention, owned by Wright’s granddaughter, Miss Edith Wright of Wakefield, was seen by Frank Kidson, when compiling his article for Grove’s Dictionary (3rd edn). In 1797 Wright succeeded his father as organist at Stockton. In 1817 he was organist at Kirkleatham near Redcar; but sometime after he returned to Stockton and remained there as organist, teacher and composer until his death....