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Article

Mel R. Wilhoit

(b Edinburg, PA, Aug 28, 1840; d Brooklyn, NY, Aug 13, 1908). American evangelistic singer, composer of gospel hymns, and hymnbook compiler. He rose to fame as music director for the evangelist Dwight L. Moody during a series of revival meetings held in England from 1873 to 1875. He popularized ‘singing the gospel’, in which he accompanied himself on a portable organ, performing the songs of Philip Phillips, Philip Bliss and William Bradbury, and making use of such effects as rubato and parlando delivery. He also directed the congregations in singing. Sankey became as effective a revivalist in song as was Moody in his sermons, elevating music to an equal role with preaching in evangelism.

In response to demands for the music used at their meetings, Sankey issued a 24-page pamphlet, Sacred Songs and Solos (London, 1873); this pamphlet eventually blossomed into a volume containing some 1200...

Article

Anne Dhu McLucas

(b Edinburgh, June 1, 1776; d Philadelphia, Dec 11, 1831). American cellist, teacher, composer and music publisher of Scottish birth. He was the son of the Edinburgh cellist and composer J.G.C. Schetky and a nephew of Alexander Reinagle. Schetky emigrated to the USA in 1787 and became active as a performer and music teacher in Philadelphia, where he lived with the musicians Benjamin Carr and Joseph C. Taws. With Carr he was co-editor of The Musical Journal for the Piano Forte (vols.iii–v) and published music from about 1802 to 1811. Between 1812 and 1818 he apparently visited Britain, for he published piano compositions by his father and himself in London and Edinburgh. He was a co-founder in 1820 of the Musical Fund Society in Philadelphia, which owns a portrait of him.

Article

Nils Schiørring

(b Sabro, 30 June ?1743; d Copenhagen, Feb 6, 1798). Danish harpsichordist, composer and music editor. He studied in Copenhagen with J.A. Scheibe and in Hamburg with C.P.E. Bach, whom he befriended. In 1773 he became a harpsichordist at the royal chapel and a teacher at the Hofteater's singing school. He replaced Giuseppe Sarti as chamber musician to the royal court in 1775. For Guldberg's new official psalter (1778) he edited a series of chorale books (1781–3) based on painstaking studies of early sources, to which, with C.P.E. Bach and the Danish musician Raehs as collaborators, he added outstanding harmonizations; these collections introduced monorhythmic chorale melodies (in minims) into Danish church song. Schiørring also edited collections of secular music (particularly popular songs from operas, plays and other works) and contributed to Gerber's Lexicon. (DBL, N. Schiørring)

all published in Copenhagen

Article

Norbert Carnovale

revised by Richard Dyer

(Alexander)

(b New York, Nov 22, 1925; d Boston, June 21, 2015). American composer, conductor, educator, writer, publisher, and record producer. He was born into a musical family that had immigrated to America from Germany; his father played in the violin section of the New York PO for 42 years. In 1937 Schuller enrolled in the St. Thomas Church Choir School in New York where his general musical education was supervised by T. Tertius Noble. By the time he finished high school, he was already a horn player of professional caliber. At the age of 16 he performed in the American premiere broadcast of Shostakovich’s Symphony no.7, the “Leningrad,” conducted by Toscanini; his first book, Horn Technique (London and New York, 1962, 2/1992) has remained a standard reference.

After a season touring in the American Ballet Theatre orchestra under the direction of Antal Dorati, Schuller was appointed to the position of principal horn in the Cincinnati SO (from ...

Article

Jean R. Freedman

[Margaret ]

(b New York, NY, June 17, 1935). American folksinger, songwriter, and folksong collector, daughter of musicologist charles Seeger and composer, educator, and folksong anthologist Ruth Crawford Seeger. Peggy learned piano, guitar, music theory, and transcription from her parents. With her brother mike Seeger , she learned banjo from a book written by their half-brother pete r. Seeger . She later became proficient on autoharp, Appalachian dulcimer, and English concertina. She made her first recording, Folk Songs of Courting and Complaint, while a student at Radcliffe College (1953–5). During the autumn of 1955, she studied at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. From 1956 to 1959 she traveled throughout Europe, the United States, Russia, and China before settling in England with folksinger, songwriter, and playwright Ewan MacColl [James Henry Miller] (1915–89), who became her musical partner, husband, and father of her children, Neill, Calum, and Kitty. With MacColl, she made more than 100 recordings of traditional Anglo-American ballads, political songs, love songs, work songs, and songs from literature. They frequently performed in folk clubs and concert halls, at festivals, on television, and in films. Seeger and MacColl felt that traditional music was a solid foundation on which the modern songwriter could build. They brought to their songwriting a political dimension, believing that folksongs represent the struggles of ordinary people whose lives are often ignored and whose creations are frequently slighted....

Article

Bruce Degen

(b Middleborough, MA, March 13, 1779; d Providence, RI, Dec 31, 1848). American composer, compiler, teacher, singer, organist and publisher. After accidental eye damage leading to blindness, he undertook musical studies with John L. Berkenhead, Gottlieb Graupner and Thomas Granger about 1800. In 1805 he established himself as a teacher of the piano and organ in Dedham, Massachusetts, where he began to issue his music in collaboration with Herman Mann. Moving to Providence in 1807, Shaw became a central figure in the city’s musical life as organist, organizer of bands and composer of songs, odes, anthems and marches for patriotic and civic occasions. His ‘Military Divertimento’, Welcome the Nation’s Guest, celebrated the visit of Lafayette to Providence in 1824.

Shaw sought to improve the quality of local sacred music, co-founding the Psallonian Society, and provided inspiration to the founding of the Boston Handel and Haydn Society in 1815...

Article

John Whenham

[Sylvestris, Floridus de]

(b Barbarano, nr Vicenza, early 17th century; d Rome, after 1673). Italian anthologist and editor of music, composer, singer and dramatist. He was a priest, who from about 1647 until at least 1654 was a bass in the choir of Santo Spirito in Sassia, Rome. In 1664 he held a similar position at S Giacomo degli Incurabili, Rome (the church in which he is buried). A manuscript inscription, ‘Floridus de Sylvestris à Barbr. [?]civ.s. [?]Bracc.ni. Dulcia cum flore hic Barbara Sylva Canit’, on the title-page of the copy of the alto partbook of Francesco Pasquali’s Madrigali, libro terzo (1627, in I-Bc ) may be of biographical significance; Pasquali’s book includes a madrigal, Fere barbare, for solo bass. Silvestris seems to have been an accomplished singer. The solo motet Aggrediamur iter vitae in one of his anthologies (RISM 1659¹), written for him by an unknown composer, contains virtuoso passage-work and requires a vocal range of over two octaves (...

Article

Peter Holman

(bap.Milton-next-Sittingbourne [now Milton Regis], Kent, April 1, 1582; d ?Copenhagen, before June 20, 1628). English composer, string player and music editor. Nothing is known for certain of his activities before 1608, when he is listed as a musician at the court of the Elector Palatine at Heidelberg, though an apparently autograph bass part of 19 ‘songes’ dedicated to Sir Norton Knatchbull of Mersham, Kent, probably dates from before he left England. Also, his wife came from Lorraine, so he may have spent some time at the court in Nancy. He was still at Heidelberg in 1610, when he published his first collection, though by 1615 he had moved to the court of Count Ernst III of Holstein-Schaumburg at Bückeburg, near Hanover. He was still there when he published his third collection in 1621, and probably left the following year, when Count Ernst died. He was employed as a ‘fiolist’ at the Danish court from ...

Article

Robert Stevenson

revised by Laura Macy

(b Langa, province of Soria, 1534; d Rome, Sept 25, 1619). Spanish singer, music editor and composer, active in Italy. After making a name for himself as a musical prodigy in Spain, where he perhaps began as a choirboy at Burgo de Osma Cathedral, he joined the papal chapel as a soprano on 8 June 1562. He may have been the first castrato hired by that institution. He remained in the papal chapel until his retirement in 1611, serving as maestro five times. In 1566 he began attending the oratory recently founded by S Filippo Neri and he formally joined the group in 1571. He was involved in early negotiations surrounding the establishment of the Compagnia dei musici di Roma, though the papal singers eventually declined to participate in the group. In the years 1566–7 Soto served as chaplain to the church of S Giacomo degli Spagnoli, and by ...

Article

Jeannette Fresne

(b Upshur County, TX, Sept 18, 1892; d Dallas, TX, Aug 19, 1940). American music publisher, singer, teacher, and composer. Known for his success in gospel music education, publishing, and composing gospel music quartets, Stamps founded the V.O. Stamps School of Music in Jacksonville, Texas (1924). Two years later he and Jesse Randall Baxter, Jr., founded the Stamps-baxter music and printing company , followed by the establishment in Dallas of a company headquarters (1929) and printing plant (1934). The company became one of the largest publishers of gospel music and most successful organizers of singing-schools in the 20th century. In addition to convention books and special collections for radio, television, and quartet performances, the company published three periodicals with subscriptions from all states and several foreign countries, and 24 songbooks with four-part harmonies in seven-shape notation. By mid-century annual company sales were in excess of $300,000. The company offered two types of schools: traditional singing-schools, and normal schools for training singing-school teachers. Stamps negotiated with the Texas superintendent of education for a provision for students to earn up to two high school credits for passing a state examination upon completion of either of the schools. After the war (...

Article

Don Cusic

[Ragsdale, Harold Ray ]

(b Clarkdale, GA, Jan 24, 1939). American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger, music publisher, television star, and entrepreneur. Harold Ragsdale began his musical career with a high school band that played R&B songs by the Coasters, Drifters, and other R&B groups. In 1955 the family moved to Atlanta, where publisher Bill Lowery signed him as a songwriter and secured his first recording contract with Capitol Records; Capitol’s Head of A&R, Ken Nelson changed Ragsdale’s name to Ray Stevens. After attending Georgia State University, where he studied music, Stevens had his first success with his recording of “Jeremiah Peabody’s Poly Unsaturated Quick Dissolving Fast Acting Pleasant Tasting Green and Purple Pills” (Mercury, 1961). In 1962 he moved to Nashville, supplementing his own recording career with work as a session musician, arranger, and background vocalist. He garnered a number-one pop hit and his first Grammy with his recording of “Everything is beautiful” (Barnaby, ...

Article

Herman Trotter

(Philip)

(b Washington DC, Dec 6, 1946). American composer, performer, writer and publisher. He studied at SUNY, Buffalo (MA 1972, PhD 1976), where his teachers included Lejaren Hiller and Morton Feldman. He has been a member of Lukas Foss's Center of the Creative and Performing Arts and has held faculty positions at Empire State College, Buffalo (1974–86), and SUNY, Buffalo (1979–86). He has served as a critic and writer for Musical America/Opus Magazine, the Buffalo News and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is the author of Handbook of Instrumentation (Berkeley, California, 1985). Kallisti Music Press, of which he is the founder, has published the complete works of Anthony Philip Heinrich and 40 previously unpublished compositions by Hiller, as well as Stiller’s own works.

Stiller's music is eclectic and original, but makes no attempt to establish new sonic frontiers. His works are often scored for unusual combinations of instruments and many of his titles reveal a propensity towards the fanciful and whimsical. The chamber opera ...

Article

Kristine Forney

[Tielman]

(b c1510–1515, Soest, nr Dortmund; d ?Sweden, 1570 or later). Music publisher, composer and instrumentalist, active in the southern Netherlands. His birthdate is based on a document of 1565 which states he was about 50 years old (‘out omtrent L jaren’). His place of birth, also suggested to be Soestdijk, near Utrecht, is clearly in the environs of Cologne (probably Soest in Westphalia): he refers to himself as ‘Tilemannus Susato Agrippinus’ (the Roman name for Cologne) in two publications, he is described in 1561 as ‘Thielman Suzato, geboeren van Coelen’ and in 1563 as one born outside the lands of the Emperor. Further, he was granted a subsidy in 1542 by the city of Antwerp for bringing a new trade from outside. Documentation confirms that he was the son of another Tylman (Thielmanssone); his father may have been the blind musician ‘Tielman dem blynden’ mentioned in a 1508...

Article

Mark Berresford

(Coleman )

(b Brunswick, MO, Feb 7, 1882; d New York, NY, March 9, 1961). American clarinetist, bandleader, composer, and music publisher. His first professional engagement (c1897–8) was with a “pickaninny” band led by Nathaniel Clark Smith. In 1902 he was assistant leader of P.G. Lowery’s band with Forepaugh and Sells Circus and later that year joined Mahara’s Minstrels band under the leadership of W.C. Handy. In 1903 he formed his own band in Minneapolis, where he made the first recordings by an African American band. Sweatman moved to Chicago in 1908, where he led trios at the Grand and Monogram theaters. In 1911 he made his first vaudeville appearance, and in late 1916 made the first records recognizable as jazz performances. In 1918 Sweatman’s band was signed to an exclusive recording contract with Columbia, their records rivalling those by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. He continued to work through the 1920s and early 1930s in vaudeville, and in ...

Article

Barry S. Brook

(b Wehrsdorf, nr Bautzen, Feb 2, 1748; d Leipzig, Sept 12, 1806). German impresario, composer, horn player, writer on music and publisher. He attended the Gymnasium in Bautzen for seven years; in 1770 he began studying law at Leipzig University but within a year turned to music, becoming first horn player for the Grosse Concert-Gesellschaft in 1771. In 1776 he founded a music copying business and manuscript storehouse, producing a large thematic catalogue (rivalling Breitkopf’s) that he sold in manuscript. He described this catalogue (of manuscript works available for copying) and his idealistic plans for the storehouse in a series of pamphlets published between 1778 and 1781. From 1782 he sponsored a series of independent concerts in Leipzig, later producing the Gewandhaus concerts, Dilettanten concerts and Stadtmusik, and undertaking concert tours as far as Dresden, Hamburg and Prague. In addition to works by Haydn, Mozart and others, he performed a number of his own compositions. In ...

Article

Brian Boydell

[Burke of Thomond ]

( fl 1739–50). Irish music editor, composer and instrumentalist . The earliest known references to him occur in Dublin newspapers in 1739 and 1740, when he appeared as a soloist playing concertos on the trumpet and the flute. He also performed in England as a flautist, appearing for instance at Ruckholt House, Leyton, on 14 May 1744.

About 1745–50 he issued two books which provide one of the earliest printed sources of Irish traditional airs. The first consisted of 12 Scots and 12 Irish airs, the second of 12 English and 12 Irish airs. Both books, which contain ‘Variations, set for the German Flute, Violin or Harpsichord’, were published for John Simpson of London, reprinted c1765, and re-engraved and published in one volume about 1785 by S., A. & P. Thompson of London under the title Forty-eight English, Irish and Scotch airs. Thumoth's only other known publication is Six Solos for a German Flute, Violin or Harpsichord, the First Three composed by Mr Burk Thumoth, the Three Last by Sigr. Canaby...

Article

Deane L. Root

[James; Babcock, Edward Chester]

(b Syracuse, NY, Jan 26, 1913; d Rancho Mirage, CA, Feb 7, 1990). American composer, publisher and pianist. At the age of 16 he became a pianist, singer and announcer for a radio station and adopted his professional name. He then studied singing with Howard Lyman and wrote college shows at Syracuse University. In 1933 he replaced Harold Arlen as composer at the Cotton Club in Harlem, and worked as a pianist and song plugger for Tin Pan Alley publishers, including Remick and Santley Brothers. He had his first songwriting success in 1938 with It’s the dreamer in me (in collaboration with Jimmy Dorsey) and wrote for the bandleader Eddie DeLange before teaming up with the lyricist Johnny Burke in 1939. Together Burke and Van Heusen wrote the songs for 16 of Bing Crosby’s best-known films, including Road to Morocco (1942) and others of the ‘Road to …’ series, and ...

Article

Gilles Potvin

(b Natashquan, Quebec, Oct 27, 1928). Canadian songwriter, singer, poet and publisher . He wrote poems and songs while teaching French and mathematics in Quebec City. He first sang publicly in 1960 and his success led to a first recording in 1962. Two years later, his song Jack Monoloy won second prize at an international competition in Sopot, Poland. His best-known song is Mon pays, also sung at Sopot in 1965. He has toured extensively in Canada and French-speaking countries of Europe. He was awarded a Grand Prix du Disque by the Académie Charles Cros in 1970 and 1984. Vigneault’s songs are about the people of Quebec, specifically those who live on his native north shore of the St Lawrence. Some of his songs contain social protest, some are simple love stories, some are whimsical and humorous.

EMC2 (C. Rioux) M. Gagné: Gilles Vigneault (Quebec City, 1977)...

Article

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.

Article

Hermann J. Busch

(b Cattaro [now Kotor], Dalmatia, June 13, 1863; d Vienna, Oct 22, 1943). Austrian church musician, composer and editor. After studying at the Vienna Conservatory (1880–82), where his teachers included Franz Krenn, he held several teaching and church music positions in Vienna. He also worked as an editor for Universal Edition (1908–31), edited Musica divina (1913–34) and was co-editor of Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich (from 1925). Among other projects, he prepared piano scores of Mahler’s symphonies for publication and edited works by Bruckner. As a composer, he wrote primarily Catholic sacred music; his works show the influence of the Cecilian movement and the music of Bruckner, with whom he had many personal contacts.

(selective list)