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Article

E. Eugene Helm

revised by Darrell Berg

(b Dobitschen, Saxe-Altenburg, Jan 4, 1720; d Berlin, Dec 2, 1774). German musicographer, composer, organist, singing master and conductor. His father occupied an important post as government agent and jurist in Dobitschen. Burney, who visited the Agricolas in 1772, reported that Johann Friedrich’s mother, born Maria Magdalena Manke, ‘was a near relation of the late Mr Handel, and in correspondence with him till the time of his death’; but later Handel research has failed to substantiate this claim.

Agricola began his study of music as a young child. In 1738 he entered the University of Leipzig, where he studied law; during this time he was a pupil of J.S. Bach and visited Dresden, where he heard performances of Passion oratorios and Easter music by Hasse. In 1741 he moved to Berlin, became a pupil of Quantz, made the acquaintance of C.P.E. Bach, C.H. Graun and other musicians, and embarked on a career that touched many aspects of Berlin’s musical life. He became keenly interested in music criticism and theoretical speculation in Berlin, and his work as a musicographer has proved to be his most lasting accomplishment. In ...

Article

(b Comber, Co. Down, Aug 10, 1904; d Oxford, Oct 10, 1965). Northern Irish music scholar, teacher, organist, composer and editor. He went to Bedford School, and studied at the RCM in London, Trinity College, Dublin, and New College, Oxford, gaining doctorates of music at both universities. In 1938, after four years as organist and choirmaster at Beverley Minster, he moved to a similar position at New College. Thereafter, he lived and worked in Oxford, where he was a university lecturer in music and a Fellow of New College, and later of Balliol. He also taught at the RCM.

Andrews's published work consists of three books, various articles (including contributions to the fifth edition of Grove's Dictionary of Music), reviews, and several motets, services and songs. The Oxford Harmony, vol.ii, traces the development of chromatic harmony through standard repertory works and relates this to techniques of composition. The opening chapters of ...

Article

Greg A. Handel

(Eugene)

(b West Hempstead, NY, April 26, 1956). American music educator, choral arranger, editor, and conductor. He was a member of the American Boychoir (1969–71), and received degrees from St Olaf College (BM 1978), the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (MM 1980), and Michigan State University (DMA 1987). He was on the summer faculty of the American Boychoir School and now serves on the Board of Trustees. He taught at Calvin College (1980–90) before becoming the fourth conductor of the St Olaf Choir and the Harry R. and Thora H. Tosdal Endowed Professor of Music (1990–). Armstrong is the editor for Earthsongs publications and co-editor of the St. Olaf Choir Series. He chronicled the history of the St Olaf Choir in his doctoral dissertation. He is featured on an instructional video for adolescent singers, Body, Mind, Spirit, Voice (2002...

Article

Laurie J. Sampsel

(b Milton, MA, Feb 18, 1760; d French Mills, NY, Nov 23, 1813). American composer, singing master, singer, and tunebook compiler. Babcock lived most of his life in Watertown, MA, where he worked as a hatter. As a teenager he fought in the Revolutionary War, and he died while enlisted in the Army during the War of 1812. He was active primarily as a psalmodist during the period from 1790 to 1810. Babcock was the choir leader at the Watertown Congregational church, sang at and composed music for town events, and taught singing schools there in 1798 and 1804. He may also have been an itinerant singing master in the Boston area. Babcock composed 75 extant pieces, including anthems, set pieces, fuging tunes, psalm, and hymn tunes. Most of his music was first published in his own tunebook, Middlesex Harmony, which was published in two editions (1795...

Article

David Tunley

(b c1720; d Paris, c1798). French publisher, composer and teacher. On 27 April 1765 he took over the music publishing house known as A la Règle d’Or, which comprised businesses once owned by Boivin, Ballard and Bayard. During some 30 years he issued many works by both French and foreign composers, the latter including not only early masters like Corelli and Vivaldi, but also some of those who were influential in the development of the emerging Classical school: Carl Stamitz, Haydn, Piccinni, Paisiello, Cimarosa, Boccherini and Clementi. French composers included Gossec, Davaux, Monsigny and Brassac, and some of the earlier generation, Lully, Lalande and Campra. One of his major publications was the Journal d’ariettes des plus célèbres compositeurs, comprising 240 works issued in 63 volumes (scores and parts) from 1779 to 1788. Bailleux’s adoption of the royal privilege granted to the Ballard family led to his imprisonment during the Terror. He was released after the coup d'état of 9 Thermidor (...

Article

Richard Crawford

revised by David Warren Steel

(b Framingham, MA, Feb 9, 1771; d Pawtucket, RI, Oct 31, 1815). American composer, tunebook compiler, and singing master. The son of Jeremiah Belknap Jr. and Hepzibah Stone, he grew up in Framingham, where he received a common-school education. He then worked as a farmer, mechanic, and militia captain, and taught singing-schools from the age of 18. Around 1800 he married Mary Parker, with whom he had five children by 1809. In 1812 he and his family moved to Pawtucket, where he died of a fever.

Most of his 86 known compositions were first printed in his own tunebooks, an exception being his most widely published piece, “Lena,” which was introduced in The Worcester Collection (Boston, 5/1794). His ambitious Masonic ode, “A View of the Temple,” was sung at the installation of the Middlesex Lodge of Framingham in 1795. Belknap’s The Harmonist’s Companion (Boston, 1797), a brief 32-page collection, contains only his own compositions, which are written in an American idiom untouched by European-inspired reform. His later compilations, ...

Article

(b York Co., ME, Oct 6, 1816; d Montclair, NJ, Jan 7, 1868). American composer, teacher, organist, publisher, and piano manufacturer. In 1830 his family moved to Boston, where he studied music with Sumner Hill and attended Lowell Mason’s Academy of Music; he also sang in Mason’s Bowdoin Street church choir and later became organist there. From 1836 he taught music classes and gave private piano lessons in Machias, Maine, then in 1838 became a singing-school teacher in St. John’s, New Brunswick. Bradbury moved to New York in 1840 as choir leader of the First Baptist Church, Brooklyn, and the following year he accepted a position as organist at the Baptist Tabernacle in New York. He established singing classes for children similar to those of Mason in Boston; his annual music festivals with as many as 1000 children led to the introduction of music in New York’s public schools. He also published his first collection, ...

Article

Ruth M. Wilson

(b Bolton, CT, May 13, 1746; d Smithfield, NY, 1815). American composer, singing master, and printer. He was prominent among the Connecticut composers who contributed many psalm and fuging-tunes to the repertory of 18th-century choral music. Brownson taught in several parts of Connecticut, and from 1775 to 1797 was mostly in Litchfield, Simsbury, West Simsbury, and New Hartford. He was associated with Asahel Benham, Timothy Swan, and Alexander Ely in the sale of music books. He settled in Peterboro, New York, sometime between 1797 and 1800.

Brownson’s compositions were first published in Law’s Select Harmony (Cheshire, CT, 1779). Brownson’s own Select Harmony, issued in four editions (probably in Hartford, CT) between 1783 and 1791, contained a large number of new pieces by Americans with “Author’s Names set over the tunes,” as well as 22 original works. The title page, engraved by Isaac Sanford, depicts a church choir arranged around three sides of the gallery, the leader at the center with a pitchpipe in hand. Brownson also published ...

Article

H.C. Colles

revised by Malcolm Turner

(Carter)

(b London, March 25, 1871; d London, Oct 3, 1947). English writer on music, music editor, teacher, organist and composer. He studied at the Royal College of Music under Parratt, C.H. Lloyd and Parry (1888–92). He held posts as organist of Worcester College, Oxford (1891–4), Wells Cathedral (1896–9) and Bristol Cathedral (1899–1901), and was then appointed director of music at Harrow School, a post that he held until 1927. In 1910 he succeeded Prout as professor of music at Trinity College, Dublin, occupying the chair until 1920. In 1925 he was appointed King Edward Professor of Music in the University of London and had meanwhile begun to teach at the RCM. When he left Harrow he became music adviser to the London County Council (1927–36). In August 1937, on his retirement from the London professorship, he received a knighthood....

Article

Ruth M. Wilson

revised by Laurie J. Sampsel

(b Enfield, CT, Feb 9, 1744; d Hartford, CT, Aug 20, 1825). American singing master, composer, and tunebook compiler. He grew up in Enfield and Farmington and lived most of his life in central Connecticut. Bull married five times and had several children; he probably received his musical training in a singing-school. In 1766, he advertised for subscribers to a tunebook, The New Universal Psalmodist, in the New Haven Connecticut Gazette. (This book was never published.) Bull lived in New York City during the Revolutionary War years, where he taught singing schools and became parish clerk and master of the Charity School of Trinity Church from 1778 to 1782. He returned to Connecticut where he bought a house in Hartford in 1788 (now a state landmark), remaining there until his death in 1825. He ran a dry-goods store, hardware store, and evening school, and formed a private literary academy. Although he joined the Hartford Episcopal Church in ...

Article

(b Erie, PA, Dec 2, 1866; d Stamford, CT, Sept 12, 1949). American singer, composer, arranger, and music editor. His early music study included piano, voice, guitar, and bass viol. In January 1892 he won a scholarship at the National Conservatory of Music in New York. Among Conservatory faculty who influenced his career were Victor Herbert and Antonín Dvořák, director of the conservatory from September 1892 to April 1895. Burleigh became Dvořák’s copyist and librarian of the Conservatory orchestra, in which he played timpani and bass viol. He sang plantation songs and spirituals for Dvořák that he had learned from his grandfather, a former slave. Dvořák’s Symphony no.9 in E minor, “From the New World,” was written and premiered while Burleigh was at the Conservatory.

In New York Burleigh took his place among prominent African American singers such as soprano Sissieretta Jones (known as the Black Patti). In the years ...

Article

Michael Fend

(Carlo Zanobi Salvadore Maria )

(b Florence, 8/Sept 14, 1760; d Paris, March 15, 1842). Italian, composer, conductor, teacher, administrator, theorist, and music publisher, active in France. He took French citizenship, probably in 1794, and was a dominant figure in Parisian musical life for half a century. He was a successful opera composer during the Revolutionary period, and had comparable success with religious music from the beginning of the Restoration. He was made director of the Paris Conservatoire and consolidated its pre-eminent position in music education in Europe.

In the biographical preface to his work catalogue, compiled in 1831, Cherubini gave 8 and 14 September as his dates of birth, but the records of the baptistery of S Giovanni state that he was born on 14 September (and baptized the following day). He was the tenth of 12 children. It has been claimed that his mother died when he was four years old (Pougin, ...

Article

Alan Tyson and Leon Plantinga

[Clementi, Mutius Philippus Vincentius Franciscus Xaverius]

(b Rome, Jan 23, 1752; d Evesham, Worcs., March 10, 1832). English composer, keyboard player and teacher, music publisher and piano manufacturer of Italian birth.

Leon Plantinga

The oldest of seven children of Nicolo Clementi (1720–89), a silversmith, and Magdalena, née Kaiser, Clementi began studies in music in Rome at a very early age; his teachers were Antonio Boroni (1738–92), an organist named Cordicelli, Giuseppi Santarelli (1710–90) and possibly Gaetano Carpani. In January 1766, at the age of 13, he secured the post of organist at his home church, S Lorenzo in Damaso. In that year, however, his playing attracted the attention of an English traveller, Peter Beckford (1740–1811), cousin of the novelist William Beckford (1760–1844) and nephew of William Beckford (1709–70), twice Lord Mayor of London. According to Peter Beckford’s own forthright explanation, he ‘bought Clementi of his father for seven years’, and in late ...

Article

Argia Bertini

revised by Giulia Anna Romana Veneziano

(b Florence, July 8, 1638; d Florence, Jan 16, 1703). Italian composer, teacher, music editor, theorist, organist and singer. He spent his entire life as a priest in Florence. On 1 August 1663 he was appointed chaplain at the cathedral, S Maria del Fiore, where he was also active as an organist and singer. He was particularly admired as a teacher, and it was this above all that determined the nature of his publications; the numerous reprints particularly of Il cantore addottrinato and Scolare addottrinato bear witness to the popularity of his methods. In these two manuals he sought to establish rules for the effective composition and performance of church music, contributing, according to his contemporaries, to the codification of the ‘true rule of ecclesiastical singing’. However, he is better remembered for his Corona di sacre canzoni and Colletta di laude spirituali, which have great importance for the final phase in the history of the ...

Article

Catherine Parsons Smith

(b New York, Sept 9, 1905; d Bridgeport, CT, May 21, 1992). American composer, teacher and editor. She studied with Homer Grunn in Los Angeles. In 1922 she toured the midwestern Chautauqua circuit as a pianist. She studied composition with Goetschius (1922–3), Rubin Goldmark (1924–7, with fellowships from the Juilliard Graduate School) and Boulanger (1927); piano with Boyle and Lhévinne. Dissatisfied with teaching and with the reception of her music, she worked on the editorial staff of Time magazine from 1945 until 1952. Later she travelled widely, living for several years on Tahiti and Vanuatu.

Her elegant music, which uses the pandiatonic harmonic vocabulary of its time, is marked by its neo-classical, symmetrical form and its rhythmic forcefulness. The Piano Quintet and the Violin Sonata no.1 both won awards from the Society for the Publication of American Music. Her orchestral works have been performed by the symphony orchestras of Cincinnati, Rochester, Scranton and Sydney....

Article

David Nicholls and Joel Sachs

(Dixon )

(b Menlo Park, CA, March 11, 1897; d Shady, NY, Dec 10, 1965). American composer, writer, pianist, publisher, and teacher. Described by Cage as “the open sesame for new music in America,” he was an early advocate for many of the main developments in 20th-century music, including the systematization of modernist techniques, the exploration of timbral resources, and transculturalism.

Many facets of Cowell’s remarkable personality resulted from the unusual circumstances of his upbringing. His father, Harry, had immigrated to British Columbia with his brother after their own father, the Dean of Kildare’s Anglican Cathedral, bought them some land. Finding no satisfaction in farming life, Harry moved to San Francisco in search of a literary career. Henry’s mother Clara (usually called Clarissa) Dixon, a gifted writer, was the daughter of a fundamentalist Midwestern farming family. She had left the church and their community, married, and produced a son called Clarence. After he ran away from home as a teenager, Clarissa fled her stifling small-town life for San Francisco. In the Bay area, she met Harry, with whom she founded a philosophical-anarchist newsletter. As dedicated anarchists, they rejected the heavy hand of government, including what they saw as the homogenizing power of conventional public schooling. They built a little cottage on the still-rural edge of Menlo Park, where Stanford University was being constructed. Henry Cowell was born there, and Menlo Park remained his principal base until ...

Article

Bethany Goldberg

(b 1821; d Brooklyn, Aug 28, 1895). American composer, music educator, and tunebook compiler. He primarily composed choral and solo vocal music. His best known works are the cantatas Elutheria (pubd 1851) and The Forest Melody (with a text by William Cullen Bryant; premièred 1858), and the anthem Endymion (on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem; pubd 1857). The short-lived American Musical Association, which supported local composers, performed his works in 1857. For over thirty years, he taught music in the New York public schools (at as many as six schools at a time). Curtis was also an instructor at the New York Conservatory of Music (founded 1849) with William Bradbury and Francis Nash and at the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute. Following the example set by Lowell Mason, Curtis compiled several instructional collections of music including The Grammar School Vocalist (1860), The Musical Monitor: a New Vocal Method for Schools...

Article

Jerome Roche

[Johannes]

(b Veringenstadt, nr Sigmaringen, 1585; d Rottenburg am Neckar, 1654). German music editor, singer, teacher and composer. He studied at the University of Dillingen, one of the main cultural centres of south-west Germany, and in 1610 took a post as singer at St Martin, Rottenburg. This carried with it duties as a schoolteacher: in this capacity he became Rektor of the school in 1622 and in his musical capacity Kapellmeister of the church in 1627.

Donfrid is chiefly interesting as an editor who saw it as his task to propagate in Catholic southern Germany the best and most popular church music by Italian composers of his day. To this end he published five large anthologies at Strasbourg in the 1620s: the tripartite Promptuarii musici, consisting of motets arranged in a liturgical cycle, as had been done by other editors, such as Schadaeus, before him; the Viridarium, devoted to Marian pieces; and the ...

Article

Robert M. Copeland

revised by Dale Cockrell

(b Parsonfield, ME, Aug 3, 1820; d Hyde Park, MA, Sept 29, 1915). American composer, editor, music educator, and conductor. He attended Parsonfield Academy and Effingham Union Academy (NH) as a boy, then matriculated at Dracut Academy (MA), intending to become a physician. His father, a prosperous farmer, had taught him to play the cello, and that sparked an abiding interest in music. He moved to the Boston area in 1841, where he attended singing schools under Benjamin F. Baker and George F. Root. In 1844 he began more formal musical training with Isaac B. Woodbury in Boston, studying voice, piano, organ, and music theory. Emerson moved to Salem, Massachusetts, afterwards, where he taught music privately, was involved in local school matters, and directed a choir. He was later the organist and music director at Bullfinch Street Church, Boston, for four years, then at Second Congregational Church, Greenfield, MA for eight years, while teaching concurrently at Powers’ Institute in Bernardstown. By the 1870s he was devoting himself full time to editing, composing, compiling, and conducting (some 350 festivals and musical conventions); he also sang and was known widely as a lecturer....

Article

Ruth M. Wilson

revised by Stephen L. Pinel

(b Philadelphia, PA, Aug 16, 1771; d Brooklyn, NY, Apr 30, 1861). American organist, church musician, teacher, instrument-maker, tunebook compiler, and composer. In addition to serving as the organist of Trinity Church, Peter Erben was a prominent church musician, organ builder, and music teacher in antebellum New York.

Peter was the son of Johann Adam Erben (d c1781), a Philadelphia distiller. By 1791 he was in New York working as a tanner, but turned his attention to music after a bankruptcy in 1796. He was successively the organist of Christ Church (1800), the Middle Dutch Reformed Church (1806), St. George’s Chapel (1808), St. John’s Chapel (1813), and ultimately Trinity Church (1820–39). From about 1800 he was also the founder and director of the Society for Cultivating Church Music and frequently presented public concerts with the charity children. Between ...