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Article

Bonnie J. Blackburn

[Piero]

(b Florence, c1480; d after 1545). Italian theorist and composer. Nothing is known of Aaron’s early training, his teacher, or his career before 1516. He claims to have had ‘the greatest friendship and familiarity’ with Josquin, Obrecht, Isaac, and Agricola in Florence (most likely between 1487 and 1495, and not necessarily at the same time). By 1516 he was a priest in Imola, where he wrote his first book, Libri tres de institutione harmonica, translated into Latin by the humanist Giovanni Antonio Flaminio. A contemporary poem by Achille Bocchi praises Aaron for rescuing music ‘from squalor and dismal neglect’. By March 1520 he was a singer in Imola Cathedral and from the next year a chaplain; he was also paid by the city to teach music to those who wished to learn. His career in Imola ended abruptly in June 1522 when he was wounded in a factional uprising and his chapel in the cathedral destroyed (Blackburn, forthcoming). By ...

Article

Diana Poulton

revised by Warwick Edwards

(b ?1560–70; d ?before 1610). English composer. He referred in the dedication of his Psalmes to the late Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick (died 1589/90) as ‘my good Lord and Master’. Allison is represented by 13 compositions in a set of consort books (dated 1588), from the household of Sir Francis Walsingham. Ten four-part settings by him appeared in Thomas East's Whole Booke of Psalms (RISM 15927), and he contributed a dedicatory poem to Giles Farnaby's Canzonets to Fowre Voyces (1598). In 1599 he published his own Psalmes of David in Meter, giving his London address as Dukes Place, near Aldgate, and describing himself as a ‘gentleman’ and a ‘practitioner’ of music. This print also includes his coat of arms, providing much information about his family. In the same year seven of his instrumental works appeared without attribution in Morley's ...

Article

Peter Andreas Kjeldsberg

revised by Martin Anderson

(b Fredrikstad, April 29, 1872; d Oslo, Dec 24, 1932). Norwegian composer, conductor and organist. He studied with Peter Lindeman (organ) and Iver Holter (harmony, counterpoint and composition) at the Christiania Music and Organ School (1888–92), and was then a pupil of Reinecke (composition) and Ruthard (piano) at the Leipzig Conservatory (1892–4). Appointments as organist followed in Drammen (1895–1907) and Oslo (1907–32), where he served at the cathedral from 1916; his First Symphony was completed during a course of study in Berlin in 1897. He was one of those responsible for the foundation of the Norsk Komponistforening, of which he was president from 1921 to 1923. As a member of the Koralbokkomiteen (1922–6) he harmonized most of the melodies in the chorale book of the Norwegian Church, and he edited preludes to all of the chorales. He was active as a choir-conductor, leading the Håndverksangforening (...

Article

Nicholas Temperley

(fl Castleton, Derbys., 1723–53). English psalmodist and ?composer. In 1723 he published the first edition of A Book of Psalmody in conjunction with John Barber. A second edition, by Robert Barber alone, followed in 1733, and a third, entitled David’s Harp Well Tuned, in 1753. He also published The Psalm Singer’s Choice Companion in 1727. A Book of Psalmody enjoyed a good deal of popularity in the north Midlands. It was similar to other parochial collections, and most of its contents were derivative. The second edition, however, had a remarkable feature: it included, as well as chants for the canticles, a complete musical setting of Morning Prayer, litany and ante-communion on cathedral lines, but for alto, tenor and bass only. Barber made it clear on the title-page that this was designed for ‘our Country Churches’. He thus brought to its logical conclusion the trend begun by Henry Playford, who published anthems for parish church use in ...

Article

Yolande de Brossard

(b Dompierre, bap. Sept 12, 1655; d Meaux, Aug 10, 1730). French priest, theorist, composer, lexicographer and bibliophile. He was descended from a family founded by Antoine de Brossard (b c1286), a natural son of Charles de Valois (son of Philip the Bold) and Hélène Broschart, daughter of the king's treasurer. Sébastien was the last of a family of glass-blowers from lower Normandy. He studied at the Jesuit college in Caen and then attended that city's famous university, studying philosophy for two years and theology for three. When he turned to music, therefore, he was self-taught; he studied the lute, copying and composing pieces for the instrument. He took minor orders in 1675 and became a sub-deacon the next year, but the date when he became a priest is not known, nor is the date of his arrival in Paris. He was living there in ...

Article

Mel R. Wilhoit

(b Preston, CT, Feb 3, 1832; d South Orange, NJ, Dec 24, 1915). American composer and compiler of Sunday school and gospel hymnbooks. He was also a successful manufacturer of woodworking machinery as well as an inventor, receiving over 70 patents. He was well trained in music, and conducted the Norwich (CT) Harmonic Society from 1852 to 1854. In c1862 Doane began to compose melodies for Sunday school hymns, producing over 1000 tunes to texts by Fanny Crosby, and as many more to other authors’ texts. He also collaborated with Robert Lowry in compiling many popular Sunday school collections such as Silver Spray (1867), Songs of Devotion (1868), Pure Gold (1871), and Brightest and Best (1875). He was musical editor for The Baptist Hymnal (1883) and composed popular Christmas (“Santa Claus”) cantatas. His best-known tunes include those of the hymns “Jesus, keep me near the cross” (...

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 ...

Article

Richard Crawford

revised by David W. Music

(b Washington, Litchfield Co., CT, Oct 15, 1784; d New York, NY, May 15, 1872). American composer, tunebook compiler, hymn writer, and writer on music. His early musical education came largely from independent study and family encouragement. In 1797 the family moved from New England to Clinton, New York, where Thomas led a village choir and began teaching singing schools. He became active in the Oneida County Musical Society (later named the Handel and Burney Society), formed around 1814. In 1815 he began his career as a tune book compiler. He taught singing schools in Utica and the surrounding area, and from 1819 to 1823 in the region of Troy and Albany.

In 1823 Hastings settled in Utica, where he edited the Western Recorder, a religious weekly. His regular column on church music helped to establish his reputation, and he made occasional trips from Utica to lecture and advise religious groups on the subject. In ...

Article

Luminita Florea

( fl 1351–92). English friar . He was from the Custody of Bristol and was the author-compiler of the Quatuor principalia musice ( GB-Ob Digby 90; CoussemakerS, iv, 200–98; shortened version in GB-Lbl Cotton Tiberius B.IX, ante f. 204-214r; CoussemakerS, iii, 334–64) and the scribe, maker and owner of the earliest extant copy of this work, completed at Oxford on 4 August 1351 and donated by John to the Oxford Franciscans in 1388 with the assent of Thomas de Kingsbury, the 26th provincial minister of the Franciscan order in England. Another book of which John was the author-compiler, scribe, maker and owner, containing the astronomical treatise De situ universorum and two smaller tracts ( GB-Mch 6681), was compiled some time between 1356 (or 1357) and (possibly) 1371, and it includes an explicit date of 1392; several passages in this work indicate that he had been at the Oxford Franciscan convent on ...

Article

Mel R. Wilhoit

(b Duncannon, PA, Feb 27, 1838; d Germantown, PA, Sept 20, 1921). American compiler of Sunday-school and gospel hymnbooks, composer of hymns and teacher. He worked as a music teacher in the Philadelphia area, where he became associated with a number of Methodist churches.

His own musical style reflected the developing gospel hymn, which he helped to establish and popularize. In 1878 he joined forces with John R. Sweney, and the two men compiled about 50 songbooks and collections: ‘Sweney and Kirkpatrick’ became almost a trademark, and sales of their books ran into millions. They collaborated with the leading poets of gospel hymnody, and published nearly 1000 of Fanny Crosby’s hymns alone. Kirkpatrick’s collections – he produced about 50 further items after Sweney’s death – were used in revivals and camp meetings, such as the Methodist gatherings at Ocean Grove, New Jersey, and many of his more animated tunes, for example, that of ...

Article

Mel R. Wilhoit

(b nr Adamsville, PA, July 4, 1840; d Kinsman, OH, July 7, 1907). American composer of Sunday-school and gospel hymns, and hymnbook compiler . He studied with G.J. Webb, F.W. Root and George Macfarren, and in 1875 became a teacher and director of the Normal Musical Institute in New York, founded by G.F. Root. In 1877 he joined the evangelist Daniel Whittle as music director. He compiled numerous song collections for use in their revival meetings, often composing the tunes while Whittle supplied the texts. That year he also became an editor, with Sankey and Stebbins, of the already successful series Gospel Hymns and Sacred Songs, collaborating with them on volumes iii–vi (Cincinnati, 1878–91, repr. in Gospel Hymns nos. 1–6 Complete, 1894/R). The most successful of McGranahan’s more than 150 tunes, including those for the hymns Hallelujah for the cross (1882), I know whom I have believed...

Article

Harry Eskew

( b Maury County, TN, April 3, 1836; d Atlanta, GA, July 2, 1899). American composer and arranger of Sunday-school and gospel hymns, and hymnbook compiler . He received his musical training under L.C. and Asa B. Everett, with whom he was associated for several years in teaching and publishing. In the 1860s he became music editor for the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in Nashville, a position he held for 30 years. In 1875 he joined the faculty of Vanderbilt University, leaving two years later for an appointment at Emory and Henry College, Oxford, Georgia. He established the R.M. McIntosh Publishing Company, publishing at least 20 collections for church and Sunday-school use. McIntosh is best known as the arranger of the camp-meeting tune ‘Promised Land’, which he changed into a major key to fit the gospel hymn style. (L.E. Oswalt: Rigdon McCoy McIntosh: Teacher, Composer, Editor, and Publisher, diss., New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, ...

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

Harry Eskew and Mel R. Wilhoit

(b East Carlton, NY, Feb 26, 1846; d Catskill, NY, Oct 6, 1945). American evangelistic musician, composer of gospel hymns, and hymnbook compiler. He attended singing-schools and learned to play the piano before moving to Rochester, New York, where he studied singing and joined a church choir as the tenor of its solo quartet. After moving to Chicago he became a charter member of the Apollo Music Club, was associated with the Lyon and Healy Music Company, and traveled to Boston to sing in the massed choir for the 1872 Peace Jubilee. He also became acquainted with those who would become the leading figures in American revivalism during the next decade. In 1874, he moved to Boston and directed music in various churches, including Clarendon Street Baptist Church, pastored by A.J. Gordon, composer of the music for the hymn, “My Jesus, I love thee.” In 1876 he accepted Dwight L. Moody’s invitation to work as an evangelistic singer. He was paired with numerous evangelists under Moody’s general auspices, including George Needham, George Pentecost, and Daniel Whittle (upon the untimely death of musician Philip P. Bliss in a train crash)....

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.

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