Birge, Edward Bailey
- George N. Heller
(b Northampton, MA, June 12, 1868; d Bloomington, IN, July 16, 1952). American music educator. He attended Brown University (BA 1891) and taught music in public schools and teacher-training schools in New England before becoming public school music director in Indianapolis (1901–21). There he made instruction in music available to all elementary school students, organized bands and orchestras, and introduced courses in music theory and literature. During these years he also taught at the Jordan College of Music and the American Institute of Normal Methods. From 1921 to 1938 he headed the public school music department and directed the university chorus at Indiana University. Birge wrote 45 articles for professional publications and edited or co-edited six major series on school music; his History of Public School Music in the United States (Philadelphia, 1928, rev. 1937/R1966) is still widely used. He was a founder of the Music Supervisors National Conference and edited its journal (...