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Isaac Watts

1674 - 1748 Person Name: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748 Author of "Joy to the world! The Lord is come" in The Book of Praise Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary labours. He did not retire from ministerial duties, but preached as often as his delicate health would permit. The number of Watts' publications is very large. His collected works, first published in 1720, embrace sermons, treatises, poems and hymns. His "Horae Lyricae" was published in December, 1705. His "Hymns" appeared in July, 1707. The first hymn he is said to have composed for religious worship, is "Behold the glories of the Lamb," written at the age of twenty. It is as a writer of psalms and hymns that he is everywhere known. Some of his hymns were written to be sung after his sermons, giving expression to the meaning of the text upon which he had preached. Montgomery calls Watts "the greatest name among hymn-writers," and the honour can hardly be disputed. His published hymns number more than eight hundred. Watts died November 25, 1748, and was buried at Bunhill Fields. A monumental statue was erected in Southampton, his native place, and there is also a monument to his memory in the South Choir of Westminster Abbey. "Happy," says the great contemporary champion of Anglican orthodoxy, "will be that reader whose mind is disposed, by his verses or his prose, to imitate him in all but his non-conformity, to copy his benevolence to men, and his reverence to God." ("Memorials of Westminster Abbey," p. 325.) --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872. ================================= Watts, Isaac, D.D. The father of Dr. Watts was a respected Nonconformist, and at the birth of the child, and during its infancy, twice suffered imprisonment for his religious convictions. In his later years he kept a flourishing boarding school at Southampton. Isaac, the eldest of his nine children, was born in that town July 17, 1674. His taste for verse showed itself in early childhood. He was taught Greek, Latin, and Hebrew by Mr. Pinhorn, rector of All Saints, and headmaster of the Grammar School, in Southampton. The splendid promise of the boy induced a physician of the town and other friends to offer him an education at one of the Universities for eventual ordination in the Church of England: but this he refused; and entered a Nonconformist Academy at Stoke Newington in 1690, under the care of Mr. Thomas Rowe, the pastor of the Independent congregation at Girdlers' Hall. Of this congregation he became a member in 1693. Leaving the Academy at the age of twenty, he spent two years at home; and it was then that the bulk of the Hymns and Spiritual Songs (published 1707-9) were written, and sung from manuscripts in the Southampton Chapel. The hymn "Behold the glories of the Lamb" is said to have been the first he composed, and written as an attempt to raise the standard of praise. In answer to requests, others succeeded. The hymn "There is a land of pure delight" is said to have been suggested by the view across Southampton Water. The next six years of Watts's life were again spent at Stoke Newington, in the post of tutor to the son of an eminent Puritan, Sir John Hartopp; and to the intense study of these years must be traced the accumulation of the theological and philosophical materials which he published subsequently, and also the life-long enfeeblement of his constitution. Watts preached his first sermon when he was twenty-four years old. In the next three years he preached frequently; and in 1702 was ordained pastor of the eminent Independent congregation in Mark Lane, over which Caryl and Dr. John Owen had presided, and which numbered Mrs. Bendish, Cromwell's granddaughter, Charles Fleetwood, Charles Desborough, Sir John Hartopp, Lady Haversham, and other distinguished Independents among its members. In this year he removed to the house of Mr. Hollis in the Minories. His health began to fail in the following year, and Mr. Samuel Price was appointed as his assistant in the ministry. In 1712 a fever shattered his constitution, and Mr. Price was then appointed co-pastor of the congregation which had in the meantime removed to a new chapel in Bury Street. It was at this period that he became the guest of Sir Thomas Abney, under whose roof, and after his death (1722) that of his widow, he remained for the rest of his suffering life; residing for the longer portion of these thirty-six years principally at the beautiful country seat of Theobalds in Herts, and for the last thirteen years at Stoke Newington. His degree of D.D. was bestowed on him in 1728, unsolicited, by the University of Edinburgh. His infirmities increased on him up to the peaceful close of his sufferings, Nov. 25, 1748. He was buried in the Puritan restingplace at Bunhill Fields, but a monument was erected to him in Westminster Abbey. His learning and piety, gentleness and largeness of heart have earned him the title of the Melanchthon of his day. Among his friends, churchmen like Bishop Gibson are ranked with Nonconformists such as Doddridge. His theological as well as philosophical fame was considerable. His Speculations on the Human Nature of the Logos, as a contribution to the great controversy on the Holy Trinity, brought on him a charge of Arian opinions. His work on The Improvement of the Mind, published in 1741, is eulogised by Johnson. His Logic was still a valued textbook at Oxford within living memory. The World to Come, published in 1745, was once a favourite devotional work, parts of it being translated into several languages. His Catechisms, Scripture History (1732), as well as The Divine and Moral Songs (1715), were the most popular text-books for religious education fifty years ago. The Hymns and Spiritual Songs were published in 1707-9, though written earlier. The Horae Lyricae, which contains hymns interspersed among the poems, appeared in 1706-9. Some hymns were also appended at the close of the several Sermons preached in London, published in 1721-24. The Psalms were published in 1719. The earliest life of Watts is that by his friend Dr. Gibbons. Johnson has included him in his Lives of the Poets; and Southey has echoed Johnson's warm eulogy. The most interesting modern life is Isaac Watts: his Life and Writings, by E. Paxton Hood. [Rev. H. Leigh Bennett, M.A.] A large mass of Dr. Watts's hymns and paraphrases of the Psalms have no personal history beyond the date of their publication. These we have grouped together here and shall preface the list with the books from which they are taken. (l) Horae Lyricae. Poems chiefly of the Lyric kind. In Three Books Sacred: i.To Devotion and Piety; ii. To Virtue, Honour, and Friendship; iii. To the Memory of the Dead. By I. Watts, 1706. Second edition, 1709. (2) Hymns and Spiritual Songs. In Three Books: i. Collected from the Scriptures; ii. Composed on Divine Subjects; iii. Prepared for the Lord's Supper. By I. Watts, 1707. This contained in Bk i. 78 hymns; Bk. ii. 110; Bk. iii. 22, and 12 doxologies. In the 2nd edition published in 1709, Bk. i. was increased to 150; Bk. ii. to 170; Bk. iii. to 25 and 15 doxologies. (3) Divine and Moral Songs for the Use of Children. By I. Watts, London, 1715. (4) The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament, And apply'd to the Christian State and Worship. By I. Watts. London: Printed by J. Clark, at the Bible and Crown in the Poultry, &c, 1719. (5) Sermons with hymns appended thereto, vol. i., 1721; ii., 1723; iii. 1727. In the 5th ed. of the Sermons the three volumes, in duodecimo, were reduced to two, in octavo. (6) Reliquiae Juveniles: Miscellaneous Thoughts in Prose and Verse, on Natural, Moral, and Divine Subjects; Written chiefly in Younger Years. By I. Watts, D.D., London, 1734. (7) Remnants of Time. London, 1736. 454 Hymns and Versions of the Psalms, in addition to the centos are all in common use at the present time. --Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907) ================================== Watts, I. , p. 1241, ii. Nearly 100 hymns, additional to those already annotated, are given in some minor hymn-books. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907) ================= Watts, I. , p. 1236, i. At the time of the publication of this Dictionary in 1892, every copy of the 1707 edition of Watts's Hymns and Spiritual Songs was supposed to have perished, and all notes thereon were based upon references which were found in magazines and old collections of hymns and versions of the Psalms. Recently three copies have been recovered, and by a careful examination of one of these we have been able to give some of the results in the revision of pp. 1-1597, and the rest we now subjoin. i. Hymns in the 1709 ed. of Hymns and Spiritual Songs which previously appeared in the 1707 edition of the same book, but are not so noted in the 1st ed. of this Dictionary:— On pp. 1237, L-1239, ii., Nos. 18, 33, 42, 43, 47, 48, 60, 56, 58, 59, 63, 75, 82, 83, 84, 85, 93, 96, 99, 102, 104, 105, 113, 115, 116, 123, 124, 134, 137, 139, 146, 147, 148, 149, 162, 166, 174, 180, 181, 182, 188, 190, 192, 193, 194, 195, 197, 200, 202. ii. Versions of the Psalms in his Psalms of David, 1719, which previously appeared in his Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707:— On pp. 1239, U.-1241, i., Nos. 241, 288, 304, 313, 314, 317, 410, 441. iii. Additional not noted in the revision:— 1. My soul, how lovely is the place; p. 1240, ii. 332. This version of Ps. lxiv. first appeared in the 1707 edition of Hymns & Spiritual Songs, as "Ye saints, how lovely is the place." 2. Shine, mighty God, on Britain shine; p. 1055, ii. In the 1707 edition of Hymns & Spiritual Songs, Bk. i., No. 35, and again in his Psalms of David, 1719. 3. Sing to the Lord with [cheerful] joyful voice, p. 1059, ii. This version of Ps. c. is No. 43 in the Hymns & Spiritual Songs, 1707, Bk. i., from which it passed into the Ps. of David, 1719. A careful collation of the earliest editions of Watts's Horae Lyricae shows that Nos. 1, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, p. 1237, i., are in the 1706 ed., and that the rest were added in 1709. Of the remaining hymns, Nos. 91 appeared in his Sermons, vol. ii., 1723, and No. 196 in Sermons, vol. i., 1721. No. 199 was added after Watts's death. It must be noted also that the original title of what is usually known as Divine and Moral Songs was Divine Songs only. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907) =========== See also in: Hymn Writers of the Church

Lowell Mason

1792 - 1872 Composer of "[God bless our native land; Firm may she]" in The Cokesbury Hymnal Dr. Lowell Mason (the degree was conferred by the University of New York) is justly called the father of American church music; and by his labors were founded the germinating principles of national musical intelligence and knowledge, which afforded a soil upon which all higher musical culture has been founded. To him we owe some of our best ideas in religious church music, elementary musical education, music in the schools, the popularization of classical chorus singing, and the art of teaching music upon the Inductive or Pestalozzian plan. More than that, we owe him no small share of the respect which the profession of music enjoys at the present time as contrasted with the contempt in which it was held a century or more ago. In fact, the entire art of music, as now understood and practiced in America, has derived advantage from the work of this great man. Lowell Mason was born in Medfield, Mass., January 8, 1792. From childhood he had manifested an intense love for music, and had devoted all his spare time and effort to improving himself according to such opportunities as were available to him. At the age of twenty he found himself filling a clerkship in a banking house in Savannah, Ga. Here he lost no opportunity of gratifying his passion for musical advancement, and was fortunate to meet for the first time a thoroughly qualified instructor, in the person of F. L. Abel. Applying his spare hours assiduously to the cultivation of the pursuit to which his passion inclined him, he soon acquired a proficiency that enabled him to enter the field of original composition, and his first work of this kind was embodied in the compilation of a collection of church music, which contained many of his own compositions. The manuscript was offered unavailingly to publishers in Philadelphia and in Boston. Fortunately for our musical advancement it finally secured the attention of the Boston Handel and Haydn Society, and by its committee was submitted to Dr. G. K. Jackson, the severest critic in Boston. Dr. Jackson approved most heartily of the work, and added a few of his own compositions to it. Thus enlarged, it was finally published in 1822 as The Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music. Mason's name was omitted from the publication at his own request, which he thus explains, "I was then a bank officer in Savannah, and did not wish to be known as a musical man, as I had not the least thought of ever making music a profession." President Winchester, of the Handel and Haydn Society, sold the copyright for the young man. Mr. Mason went back to Savannah with probably $500 in his pocket as the preliminary result of his Boston visit. The book soon sprang into universal popularity, being at once adopted by the singing schools of New England, and through this means entering into the church choirs, to whom it opened up a higher field of harmonic beauty. Its career of success ran through some seventeen editions. On realizing this success, Mason determined to accept an invitation to come to Boston and enter upon a musical career. This was in 1826. He was made an honorary member of the Handel and Haydn Society, but declined to accept this, and entered the ranks as an active member. He had been invited to come to Boston by President Winchester and other musical friends and was guaranteed an income of $2,000 a year. He was also appointed, by the influence of these friends, director of music at the Hanover, Green, and Park Street churches, to alternate six months with each congregation. Finally he made a permanent arrangement with the Bowdoin Street Church, and gave up the guarantee, but again friendly influence stepped in and procured for him the position of teller at the American Bank. In 1827 Lowell Mason became president and conductor of the Handel and Haydn Society. It was the beginning of a career that was to win for him as has been already stated the title of "The Father of American Church Music." Although this may seem rather a bold claim it is not too much under the circumstances. Mr. Mason might have been in the average ranks of musicianship had he lived in Europe; in America he was well in advance of his surroundings. It was not too high praise (in spite of Mason's very simple style) when Dr. Jackson wrote of his song collection: "It is much the best book I have seen published in this country, and I do not hesitate to give it my most decided approbation," or that the great contrapuntist, Hauptmann, should say the harmonies of the tunes were dignified and churchlike and that the counterpoint was good, plain, singable and melodious. Charles C. Perkins gives a few of the reasons why Lowell Mason was the very man to lead American music as it then existed. He says, "First and foremost, he was not so very much superior to the members as to be unreasonably impatient at their shortcomings. Second, he was a born teacher, who, by hard work, had fitted himself to give instruction in singing. Third, he was one of themselves, a plain, self-made man, who could understand them and be understood of them." The personality of Dr. Mason was of great use to the art and appreciation of music in this country. He was of strong mind, dignified manners, sensitive, yet sweet and engaging. Prof. Horace Mann, one of the great educators of that day, said he would walk fifty miles to see and hear Mr. Mason teach if he could not otherwise have that advantage. Dr. Mason visited a number of the music schools in Europe, studied their methods, and incorporated the best things in his own work. He founded the Boston Academy of Music. The aim of this institution was to reach the masses and introduce music into the public schools. Dr. Mason resided in Boston from 1826 to 1851, when he removed to New York. Not only Boston benefited directly by this enthusiastic teacher's instruction, but he was constantly traveling to other societies in distant cities and helping their work. He had a notable class at North Reading, Mass., and he went in his later years as far as Rochester, where he trained a chorus of five hundred voices, many of them teachers, and some of them coming long distances to study under him. Before 1810 he had developed his idea of "Teachers' Conventions," and, as in these he had representatives from different states, he made musical missionaries for almost the entire country. He left behind him no less than fifty volumes of musical collections, instruction books, and manuals. As a composer of solid, enduring church music. Dr. Mason was one of the most successful this country has introduced. He was a deeply pious man, and was a communicant of the Presbyterian Church. Dr. Mason in 1817 married Miss Abigail Gregory, of Leesborough, Mass. The family consisted of four sons, Daniel Gregory, Lowell, William and Henry. The two former founded the publishing house of Mason Bros., dissolved by the death of the former in 19G9. Lowell and Henry were the founders of the great organ manufacturer of Mason & Hamlin. Dr. William Mason was one of the most eminent musicians that America has yet produced. Dr. Lowell Mason died at "Silverspring," a beautiful residence on the side of Orange Mountain, New Jersey, August 11, 1872, bequeathing his great musical library, much of which had been collected abroad, to Yale College. --Hall, J. H. (c1914). Biographies of Gospel Song and Hymn Writers. New York: Fleming H. Revell Company.

Samuel Francis Smith

1808 - 1895 Person Name: Samuel F. Smith Author of "Yes, My Native Land, I Love Thee" in The Cyber Hymnal Smith, Samuel Francis, D.D., was born in Boston, U.S.A., Oct. 21, 1808, and graduated in arts at Harvard, and in theology at Andover. He entered the Baptist ministry in 1832, and became the same year editor of the Baptist Missionary Magazine. He also contributed to the Encyclopaedia Americana. From 1834 to 1842 he was pastor at Waterville, Maine, and Professor of Modern Languages in Waterville College. In 1842 he removed to Newton, Massachusetts, where he remained until 1854, when he became the editor of the publications of the Baptist Missionary Union. With Baron Stow he prepared the Baptist collection known as The Psalmist, published in 1843, to which he contributed several hymns. The Psalmist is the most creditable and influential of the American Baptist collections to the present day. Dr. Smith also published Lyric Gems, 1854, Rock of Ages, 1870, &c. A large number of his hymns are in use in America, and several have passed into some of the English collections. Taking his hymns in common use in alphabetical order, we have the following:— 1. And now the solemn deed is done. Ordination. Given in The Psalmist, 1843, No. 954. In Dr. Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, N. Y., 1872, it is altered to "The solemn service now is done." 2. As flows the rapid river. Life Passing Away. In Christian Psalmody, 1833, No. 33; the Hymns for the Vestry and Fireside, Boston, 1841; and The Psalmist, 1843, No. 1059. Found in a few English hymn-books, and in Lyra Sacra Americana, 1868. 3. Auspicious morning, hail. American National Anniversary. Written for July 4th, 1841, and published in The Psalmist, 1843, No. 1007. 4. Beyond where Cedron's waters flow. Gethsemane. In L. Bacon's Appendix, 1833; the Psalmist, 1843, No. 220, and later collections. 5. Blest is the hour when cares depart. Divine Worship. In The Psalmist, 1843, No. 947, and others. 6. Constrained by love we follow where. Holy Baptism. Appeared in the Baptist edition of the Plymouth Hymn Book, 1857. 7. Down to the sacred wave. Holy Baptism. Contributed to Winchell's Additional Hymns added to his Collection of 1817, in 1832, No. 510; repeated in The Psalmist, 1843, No. 818, and in several collections. Also in Lyra Sacra Americana, 1868. 8. Hail! ye days of solemn meeting. Public Worship. An altered form of No. 26 below, in Spurgeon's Our Own Hymn Book, 1866, as an "American Hymn, 1840." 9. How blest the hour when first we gave. Holy Baptism. Appeared in the Baptist edition of thePlymouth Hymn Book, 1857, No. 1468. 10. How calmly wakes the hallowed morn. Holy Baptism. Given in The Psalmist, 1843, No. 810, in later collections, and in Lyra Sacra Americana, 1868. 11. Jesus, Thou hast freely saved us. Salvation. In Winchell's Additional Hymns, 1832, No. 503, and others. 12. Meekly in Jordan's Holy Stream. Holy Baptism. Contributed to The Psalmist, 1843, No. 808. 13. My country, 'tis of thee. National Hymn. "Written in 1832, and first sung at a children's Fourth of July celebration in Park Street church, Boston." Included in The Psalmist, 1843, No. 1000, and found in a large number of American hymn-books, but not in use in Great Britain. It is one of the most popular of Dr. Smith's compositions. Text, with note in Lyra Sacra Americana, 1868. 14. 0 not my own these verdant hills. Bought with a Price. Appeared in Nason's Congregational Hymn Book, 1857, and given inLaudes Domini, 1884. 15. Onward speed thy conquering flight. Missions. Appeared in The Psalmist, 1843, No. 892, and is found in several modern collections in Great Britain and America. Also in Lyra Sac. Americana, 1868. 16. Planted in Christ, the living Vine. Christian Fellowship; or, For Unity. Given in The Psalmist, 1843, No. 929, inLyra Sacra Americana, 1868, and several hymn-books. Of the hymns contributed by Dr. Smith to The Psalmist this is the best, and one of the most popular. 17. Remember thy Creator. Youthful Piety Enforced. In Christian Psalmody, 1832, No. 32; the Hymns for the Vestry and Fireside, 1841; The Psalmist, 1843, No. 778; Lyra Sac. Americana, 1868, and other collections. 18. Sister, thou wast mild and lovely. Death and Burial. Written on the death of Miss J. M. C. of Mount Vernon School, Boston, July 13,1833, and published in The Psalmist, 1843, No. 1096. 19. Softly fades the twilight ray. Sunday Evening. Written in 1832, and included in The Psalmist, 1843, No. 56. Also in Lyra Sacra Americana, and several hymn-books. 20. Spirit of holiness, descend. Whitsuntide. Appeared in the Hymns for the Vestry and Fireside, 1841, No. 295, and again in The Psalmist, 1843, No. 384. In the Unitarian Hymns for the Church of Christ, Boston, 1853. St. ii., iii., iv. were given as "Spirit of God, Thy churches wait." This form of the text and the original are both in modern hymn-books. 21. Spirit of peace and holiness. Institution of a Minister. Appeared in The Psalmist, 1843, No. 953, and Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, 1872. 22. The morning light is breaking. Missions. Written in 1832, and included in Hastings's Spiritual Songs, 1832-33, No. 253; and The Psalmist, 1843, No. 912. This hymn is very popular and has been translated into several languages. Dr. Smith says of it that “it has been a great favourite at missionary gatherings, and I have myself heard it sung in five or six different languages in Europe and Asia. It is a favourite with the Burmans, Karens, and Telegus in Asia, from whose lips I have heard it repeatedly.” 23. The Prince of Salvation in triumph is riding. Missions. Given in Hastings and Mason's Spiritual Songs, 1832-33, No. 274; The Psalmist, 1843, and later collections. 24. Tis done, the [important] solemn act is done. Ordination. Appeared in The Psalmist 1843, No. 951, and later hymn-books. 25. Today the Saviour calls. Invitation. First sketch by Dr. Smith, the revised text, as in Hastings and Mason's Spiritual Songs, No. 176, and The Psalmist, No. 453, by Dr. T. Hastings (p. 495, i. 19). 26. Welcome, days of solemn meeting. Special Devotional Services. Written in 1834, and given in Dr. Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, 1872. See No. 8. 27. When shall we meet again ? Parting. This is a cento. The first stanza is from Alaric A. Watts's Poetical Sketches, &c, 1822, p. 158 ; and st. ii.-iv. are by Dr. Smith. In this form it was published in L. Bacon's Supplement to Dwight, 1833, No. 489. It is in several American hymn-books; and also the English Baptist Psalms & Hymns, 1858, &c. 28. When the harvest is past and the summer is gone. Close of Worship. Contributed to Hastings and Mason's Spiritual Songs, 1831, No. 244; and repeated in the Fuller and Jeter Supplement to The Psalmist, 1847, No. 22, and later collections. 29. When thy mortal life is fled. The Judgment. Contributed to Winchell's Additional Hymns, 1832, No. 379, and repeated in The Psalmist, 1843, No. 455, and later hymn-books. Also in Lyra Sacra Americana, 1868. 30. While in this sacred rite of Thine. Holy Baptism. Appeared in The Psalmist, 1843, No. 803: Lyra Sacra Americana, 1868, &c. 31. With willing hearts we tread. Holy Baptism. In The Psalmist, 1843, No. 798; and again in the Baptist Praise Book, 1871. 32. Yes, my native land, I love thee. A Missionary's Farewell. Contributed to Winchell's Additional Hymns, 1832, No. 445, and found in later collections. Also in Lyra Sacra Americana, 1868. [Rev. F. M. Bird, M.A.] --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Felice Giardini

1716 - 1796 Person Name: F. Giardini Composer of "MOSCOW" in The New Canadian Hymnal Felice Giardini (April 12, 1716 – June 8, 1796) was an Italian composer and violinist. See more in: Wikipedia

John S. Dwight

1813 - 1893 Author (st. 3) of "God Bless Our Native Land" in Rejoice in the Lord John Sullivan Dwight, born, in Boston, May 13, 1813, was a virtuoso in music, and an enthusiastic student of the art and science of tonal harmony. He joined a Harvard musical club known as "The Pierian Sodality" while a student at the University, and after his graduation became a prolific writer on musical subjects. Six years of his life were passed in the "Brook Farm Community." He was best known by his serial magazine, Dwight's Journal of Music, which was continued from 1852 to 1881. His death occurred in 1893. The Story of the Hymns and Tunes, Brown & Butterworth, 1906. ===================== Dwight, John Sullivan, son of Timothy Dwight (p. 316, ii.), was born at Boston, U.S.A., May 13, 1812, and educated at Harvard, and at the Cambridge Theological College. He laboured in the ministry for six years, and then devoted himself to literary work. For nearly 30 years he was editor of a Journal of Music. His connection with hymnody is very slight. (See "God bless our native land," p. 1566, i.) --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)

William Walker

1809 - 1875 Person Name: Wm. Walker Composer of "MISSIONARY FAREWELL" in The Southern Harmony, and Musical Companion (New ed. thoroughly rev. and much enl.) William Walker (May 6, 1809 – September 24, 1875) was an American Baptist song leader, shape note "singing master", and compiler of four shape note tunebooks, most notable of which was The Southern Harmony. Life Walker was born in Martin's Mills (near Cross Keys), South Carolina, and grew up near Spartanburg. To distinguish him from other William Walkers in Spartanburg, he was nicknamed Singing Billy. He married Amy Golightly, whose sister Thurza married Benjamin Franklin White, publisher of The Sacred Harp, and died in Spartanburg in 1875. Tunebooks In 1835, Walker published a tunebook entitled The Southern Harmony, using the four-shape shape note system of notation. This collection was revised in 1840, 1847 and 1854. In 1846 he issued The Southern and Western Pocket Harmonist. Intended as an appendix to the Southern Harmony, the Pocket Harmonist contains a large number of camp-meeting songs with refrains. In 1867 (preface signed October 1866), Walker published a tunebook entitled Christian Harmony, in which he adopted a seven shape notation. He incorporated over half of the contents of The Southern Harmony in the Christian Harmony, and he added alto parts to those pieces which had lacked them before. For the additional three shapes, Walker devised his own system - an inverted key-stone for "do", a quarter-moon for "re", and an isosceles triangle for "si" (or "ti"). Walker issued an expanded edition of Christian Harmony in 1873. In the same year, he brought out a collection of Sunday school songs entitled Fruits and Flowers. As composer Walker is listed as the composer of many of the tunes in The Southern Harmony. However, he acknowledged that in many cases, he borrowed his tunes, probably from the living tradition of folk music that surrounded him. Glenn C. Wilcox (references below) describes the process as follows, quoting from Walker's own introduction: to a "great many good airs (which I could not find in any publication, nor in manuscript)" he has written parts and assigned himself as composer. This ... shows his tacit acceptance of the commonality of many of the tunes... and the probability that many had achieved the status of folk song, although he of course did not use that term. In working from original tune to finished hymn, Walker borrowed lyrics from established poets such as Charles Wesley (a common practice in his tradition) and added to the tune just a treble (upper) part and a bass, creating three-part harmony. Legacy Two of Walker's tunebooks remain in print. Facsimiles of his Southern Harmony (1854 edition) continue in use at an annual singing in Benton, Kentucky. His Christian Harmony remains current in two editions: a facsimile reprint of the 1873 edition, and a revision by O.A. Parris and John Deason first published in 1958, employing the more familiar note-shapes of Jesse B. Aiken. Walker's compositions and arrangements are widely sung today by Sacred Harp singers as well as others. His work is represented by 13 songs in the current 1991 "Denson" edition of The Sacred Harp, and by 12 in the "Cooper" edition. According to the collated minutes kept by the Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association, his song "Hallelujah" is sung at Sacred Harp conventions more than any other. The Walker songs are generally sung in four-part versions, with alto parts added by early 20th century composers. Several of the tunes included in Walker's Southern Harmony are utilized in composer Donald Grantham's 1998 work for wind band of the same name. --en.wikipedia.org/

E. O. Excell

1851 - 1921 Person Name: Edwin O. Excell Author of "Our native land" Edwin Othello Excell (December 13, 1851 – June 10, 1921), commonly known as E. O. Excell, was a prominent American publisher, composer, song leader, and singer of music for church, Sunday school, and evangelistic meetings during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Some of the significant collaborators in his vocal and publishing work included Sam P. Jones, William E. Biederwolf, Gipsy Smith, Charles Reign Scoville, J. Wilbur Chapman, W. E. M. Hackleman, Charles H. Gabriel and D. B. Towner. His 1909 stanza selection and arrangement of "Amazing Grace" became the most widely used and familiar setting of that hymn by the second half of the twentieth century. The influence of his sacred music on American popular culture through revival meetings, religious conventions, circuit chautauquas, and church hymnals was substantial enough by the 1920s to garner a satirical reference by Sinclair Lewis in the novel Elmer Gantry. Excell compiled or contributed to about ninety secular and sacred song books and is estimated to have written, composed, or arranged more than two thousand of the songs he published. The music publishing business he started in 1881 and that eventually bore his name was the highest volume producer of hymnbooks in America at the time of his death. Excell was the son of German Reformed minister and self-published author J. J. Excell. He was born in Uniontown, Stark County, Ohio and attended public schools in Ohio and Pennsylvania. After marrying in 1871 near Brady's Bend, Pennsylvania, he relocated to that state and supported his family for several years as a plasterer, bricklayer, and singing instructor. His focus was turned to sacred music through his experience leading songs at revivals and worship services of Methodist Episcopal churches, first in East Brady and then, starting in 1881, Oil City, Pennsylvania. Between 1877 and 1883 he studied music formally at the Normal Musical Institutes of George F. Root where he also received vocal training under Root's son, Frederick. He moved to Chicago, base of Root's operations, in 1883 to pursue music publishing in earnest. Excell was described as "a big, robust six-footer, with a six-in caliber voice" and extraordinary range that enabled him to solo as baritone or tenor. Publisher George H. Doran observed him leading songs at a revival and later noted that Excell "was a master of mass control; he might easily have become conductor of some mighty chorus". These talents fostered his early success as a rural singing teacher in Pennsylvania and helped secure a position as church choirmaster for the two years preceding his move to Illinois. Two important contacts made during his early years in Chicago were Benjamin F. Jacobs and John H. Vincent. Both men had been heavily involved with the uniform Sunday school lesson system established among many Protestant denominations during the early 1870s. Vincent was also co-founder of the original Chautauqua Assembly and involved with the burgeoning church youth movements of the era, such as Christian Endeavor and Epworth Leagues. Excell assisted with the music of their Sunday school work for at least two years and later served as music editor for correspondence courses Vincent established through the Chautauqua Press. He also performed as a vocalist for programs at the Chautauqua Institution. Insights gained from these associations were significant in that much of what Excell would later publish targeted Sunday school and youth program music needs. The Methodist Episcopal church of Excell's day was still divided into northern and southern denominations created by an antebellum split. Excell and Vincent were affiliated with the northern branch known as the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1885 he met Sam P. Jones, a Georgia evangelist of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and was invited to join him as vocalist the following year, which included a campaign in Toronto during October, 1886. Jones' musical director at that time was Marcellus J. Maxwell of Oxford, Georgia. He was also a capable singer and songwriter, though more reserved than Excell. They became an effective musical team known informally as "Ex and Max". At some point prior to 1895, Excell became the principal song leader and vocalist Jones referred to as "this big-hearted, noble soul ..., my chorister, Brother Excell." The respect was mutual and good natured. In 1887 Excell wrote and published a spiritualized rendition of "one of the trite sayings of the Reverend Sam P. Jones" titled You Better Quit Your Meanness. It was dedicated to Jones by "his Co-Worker, E. O. Excell". They worked together throughout the United States and Canada until Jones' death in 1906. Though their twenty year partnership was not exclusive, it was one of the most significant influences on Excell's career. While serving as Jones' chorister, Excell became adept at crafting large volunteer choirs out of recruits from multiple local churches that had never sung together before. These combined revival and evangelistic meeting choirs typically had fewer than 400 participants. However, William Shaw of Christian Endeavor listed Excell among Ira Sankey, Homer Rodeheaver, and other distinguished musicians who had led choirs in the range of one thousand to four thousand voices at their conventions. Excell assisted a number of other evangelists and religious conference leaders in various musical capacities. He worked as a vocalist for William E. Biederwolf, a Presbyterian minister active with the Winona Lake Bible Conference and its related chautauqua, with whom he also collaborated on a number of hymnbooks. During the final decade of his life he assisted with the music program of British evangelist Gipsy Smith. Excell compiled a collection of hymns and gospel songs around 1880 which was published as Sacred Echoes by John J. Hood of Philadelphia in 1881, the year he marked as his start in the business. Sing the Gospel, published around the time of the move to Chicago, was issued under the "E. O. Excell" imprint. Echoes of Eden followed two years later in 1884. An archetype of later "combined" song books was produced in 1885 when contents of Sing the Gospel, Echoes of Eden and limited new material were repackaged into The Gospel in Song, a hymnbook later advertised to contain the songs and solos sung by Excell at Sam Jones' Gospel meetings. The working relationship initiated with Jones in 1886 proved to be a pattern of the age. A contemporary writer explained that prominent evangelists always "had their leading singers, they were billed on the hoardings of the cities after the manner of theatrical companies -- Moody and Sankey; Sam Jones and Excell; Chapman and Alexander; Torrey and Towner; and so on." The promotional benefit for a sacred music publisher was enormous. Excell's books were used in Jones' revivals and the contents revised over time to suit changing preferences and the needs of the campaigns. Three song books aimed at different applications were published in 1886 and 1887. All three became series that ran through most of the years Excell was affiliated with Jones' ministry: Excell's Anthems (1886) for choirs was followed by volumes 2 through 6 and three combined editions of which Excell's Anthems, Vols. 5 & 6 Combined (1899) was the last. Excell's School Songs (1887) for school, class, and home use was followed by numbers 2 through 4 and two combined editions ending with Excell's School Songs, Nos. 3 & 4 Combined (1903). Triumphant Songs (1887) for Sunday schools and revivals was followed by numbers 2 through 5 and two combined editions (Nos. 1 & 2 and Nos. 3 & 4). The last book in this series was Triumphant Songs No. 5 (1896). Make His Praise Glorious, published in 1900 as the Triumphant Songs series was approaching its end, contained Excell's initial arrangement of Amazing Grace based upon the tune New Britain. He compiled and published at least another six song books with the E. O. Excell imprint during his final years with Jones. Excell and his song books received significant exposure in the majority of U.S. states and Canadian provinces of his day during the twenty years they worked together. Collaborations-- Only about seven new song books were published by Excell under his own imprint in the years following Jones' death, though the annual quantity of books sold still managed to more than double during that time. The business changed to involve a greater number of collaborations destined for other publishers and private label printing of denominational hymnals. Some of the most substantial were: Methodist Episcopal - Early collaborations were established through Excell's Methodist connections. Two hymnbooks were compiled for the Book Concerns of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1897 and 1899. Unfortunately his relationships with the publishing authorities within this northern branch of American Methodism were irreconcilably damaged in 1900 by the aftermath of a book contract he allegedly negotiated directly with the General Secretary of the Epworth League. However, opportunites with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South were unaffected and at least four hymnbooks were produced between 1909 and 1918 with W. C. Everett, manager of the Methodist Publishing House in Dallas, Texas. Charles Reign Scoville - At least three hymnbooks were compiled with this evangelist of the Christian Church and director of the Winona Assembly and Summer School Association for his C. R. Scoville imprint between 1909 and about 1915. W. E. M. Hackleman - Five or more hymn collections were produced between 1910 and 1914 with this Christian Church musician and published by the Christian Board of Publication or Hackleman Music Company. Hackleman also worked on another three collections credited to Excell that were published posthumously. William E. Biederwolf - Three hymn collections and a combined edition were developed with this Presbyterian evangelist between 1912 and 1917 for Glad Tidings Publishing Company. Excell had also been listed earlier as a special contributor on Hymns of His Praise No. 2 that Biederwolf compiled in 1906 with assistance from Homer Rodeheaver. One other hymn book, "Songs of the Evangelist" crediting both Biederwolf and Excell as contributors, was published posthumously in 1925. Hope Publishing Company - "Joy to the World" was compiled in 1915 for this publishing firm of another Chicago Methodist, Henry S. Date. While Excell continued to publish collections under his own imprint, he worked on another three Hope hymnbooks with Date's successors through 1919. Single song book collaborations - Excell worked on one-book projects with a diverse number of his contemporaries. Some of the more notable included: William Shaw - Treasurer of Christian Endeavor on Jubilant Praise (1900). J. Wilbur Chapman - Evangelist known for his work with singer Charles Alexander and moderator of the Presbyterian General Assembly on Winona Hymns (1906). D. B. Towner - Vocalist and musician with D. L. Moody's organization on Famous Gospel Hymns (1907). French E. Oliver - Presbyterian evangelist and protégé of Charles Alexander on Oliver's Songs of Deliverance (1910). Theodore M. Hammond - Congregational founder of Hammond Publishing of Milwaukee and regent of University of Wisconsin on The Very Best Songs for Sunday School (1911). Marion Lawrance - Congregational Sunday school superintendent (laity) and general secretary of the International Sunday School Association on Eternal Praise (1917). The portfolios of copyrights for contemporary songs and plates for classic hymns that Excell accumulated as a publisher and composer also led to printing work on denominational hymnals. He produced the 1909 edition of Spiritual Hymns of Brethren in Christ in which he held copyrights for about one third of the six hundred songs selected by the hymnal committee. Another example was the original edition of Great Songs of the Church which he produced for the Churches of Christ in 1921. Excell developed approximately fifty song books and contributed to at least another thirty-eight over his forty-year publishing career. By 1914, his company had produced close to 10 million books and was selling them at a rate of nearly a half million per year. Annual output had grown to more than a million books by 1921, though with margins at wholesale levels. Excell's only child, William Alonzo, participated in both the musical event and publishing businesses. At least one publication, Chorus Choir Selections (1918), bore the "E. O. Excell & Son" imprint. "E. O. Excell Company" was utilized on publications created after the founder's death. Excell's grandson, known as E. O. Excell, Jr, was also engaged in the family publishing business by 1927. Estimates of the number of songs authored, composed, or arranged by Excell range from two to three thousand. Two that remain well known are his 1909 arrangement of John Newton's Amazing Grace and the tune he composed for Johnson Oatman's Count Your Blessings. Excell fell ill while assisting Gipsy Smith with a revival in Louisville, Kentucky and returned to Chicago to be hospitalized. He died on June 10, 1921 after more than thirty weeks in Wesley Memorial Hospital. Colleagues at the International Sunday School Association, where he had served for thirty-six years, said the following of him at their next convention: “Mr. Excell will be remembered as the great song leader. Probably no man who ever lived, and certainly in this country, was more capable than he in directing great audiences in singing. He was large of body and happy in his disposition. He was never known to lose his temper or his smile in his endeavor to make the people sing.” —Herbert H. Smith, (ed.), Organized Sunday School Work in North America, 1918-1922 At least five books listing him as a contributor were published posthumously. One of these was The Excell Hymnal published by his company in 1925; it was completed by his long-time collaborators Hamp Sewell and W. E. M. Hackleman as "a fitting climax to its long line of illustrious predecessors". Heirs sold the large E. O. Excell Company copyright portfolio to the Hope Publishing Company in 1931 which they combined with their prior acquisition of a former Ira Sankey firm to create the Biglow-Main-Excell Company. The most popular Excell compositions at the time of the sale were "I'll Be a Sunbeam" and "Count Your Blessings." --en.wikipedia.org/

E. A. Hoffman

1839 - 1929 Person Name: Elisha A. Hoffman Author of "Our dear native land" in Bells of Heaven Elisha Hoffman (1839-1929) after graduating from Union Seminary in Pennsylvania was ordained in 1868. As a minister he was appointed to the circuit in Napoleon, Ohio in 1872. He worked with the Evangelical Association's publishing arm in Cleveland for eleven years. He served in many chapels and churches in Cleveland and in Grafton in the 1880s, among them Bethel Home for Sailors and Seamen, Chestnut Ridge Union Chapel, Grace Congregational Church and Rockport Congregational Church. In his lifetime he wrote more than 2,000 gospel songs including"Leaning on the everlasting arms" (1894). The fifty song books he edited include Pentecostal Hymns No. 1 and The Evergreen, 1873. Mary Louise VanDyke ============ Hoffman, Elisha Albright, author of "Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?" (Holiness desired), in I. D. Sankey's Sacred Songs and Solos, 1881, was born in Pennsylvania, May 7, 1839. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907) ==============

Henry Carey

1687 - 1743 Person Name: Henry Carey, 1685-1743 Composer of "AMERICA" in Hymnal and Order of Service Henry Carey, b. 1685 (?); d. London, 1743 Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal, 1908

Joseph P. Holbrook

1822 - 1888 Person Name: Joseph Perry Holbrook Composer of "SEGUR" in The Cyber Hymnal Joseph P. Holbrook was a tune writer in the parlor music style, and used the popular melodies of Mason and Hastings, Bradbury and Root, Greatorex and Kingsley in his collections. He furnished settings for the choir hymns in Songs for the Sanctuary in his Quartet and chorus Choir (New York, 1871, and sought more recogniation than had been given him in a hymnal of his own, Worship in Song (New York, 1880); a book that found no welcome. from The English hymn: its development and use in worship By Louis FitzGerald Benson

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