Mason, Lowell, 1792-1872

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American composer and music educator.

From the description of The Lowell Mason papers, 1813-1980 (inclusive). (Yale University). WorldCat record id: 702190298

From the description of The Lowell Mason papers, 1813-1980 (inclusive). (Yale University). WorldCat record id: 122354720

Lowell Mason (1792-1872), musical educator and hymn writer, was born in Medfield, Massachusetts. In 1812 he came to Savannah as a bank clerk. In Savannah, he taught singing, and was the organist and Sunday School teacher for the Independent Presbyterian Church. He left Savannah in 1827. With F.L. Abel he published The Boston Handel and Haydn Society's Collection of Church Music (1822), which was republished in many later editions.

From the description of Lowell Mason letter, 1819-1821. (Georgia Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 122932079

American music educator, composer, anthologist, and conductor.

From the description of Autograph letter signed, dated : South Orange, N. J., 26 January 1858, to [William] Noetling, 1858 Jan. 26. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270581933

Composer, educator.

Mason Lowell was born in Medfield, Massachusetts. He had been a church organist/choir director when he published a successful hymn collection in 1822, some of its melodies adopted from classical composers. In 1832 he co-founded the Boston Academy of Music, which gave instruction to adults and children. A pedagogue of great influence and importance for American music, he remained a prolific arranger and composer of hymns.

From the description of Letters, 1869. (Florida State University). WorldCat record id: 50658923

Lowell Mason, who has been called as "the father of American Church music," was born in Medfield, Massachusetts on 8 January 1792. He came from a musical family, and as a boy he played a wide variety of instruments and attended singing schools. By the age of 16, he was directing his own church choir.

From 1813 to 1827, he lived in Savannah, Georgia, where worked as a businessman and church musician, and studied music with Frederick Abel. In 1822 Mason published a compilation of hymns from a variety of sources under the title The Boston Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music . It proved to be a resounding success, and went through some 22 editions. In the ensuing decades, Mason would publish a vast amount of music, the majority of it intended for practical use in churches and schools. In addition to his work as an editor and arranger, Mason composed many hymns of his own, including "Nearer, My God to Thee," "My Faith Looks Up to Thee," and "From Greenland's Icy Mountains."

In 1827 Mason moved to Boston, where he held a series of increasingly prominent positions as a church musician, and became president of the Boston Handel and Haydn Society. He also developed an extraordinary reputation as a music educator. Beginning as a Sunday school teacher, Mason taught in private schools, established the Boston Academy of Music, organized teacher training conventions, and published numerous pedagogical works. A pioneering advocate for the place of music in public education, he served as superintendent of music in the Boston school system from 1837 to 1851.

In 1837 and again in 1851-1853, Mason traveled to Europe, where he met musicians and educators, delivered lectures, and purchased large numbers of books, scores, and manuscripts, including the library of the German organist J.C.H. Rinck.

In 1854 Mason settled in Orange, New Jersey, where he died on August 11, 1872. The Mason name remained a prominent part of the American musical scene, however, thanks to his sons Daniel Gregory and Lowell (both music publishers), his son William (a pianist), his son Henry (founder of the Mason & Hamlin piano manufacturing company), and his grandson Daniel Gregory (a composer and professor at Columbia University).

From the guide to the The Lowell Mason Papers, 1813-1980 (inclusive), (Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University)

Lowell Mason, born in Medfield, Massachusetts, began his musical training in a singing school under the direction of Amos Albee, compiler of The Norfolk Collection of Sacred Harmony and studied music with Oliver Shaw, a blind composer of hymn tunes and ballads. In addition to learning several instruments, he began directing his church choir and the local Medfield band at the age of 16.

After moving to Savannah, Georgia, Mason continued his leadership role as a superintendent of the Sunday school of the Independent Presbyterian Church, later becoming the choir director and organist. In addition to leading many singing schools and concerts, he also began studying harmony and composition with German-born musician Frederick L. Abel. It was under his direction that Mason began composing hymn tunes and anthems.

His success as choirmaster and author brought him to Boston, where he began to supervise music in three Congregational churches and also served as choirmaster and organist. Along with George James Webb, Mason established the Boston Academy of Music in order to promote music education on a larger scale. In addition to establishing curricular music in American public schools and teacher training in music, he is also known for the success of his compositions and arrangements of hymn tunes and tune books. These include his compilation of hymns in the collection of melodies, The Boston Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music . Some of his other publications, mostly written for church or school, include The Juvenile Psalmist, The Juvenile Lyre, and The Manual of the Boston Academy of Music .

From the guide to the Lowell Mason Collection, 1808-1992, 1820-1941, (Special Collections in Performing Arts)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Mason, Lowell, 1792-1872. Letters, 1869. Florida State University
creatorOf Mason, Lowell, 1792-1872. Lowell Mason letter, 1819-1821. Georgia Historical Society
creatorOf Mason, Lowell, 1792-1872. Autograph letter signed Lowell Mason to: "Theodore Tilson, Esq." September 17, 1864. Wellesley College
creatorOf Mason, Lowell, 1792-1872. Manuscript hymn book, ca. 1875-1895. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Mason, Lowell, 1792-1872. Nearer my God to Thee / Lowell Mason ; arranged by James Paul Kennedy. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
referencedIn Harry Angelo scrapbooks, ca. 1855-1894. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Autograph letter signed from Lowell Mason (1792-1872) to B. L. Goulding, October 9, 1869 and envelope and transmittal letter, October 9, 1869-March 7, 1973
creatorOf Van Vactor, David, 1906-1994. [Christmas carols] Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750. [Preludes and fugues for the organ] [microform]. Yale University Library
referencedIn Clark, Frances Elliott. Frances Elliott Clark papers, 1890-1963 (1911-1957). University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
creatorOf Mason, Lowell, 1792-1872. Lowell Mason Papers, n.d. Peabody Essex Museum
creatorOf The Lowell Mason Papers, 1813-1980 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
creatorOf Taylor, Marilyn, soprano. The household muse [sound recording] : music in the American home, 1814-1870. University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Semans Library
creatorOf Yale University. Music Library. Partitura über Chor-Stücke zu Darmstadt, 1789 [microform] Yale University Library
creatorOf Mason, Lowell, 1792-1872. Letter, 1858, March 13, Andover, Mass., to Rev. Mr. Nason. Brown University, John Hay Library
referencedIn Scarlatti, Alessandro, 1660-1725. Miserere : a due canti, alto, ten. e basso con violini e viole : 1714 / del cavaliere Alessandro Scarlatti. Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Yale University. Music Library. [Keyboard music] Yale University Library
creatorOf Yale University. Music Library. [Choräle ohne Text] Yale University Library
creatorOf Evett, Robert, 1922-1975. Joy to the world : 43 / [Robert Evett]. Library of Congress
creatorOf Mason, Lowell, 1792-1872. The Lowell Mason papers, 1813-1980 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Scoville, Clarence A. Nearer, my God to Thee / music by Clarence A. Scoville ; words by L. Mason. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Hymn writers and composers collection, 1878-1975. Billy Graham Center Archives, BGC Archives
referencedIn West, Richardson & Lord. Business records, 1792-1855. American Antiquarian Society
West, Richardson & Lord. Business records, 1792-1855. American Antiquarian Society
referencedIn Mason, Daniel Gregory, 1873-1953. Papers of Daniel Gregory Mason [manuscript], 1911 and 1938. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Oliver, Henry K. (Henry Kemble), 1800-1885. Notes on old hundred / by Lowell Mason and H. K. Oliver. manuscripts Harvard Musical Association
creatorOf Mason, Lowell, 1792-1872. Music Charts. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Mason, William, 1829-1908. Lowell Mason collection, 1808-1992 (bulk 1820-1941). University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
creatorOf Yale University. Music Library. Orgelstücke verschiedener Art von mehreren Organisten [microform] Yale University Library
referencedIn Sheldon, E. A. (Edward Austin), 1823-1897. Papers of the college presidents : Edward Austin Sheldon. 1819-1897. SUNY Oswego, Penfield Library
creatorOf Mason, Lowell, 1792-1872. Autograph letter signed, dated : South Orange, N. J., 26 January 1858, to [William] Noetling, 1858 Jan. 26. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Mason, Lowell, 1792-1872. The Lowell Mason papers, 1813-1980 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Scarlatti, Alessandro, 1660-1725. Miserere a due canti, alto, ten. e basso con violini e viole 1714 [microform] / del cavaliere Alessandro Scarlatti. Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Yale University. Music Library. [Keyboard music] [microform] Yale University Library
referencedIn Independent Presbyterian Church (Savannah, Ga.). Independent Presbyterian Church records, 1800-1960 [microform]. Emory University Library, Special Collect Department
referencedIn Baldwin, D. H. (Dwight Hamilton), 1821-1899. Autograph letter signed, dated : Cincinnati, 24 November 1869, to Estey & Co., 1869 Nov. 24. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Lowell Mason Collection, 1808-1992, 1820-1941 University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
creatorOf Mason, Lowell, 1792-1872. Blest be the tie that binds / Lowell Mason ; [arr. by] James Paul Kennedy. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
referencedIn Barnard, Henry, 1811-1900. Papers, 1765-1935 (bulk 1830-1899) Fales Library & Special Collections
creatorOf Mason, Lowell, 1792-1872. [Lowell Mason codex : organ music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries] Yale University Library
referencedIn LaFar, Margaret Freeman, 1905-1987. Margaret Freeman LaFar collection on Lowell Mason 1942-1953 Georgia Historical Society
referencedIn Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church (Manhattan, New York, N.Y.). Records, 1808-1983. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Norden, Hugo, 1909-1986. Festival partita on a theme of Lowell Mason / by Hugo Norden. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Yale University. Music Library. Orgelstücke verschiedener Art von mehreren Organisten. Yale University Library
referencedIn Frances Elliott Clark Papers, 1890-1963, 1911-1957 University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
creatorOf Mason, Lowell, 1792-1872. Stelling collection, 1860s. Battle of Lexington State Historic Site
creatorOf Yale University. Music Library. Partitura über Chor-Stücke zu Darmstadt, 1789. Yale University Library
referencedIn Evarts family papers, 1753-1960 (bulk 1798-1901) Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf Yale University. Music Library. [Choräle ohne Text] [microform] Yale University Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Angelo, Harry. person
associatedWith Appel, Richard G. (Richard Gilmore) person
associatedWith Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750. person
associatedWith Bacon, George B. (George Blagden), 1836-1876. person
associatedWith Baldwin, D. H. (Dwight Hamilton), 1821-1899. person
associatedWith Barnard, Henry, 1811-1900 person
associatedWith Bartholomew, Ann Sheppard (Mounsey) person
associatedWith Clark, Frances Elliott. person
associatedWith Curwen, John, 1816-1880. person
associatedWith Damrosch, Frank, 1859-1937. person
associatedWith Dearing, Rachel R. person
associatedWith Dickinson, Edward, 1853-1946. person
associatedWith Earhart, Will. person
associatedWith Erk, Ludwig, 1807-1883. person
associatedWith Evarts family family
associatedWith Evarts family. family
associatedWith Evett, Robert, 1922-1975. person
associatedWith Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church (Manhattan, New York, N.Y.). corporateBody
associatedWith Flueckiger, Samuel Lehmann person
associatedWith Foster, Frank Hugh, 1851-1935. person
associatedWith Goldwin, J. person
associatedWith Gould family. family
correspondedWith Goulding, B. L. person
associatedWith Handel, George Frideric person
associatedWith Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759. person
associatedWith Highland Avenue Congregational Church (Orange, N. J.) person
associatedWith Hiller, Johann Adam? person
associatedWith Hood, George. person
associatedWith Hood, George. person
associatedWith Howard, John Tasker person
associatedWith Independent Presbyterian Church (Savannah, Ga.) corporateBody
associatedWith Kennedy, James Paul. person
associatedWith Kirk, Edward Norris, 1802-1874. person
associatedWith Krohn, Ernst C. (Ernst Christopher), 1888-1975. person
associatedWith LaFar, Margaret Freeman, 1905-1987 person
associatedWith Larremore, Thomas A. person
associatedWith Lord, Melvin, 1791-1876. person
associatedWith Lyon, Mary, 1797-1849. person
associatedWith Mann, Horace, 1796-1859. person
associatedWith Marx, Adolf Berhard, 1795?-1866. person
associatedWith Mason, Abigail Gregory. person
associatedWith Mason, Daniel Gregory, 1873-1953. person
associatedWith Mason, Henry Lowell, 1864-1957. person
associatedWith Mason, William, 1829-1908. person
associatedWith Milligan, Harold Vincent, 1888-1951. person
associatedWith Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913. person
associatedWith Mounsey, Ann Sheppard person
associatedWith Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 1756-1791. person
associatedWith Nägeli, Hans Georg, 1773-1836. person
associatedWith Nason, Rev., person
associatedWith Neukomm, Sigismund, Ritter von, 1778-1858. person
associatedWith Noetling, William, person
associatedWith Norden, Hugo, 1909-1986. person
associatedWith Oliver, Henry K. (Henry Kemble), 1800-1885 person
associatedWith O'Meara, Eva Judd person
associatedWith Palmer, Charles Ray, 1834-1914. person
associatedWith Park, Edwards Amasa, 1808-1900. person
associatedWith Parker. person
associatedWith Perry, George Frederick? person
associatedWith Rich, Arthur Lowndes person
associatedWith Romberg, Andreas Jakob? person
associatedWith Root, Frederic W. (Frederic Woodman), 1846-1916. person
associatedWith Savoni. person
associatedWith Scarlatti, Alessandro, 1660-1725. person
associatedWith Scoville, Clarence A. person
associatedWith Seward, Theodore R. person
associatedWith Sheldon, E. A. (Edward Austin), 1823-1897. person
associatedWith Smith, Carleton Sprague, 1905- person
associatedWith Smith, Carleton Sprague, 1905-1994. person
associatedWith Thayer, Alexander Wheelock, 1817-1897. person
associatedWith Tilson, Theodore. person
associatedWith Tourjée, Eben, 1834-1891. person
associatedWith Webb, George James, 1803-1887. person
associatedWith West, Richardson & Lord. corporateBody
associatedWith Whittemore, Thomas, 1800-1861. person
associatedWith Winicker, A. C. person
associatedWith Yale University. person
associatedWith Yale University. Music Library. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Medford (Mass.)
Georgia
United States
Subject
Composers--19th century
Arrangement (music)
Music
Music--United States--19th century
Songs
Composers--United States--19th century--Archives
Hymns
Composers--Diaries
Composers
Music--20th century
Piano music
Music--19th century
Music teachers--United States--19th century--Archives
Church music--United States--19th century
Teachers--19th century
Organ music, Arranged
Variations (Violin)
Composers--Correspondence
Music--United States--20th century
Music--Instruction and study--United States--19th century
Violin music, Arranged
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1792-01-08

Death 1872-08-11

Americans

English

Information

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