Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Lowell Mason (January 8, 1792 – August 11, 1872)



Lowell Mason was a leading figure in American church music, the composer of over 1600 hymn tunes, many of which are often sung today. Mason was born and grew
up in Medfield, Massachusetts, where he became the Music Director of First Parish (now First Parish Unitarian Universalist) Church at age 17. His most well-known tunes include his arrangement of "Joy to the World" and "Bethany", his setting of the hymn, "Nearer, My God, to Thee". He was largely responsible for introducing music into American public schools, and is considered to be the first important music educator in the United States. In the last part of his career, as music director of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, he radically transformed American church music from a practice of having professional choirs and accompaniment to congregational singing accompanied by organ music.

In 1860 Mason retired to his estate in Orange, New Jersey and died on August 11, 1872.

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