1792-1872
portrait
portrait

January 8, 1792, Medfield, Massachusetts.

August 11, 1872, Orange, New Jersey.

Rosedale Cemetery, Orange, New Jersey.

portrait

Mason showed an intense interest in music from childhood. He lived in Savannah, Georgia, for 15 years, working as a bank clerk, but pursuing his true love—music—on the side. He studied with F. I. Abel, improving his skills to the point where he began composing his own music. Numerous publishers in Philadelphia and Boston rejected his early work, until it was finally accepted in 1822 by the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston, Massachusetts, his native state. However, the collection did not even carry Mason’s name:

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.

Little did he know that rejected collection would eventually go through 17 editions (some sources say 21) and sell 50,000 copies. It was adopted by singing schools in New England, and eventually church choirs.

After seeing the success of his work, Mason returned to Boston in 1826. He also became the director of music at the Hanover, Green, and Park Street churches, alternating six months with each congregation. Finally, he made a permanent arrangement with the Bowdoin Street Church, though he still held his job as teller at the American Bank. Music continued to pull on him, though; he became president of the Handel and Haydn Society in 1827.

It was in Boston that Mason became the first music teacher in an American public school. In 1833, he co-founded the Boston Academy of Music; in 1838, he became music superintendent for the Boston school system. Lowell Mason wrote over 1,600 religious works, and is often called the father of American church music. His works include:

  1. Admah
  2. Adwell
  3. Ae
  4. Ain
  5. Alvan
  6. Amboy
  7. Antioch
  8. Anvern
  9. Apheka
  10. Arfau
  11. Ariel
  12. Arnville
  13. Ashwell
  14. Ayrton
  15. Azmon
  16. Baim
  17. Ballington
  18. Bealoth
  19. Belville
  20. Bethany
  21. Boylston
  22. Bradnor
  23. Brattle Street
  24. Brentford
  25. Brest
  26. Capello
  27. Carnes
  28. Chimes
  29. Corydon
  30. Coventry
  31. Cowper
  32. Cyprus
  33. Danvers
  34. Darien
  35. Das Lieben Bringt Groß Freud
  36. Dennis
  37. Dort
  38. Downs
  39. Eden
  40. El Paran
  41. Eltham
  42. Ernan
  43. Evan
  44. Farnham
  45. Ford
  46. Frenor
  47. Gerar
  48. Gregorian
  49. Haddam
  50. Hamburg
  51. Hanwell
  52. Hartel (similar to Meribah)
  53. Harwell
  54. Hebron
  55. Hendon
  56. Henley
  57. Hermon
  58. Highton
  59. Illa
  60. Ingham
  61. Kane
  62. Laban
  63. Langdon
  64. Leni
  65. Lowell
  66. Malvern
  67. Mendebras
  68. Meribah
  69. Migdol
  70. Missionary Hymn
  71. Mond
  72. Moriah
  73. Mount Vernon
  74. Mount Zion
  75. Murphy
  76. Murray
  77. Nain
  78. Naomi
  79. Nashville
  80. Nayton
  81. Norwich
  82. Oak
  83. Oliphant
  84. Olivet
  85. Olmutz
  86. Olney
  87. Orrington
  88. Ostend
  89. Ovio
  90. Peal
  91. Putney
  92. Reo
  93. Ripley
  94. Rockingham
  95. Rodman
  96. Sabbath
  97. Sale
  98. Selvin
  99. Serug
  100. Shalem
  101. Shawmut
  102. Snowfield
  103. Star of Peace
  104. Timna
  105. Trell
  106. Ur
  107. Uxbridge
  108. Ward
  109. Watchman
  110. Wesley
  111. Whiteland
  112. Wilbraham
  113. Wilmot
  114. Work Song
  115. Wye
  116. Zebulon
  117. Zerah