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