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. Kimball
  64. Laban
  65. Langdon
  66. Leni
  67. Litchfield
  68. Lowell
  69. Malvern
  70. Mendebras
  71. Meribah
  72. Migdol
  73. Missionary Hymn
  74. Mond
  75. Moriah
  76. Mount Vernon
  77. Mount Zion
  78. Murphy
  79. Murray
  80. Nain
  81. Naomi
  82. Nashville
  83. Nayton
  84. Norwich
  85. Oak
  86. Oliphant
  87. Olivet
  88. Olmutz
  89. Olney
  90. Orrington
  91. Ostend
  92. Ovio
  93. Peal
  94. Putney
  95. Reo
  96. Ripley
  97. Rockingham
  98. Rodman
  99. Sabbath
  100. Sale
  101. Selvin
  102. Serug
  103. Shalem
  104. Shawmut
  105. Snowfield
  106. Star of Peace
  107. Timna
  108. Trell
  109. Ur
  110. Uxbridge
  111. Ward
  112. Watchman
  113. Wesley
  114. Whiteland
  115. Wilbraham
  116. Wilmot
  117. Work Song
  118. Wye
  119. Zebulon
  120. Zerah