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. Ashwell
  4. Ain
  5. Alvan
  6. Amboy
  7. Antioch
  8. Anvern
  9. Ariel
  10. Arnville
  11. Azmon
  12. Baim
  13. Bealoth
  14. Bethany
  15. Boylston
  16. Brattle Street
  17. Brest
  18. Capello
  19. Carnes
  20. Chimes
  21. Corydon
  22. Coventry
  23. Cowper
  24. Danvers
  25. Das Lieben Bringt Groß Freud
  26. Dennis
  27. Dort
  28. Downs
  29. Eden
  30. Eltham
  31. Ernan
  32. Evan
  33. Farnham
  34. Gerar
  35. Gregorian
  36. Haddam
  37. Hamburg
  38. Hanwell
  39. Hartel (similar to Meribah)
  40. Harwell
  41. Hebron
  42. Hendon
  43. Henley
  44. Hermon
  45. Highton
  46. Illa
  47. Ingham
  48. Kane
  49. Laban
  50. Langdon
  51. Leni
  52. Malvern
  53. Mendebras
  54. Meribah
  55. Migdol
  56. Missionary Hymn
  57. Mond
  58. Mount Vernon
  59. Mount Zion
  60. Nain
  61. Naomi
  62. Nashville
  63. Nayton
  64. Norwich
  65. Oak
  66. Oliphant
  67. Olivet
  68. Olmutz
  69. Ostend
  70. Putney
  71. Ripley
  72. Rockingham
  73. Rodman
  74. Sabbath
  75. Selvin
  76. Serug
  77. Shawmut
  78. Snowfield
  79. Star of Peace
  80. Trell
  81. Uxbridge
  82. Ward
  83. Watchman
  84. Wesley
  85. Wilmot
  86. Work Song
  87. Zebulon
  88. Zerah