1792-1872
portrait
portrait

January 8, 1792, Medfield, Massachusetts.

August 11, 1872, Orange, New Jersey.

Rosedale Cemetery, Orange, New Jersey.

portrait

Lowell was the son of Johnson Mason and Caty Hartshorn, and husband of Abigail Gregory.

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