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 Friedrich Leopold 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. Ahaz
  5. Ain
  6. Alvan
  7. Amboy
  8. Anah
  9. Antioch
  10. Anvern
  11. Apheka
  12. Arfau
  13. Ariel
  14. Arnville
  15. Ashwell
  16. Ayrton
  17. Azmon
  18. Baim
  19. Ballington
  20. Bealoth
  21. Beer-Shean
  22. Beethoven
  23. Belville
  24. Bethany
  25. Boylston
  26. Bradnor
  27. Brattle Street
  28. Brentford
  29. Brest
  30. Capello
  31. Carmi
  32. Carnes
  33. Chimes
  34. Claremont
  35. Corydon
  36. Coventry
  37. Cowper
  38. Cyprus
  39. Dallas
  40. Danvers
  41. Darien
  42. Das Lieben Bringt Groß Freud
  43. Dennis
  44. Dort
  45. Downs
  46. Eden
  47. El Paran
  48. Eltham
  49. Ernan
  50. Evan
  51. Farnham
  52. Ford
  53. Frenor
  54. Gadara
  55. Gerar
  56. Gregorian
  57. Haddam
  58. Hamburg
  59. Hamul
  60. Hanwell
  61. Hartel (similar to Meribah)
  62. Harwell
  63. Harwich
  64. Hebron
  65. Hendon
  66. Henley
  67. Hermon
  68. Highton
  69. Hilkiah
  70. Hirah
  71. Illa
  72. Ingham
  73. Iscah
  74. Israel
  75. Inverness
  76. Kane
  77. Kimball
  78. Laban
  79. Langdon
  80. Leni
  81. Litchfield
  82. Lowell
  83. Luz
  84. Malvern
  85. Mendebras
  86. Merdin
  87. Meribah
  88. Migdol
  89. Missionary Hymn
  90. Mond
  91. Moriah
  92. Mount Vernon
  93. Mount Zion
  94. Murphy
  95. Murray
  96. Nain
  97. Naomi
  98. Nashville
  99. Nayton
  100. Norwich
  101. Oak
  102. Oliphant
  103. Olivet
  104. Olmutz
  105. Olney
  106. Orrington
  107. Orwell
  108. Ostend
  109. Ottawa
  110. Ovio
  111. Parbar
  112. Peal
  113. Penfield
  114. Punon
  115. Putney
  116. Reo
  117. Ripley
  118. Rockingham
  119. Rodman
  120. Rowley
  121. Sabbath
  122. Sale
  123. Selvin
  124. Serug
  125. Shalem
  126. Shawmut
  127. Shinar
  128. Snowfield
  129. Star of Peace
  130. Timna
  131. Trell
  132. Upton
  133. Ur
  134. Uxbridge
  135. Ward
  136. Watchman
  137. Wesley
  138. Whiteland
  139. Wilbraham
  140. Wilmot
  141. Work Song
  142. Wye
  143. Zebulon
  144. Zerah