Lowell Mason

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Biography

Born: January 8, 1792; Medfield, MA   Died: August 11, 1872; Orange, NJ  
During America's early years, there was a great deal of music-making, but little or no organized musical instruction. This composer of hymns, anthologist, and church choir conductor was a pioneer who worked through publishing, church organizations, and school systems to provide an invaluable direction.

Growing up in a musical family, Lowell Mason received his first training at the age of 13 in a singing school run by Amos Albee, who
Read more himself had gathered hymns into the collection The Norfolk Collection of Sacred Harmony in 1805. Mason also studied with Oliver Shaw, a blind composer of hymns and ballads. Only a few years later, Mason was directing a choir and leading the town band. He left for Savannah, GA, in 1812 and became a partner in a dry goods business and a bank clerk. He was also involved in church work and a missionary society. In 1817, he began to study composition and theory with Frederick L. Abel from Germany. His first hymns and anthems were composed then. He continued to conduct choirs and play the organ in churches until 1827.

Mason's first collection of hymns and anthems was published in 1822. Up to 1872, he published over 48 collections of this type, as well as over 11 secular collections and at least 17 children's collections and musical exercise books. Thousands of individual pieces are contained within these volumes. The actual number of publications is difficult to determine because many of the books were published anonymously. From 1827 to 1832, Mason was president and music director of the Boston Handel and Haydn Society. In the summer of 1834, under the auspices of the Boston Academy of Music, Mason and other instructors held classes for music teachers, leading to music being taught experimentally in four Boston public schools in 1837 and as part of the permanent curriculum in 1838. From 1837 to 1845, Mason served as superintendent of music, taking off for one year to visit Europe for the first time, where he observed their educational systems and lecturing on congregational singing and his theories of musical education.

In the nineteenth century, a "proper" musical education was guided by European, mostly German, models. Mason's aesthetic preferences, as well as those of the early immigrant Moravian composers and others, were also along this line. Their actions served to spread musical knowledge, but unfortunately also took away appreciation of the power of native hymnody, such as shape-note singing in the southern states and the works of Billings and others. However, today the situation has for the most part changed, in the best American spirit, toward embracing all of the various lights of these early days. In 1855, Mason was awarded an honorary doctorate in music from New York University. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 240 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    He Is Risen / Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    Label: Mormon Tabernacle   Catalog: 5119167 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Anonymous,  C. Austin Miles,  Lowell Mason  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Elliott,  Clay Christiansen,  Andrew Unsworth
    Conductor:  Mack Wilberg,  LeAnna Willmore,  Ryan Murphy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bells on Temple Square,  Mormon Tabernacle Choir
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  • 2.
    Rutter: Christmas Star And A Christmas Festival
    Label: Collegium Records   Catalog: 306 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Traditional,  Lowell Mason,  William James Kirkpatrick,  Mel Torme  ... 
    Performer:  Andrew Williams,  Andrew Williams,  Melanie Marshall,  Clara Sanabras  ... 
    Conductor:  John Rutter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Singers,  Cambridge Symphony Orchestra,  Farnham Youth Choir  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 3.
    The Christmas Story
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 7681 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Richard Storrs Willis,  Lowell Mason,  James R. Murray  ... 
    Performer:  Bin Huang,  Hyun-Sun Kim
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  • 4.
    Christmas With The Salvation Army
    Label: Crimson Productions   Catalog: 1202171 Release Date: 11/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Francis Wade,  Traditional,  Anonymous,  Frederik Pohl  ... 
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  • 5.
    Angels Sing - Christmas In Ireland / Libera
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 40956626 Release Date: 11/05/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lowell Mason,  Traditional,  Robert Prizeman,  Frederick E. Weatherly  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Prizeman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Libera
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  • 6.
    Angels Sing - Christmas In Ireland / Libera
    Label: Warner Brothers   Catalog: 40956695 Release Date: 11/05/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lowell Mason,  Traditional,  Robert Prizeman,  Frederick E. Weatherly  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Prizeman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Libera
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  • 7.
    Carols From The Old & New Worlds / Hillier, Theatre Of Voices
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 1957079 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Daniel Read,  Traditional,  Charles Ives,  Lowell Mason  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Hillier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Theatre of Voices
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  • 8.
    Joy To The World: An American Christmas
    Label: Coro   Catalog: 16117 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Jacob Niles,  Morten Lauridsen,  Lowell Mason,  Richard Storrs Willis  ... 
    Performer:  Sonja DuToit Tengblad,  Thomas Armstrong,  Woodrow Bynum,  Stefan [Tenor (Vocal)] Reed
    Conductor:  Harry Christophers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Handel & Haydn Society
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  • 9.
    Ring Christmas Bells
    Label: Reflections   Catalog: 61672 Release Date: 09/17/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Richard Storrs Willis,  Lewis H. Redner,  Lowell Mason  ... 
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  • 10.
    Christmas With The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    Label: Mvd Audio   Catalog: 5973 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Francis Wade,  Henry Walford Davies,  Lowell Mason,  Traditional  ... 
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  • 11.
    O Come All Ye Faithful [classic]
    Label: Mvd Audio   Catalog: 5971 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Francis Wade,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Jean Baptiste Calkin,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Leslie Pierson,  John Paice,  Richard Lewis
    Conductor:  Peter Knight,  John McCarthy,  John Pritchard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The London Bell Ringers
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  • 12.
    Handel: Water Music - Masterpieces
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564651683 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Lowell Mason,  Anonymous
    Performer:  Richard [Tenor Vocal] Morton,  Felicity Palmer,  John Angelo Messana,  Felicity Lott  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner,  Jean-François Paillard,  Raymond Leppard,  Hugh Wolff  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Les Musiciens du Louvre
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  • 13.
    Piano Guys 2 [deluxe Edition Cd/Dvd]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 372303 Release Date: 05/07/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Al Van Der Beek,  Steven Sharp Nelson,  Howard Shore,  Jon Schmidt  ... 
    Performer:  Al Van Der Beek,  Jon Schmidt,  Steven Sharp Nelson,  Lindsey Stirling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Piano Guys
    CD: $17.99
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  • 14.
    The Piano Guys 2
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 371094 Release Date: 05/07/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Al Van Der Beek,  Steven Sharp Nelson,  Howard Shore,  Jon Schmidt  ... 
    Performer:  Al Van Der Beek,  Jon Schmidt,  Steven Sharp Nelson,  Lindsey Stirling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Piano Guys
    CD: $14.99
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  • 15.
    Label: Reflections   Catalog: 60310 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Unspecified,  Jay Livingston,  Mykola Leontovych,  Noel Regney  ... 
    Performer:  Chemayne Del Mastro
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boccherini Guitar Quartet
    CD: $12.99
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  • 16.
    Label: Avalon Records   Catalog: 60286 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Traditional,  Charles Gounod,  Lewis H. Redner,  James R. Murray  ... 
    Performer:  Sara Macliver,  Jonathan Prentice,  Margaret Burdett,  Lynton Atkinson  ... 
    Conductor:  Alfred Walter,  Richard Hayman,  Gerard Schwarz,  Igor Golovschin  ... 
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  • 17.
    Label: Platinum Legends   Catalog: 60760 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Francis Wade,  Traditional,  George Frideric Handel,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    On sale! $17.98
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  • 18.
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 1074717 Release Date: 11/20/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John Francis Wade,  George Frideric Handel,  Traditional,  Adolphe Adam  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  Markus Leoson,  Ulf Forsberg,  Anne Sofie von Otter  ... 
    Conductor:  Ion Marin,  Trevor Pinnock,  Kurt Herbert Adler,  Uwe Christian Harrer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Regia Musicalis,  Los Romeros
    On sale! $26.99
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  • 19.
    Christmas With The Vienna Boys Choir
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 9004 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Lowell Mason,  Franz Xaver Gruber,  John Francis Wade  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Marschik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Boys' Choir
    DVD: $17.99
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  • 20.
    Christmas With The Vienna Boys' Choir
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 5160 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Lowell Mason,  Franz Xaver Gruber,  John Francis Wade  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Marschik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Boys' Choir
    CD: $17.99
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  • 21.
    The Wonder Of Christmas / Bader, United States Air Force Band & Singing Sergeants
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: 56002 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Floyd Werlé,  Lowell Mason,  Traditional,  Harry Belafonte  ... 
    Conductor:  Albert Bader
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Air Force Band,  United States Air Force Singing Sergeants
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    Christmas Choirs
    Label: Lifestyles   Catalog: 46020 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Traditional,  Unspecified,  Lowell Mason,  William James Kirkpatrick  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 23.
    Christmas With Los Romeros
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001747402 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  James R. Murray,  Franz Schubert,  Massimo Paris  ... 
    Performer:  Lito Romero,  Pepe Romero,  Celin Romero,  Angel Romero
    Conductor:  Massimo Paris
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Romeros,  Concerto Málaga
    CD: $13.99
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  • 24.
    Essential Carols
    Label: Cct   Catalog: 5162 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Traditional,  William James Kirkpatrick,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Patrick Hadley  ... 
    Performer:  Francis Grier,  Gareth Morrell,  Ian Hare,  Stephen Varcoe  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Philip Ledger,  Sir David Willcocks,  Richard Hickox,  Eric Ericson  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 25.
    Joy To The World
    Label: Klavier Records   Catalog: 77042 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lowell Mason,  Frank Weldon,  Pietro Yon,  Alfred Reed  ... 
    Performer:  David Farwig,  Geoffrey [Tenor Vocal] Parrish,  Russell Colleran,  David L. Nokes  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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