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Lowell Mason collection

 Collection 0007-SCPA
Lowell Mason (1792-1872) is known as the founder of American school music education and co-founder of the Boston Academy of Music. In addition to establishing curricular music in American public schools and teacher training in music, he is also known for the success of his compositions and arrangements of hymn tunes and tune books, including The Boston Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music. Some of his other publications, mostly written for churches or schools, include The Juvenile Psalmist, The Juvenile Lyre, and The Manual of the Boston Academy of Music. This collection, part of the MENC Historical Center, consists of songs, hymns, and anthems; correspondence; books; articles; addresses; musical programs and advertisements; tributes; pamphlets; an unpublished manuscript; and memorabilia related to Lowell Mason's work, and materials related to members of Mason's family including the correspondence of his son Henry Lowell (H.L.) Mason.

Dates

  • 1808-1992
  • Majority of material found within 1820-1941

Use and Access to Collection

The collection is open for research use.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Contact the curator for an appointment: http://www.lib.umd.edu/scpa/contact

Extent

10.00 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Lowell Mason Collection covers the period from 1808 to 1992; the bulk of the materials date from 1820 to 1941. The collection consists of songs, hymns, and anthems; correspondence; books; articles; addresses; musical programs and advertisements; tributes; pamphlets; an unpublished manuscript; and memorabilia related to Lowell Mason's work as a music educator and composer, and materials related to members of Mason's family including the correspondence of his son Henry Lowell (H.L.) Mason.

Biography

Lowell Mason, born in Medfield, Massachusetts, began his musical training in a singing school under the direction of Amos Albee, compiler of The Norfolk Collection of Sacred Harmony and studied music with Oliver Shaw, a blind composer of hymn tunes and ballads. In addition to learning several instruments, he began directing his church choir and the local Medfield band at the age of 16.

After moving to Savannah, Georgia, Mason continued his leadership role as a superintendent of the Sunday school of the Independent Presbyterian Church, later becoming the choir director and organist. In addition to leading many singing schools and concerts, he also began studying harmony and composition with German-born musician Frederick L. Abel. It was under his direction that Mason began composing hymn tunes and anthems.

His success as choirmaster and author brought him to Boston, where he began to supervise music in three Congregational churches and also served as choirmaster and organist. Along with George James Webb, Mason established the Boston Academy of Music in order to promote music education on a larger scale. In addition to establishing curricular music in American public schools and teacher training in music, he is also known for the success of his compositions and arrangements of hymn tunes and tune books. These include his compilation of hymns in the collection of melodies, The Boston Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music. Some of his other publications, mostly written for church or school, include The Juvenile Psalmist, The Juvenile Lyre, and The Manual of the Boston Academy of Music.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into nine series.
  1. Published Music
  2. Writings
  3. Writings on Lowell Mason and His Influence
  4. Writings Relating to Mason's Work and Family
  5. Correspondence
  6. Henry Lowell Mason Correspondence
  7. Programs
  8. Tributes
  9. Miscellaneous Manuscript Items

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Gift was made in December 1972 by Mrs. William Endicott (see Helen Mason, daughter of Henry Lowell Mason, grandson of Lowell Mason), through Dr. Timothy F. Clifford, Professor of Music at Salem State College.

Related Material

National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Historical Center. [Previously Music Educators National Conference (MENC) Historical Center].

Separated Material

A copy of the Appendix to the Lowell Mason Papers available at Yale University Music Library Archival Collection is located in Box 1

Bibliography

Eskew, Harry and Carol A. Pemberton, "Mason, Lowell" The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, ed. S. Sadie, 2001, xvi, 31-35.

Processing Information

Processing supported by the Rose Marie Grentzer Fund.
Title
Lowell Mason collection
Status
Completed
Author
Jo Anne Barry; revised by Stephanie Keller and Colleen McKnight
Date
June 2001; revised December 2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English
Sponsor
Processing supported by the Rose Marie Grentzer Fund.

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

Contact:
University of Maryland Libraries
8270 Alumni Drive
College Park MD 20742 United States