Mason-Edification - musical practices Mason unified the...

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Lowell Mason and Edification Lowell Mason was probably the first American musician who made a profit (and he made a considerable one) from music. He demonstrates the relation between sacred and secular musical practices in the United States. The same basic principles underlie his work in both areas. He began working in sacred music, attempting to focus hymnals and religious music in general on the rules and practices of European music. A “scientific” approach to composition; that is, composing based on the rules of European music theory and practice. At the same time that the Second Awakening was taking place and popularizing folk hymns and tunes by William Billings and other American composers, Mason published the Boston Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music (1822). Adapted melodies from Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven to create new hymns and sacred songs. (“Joy to the World” is based on melodies found in Handel’s Messiah , as demonstrated in class. ) “Olivet” was an originally composed hymn based on “scientific”
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Unformatted text preview: musical practices. Mason unified the hymn by using the same short rhythmic ideas (motives) in each phrase. Mason realized that while singing schools had taught people to sing sacred music, there might be a use for teaching people “good” secular music as well. First founded the Boston Academy of Music (1832) to teach both sacred and secular singing. The next step was to introduce instruction into the newly formed public school system in Boston. Met with great success. His educational ideas, as well as his approach to the uses of music, were based on the idea of “edification,” which basically meant moral, spiritual, and intellectual improvement . Introducing children to edifying music and musical practices would inform their lifelong musical tastes, he believed. Mason’s influence was profound, not only on public musical education, which he virtually invented, but on subsequent developments in musical taste and practice....
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Mason-Edification - musical practices Mason unified the...

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