This is an account of the making of a very special music book and of the journey made by one of the original copies, from the events and people surrounding its publication at the beginning of the nineteenth century to the copy's re-emergence at the beginning of the twenty-first. Benjamin Jacob (1778-1829) was organist at Rowland Hill's Surrey Chapel in Georgian London. His "National Psalmody" contains music by numerous and highly eminent composers such as Handel, Luther, Novello, Purcell, Watts and Attwood, combined via ingenious cross-referencing into a masterwork of early music printing. How was it done? Samuel Wesley's "Bach Letters", Rev J T Barrett, theatreland, the first metronomes, princes, clergy and well-heeled subscribers, all crowded into Mr. Jacob's high-status world. Here are the remarkable people and events leading to his achievements and to his own shocking downfall. With plenty to interest both the specialist and general reader alike, this is a fascinating insight into life at the heart of nineteenth century London. This is an unusual and truly remarkable journey of discovery.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; Quotation; Dedication; Preface; Mr. Jacob's journey; A special book; Benjamin Jacob and his London; The Surrey Chapel; Working with Rowland Hill; Finding the right words; J. T. Barrett; The composers; Financial backing; Presenting the music; Mr. Jacob and Mr. Wesley; Going to press; Publishing and advertising; The dispute; The editions; The Survivors; An enduring achievement; List of subscribers; Composers and music; Benjamin Jacob: Key Dates; Index; About the author.
Daughter of a church organist and lay reader, Susie Timms became an accomplished guitarist, singer, composer, pianist, and master class student of ballet, recorded for the BBC and appeared in many stage events. She was a librarian at the University of Cambridge and sang there in a college choir, exhibited as a fine artist, and toured in musical theatre. Susie has published articles in magazines and journals for over 30 years, written and edited corporate publications, co-edited films for international exhibition and produced a detailed history education CD-ROM for The National Trust. Her latest history books include: 'Titiens: Her Majesty's Prima Donna' and 'Mapleson: Victorian opera impresario'.