Arts & Entertainment

What was special about William Billings?

By: Soo ZinUpdated: March 18, 2021

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William Billings, (born Oct. 7, 1746, Boston, Mass., U.S.—died Sept. 26, 1800, Boston), foremost composer of the early American primitive style, whose works have become an integral part of the American folk tradition. A tanner by trade, he was self-taught in music.

Also, why was William Billings important in Colonial American music?

Born in Boston on 7 October 1746, William Billings was the first American composer. Because it was integral to religious worship and supported by churches throughout the colonies, the psalm was the most common and important musical form in America before the nineteenth century.

Also Know, what physical ailments did William Billings have?

Billings was 13 when his father died and 17 when his mother died. He is known to have been disfigured and was somewhat unattractive. Apparently, he was blind in one eye and had one leg shorter than the other, among other problems.

When did William Billings die?

September 26, 1800

What style of music was most of William Billings music?

William Billings, (born Oct. 7, 1746, Boston, Mass., U.S.—died Sept. 26, 1800, Boston), foremost composer of the early American primitive style, whose works have become an integral part of the American folk tradition. A tanner by trade, he was self-taught in music.

Related

Where is William Billings from?

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Did William Billings play any instruments?

Billings never mastered any instrument but instead made the psalm the object of his musical innovations. Because it was integral to religious worship and supported by churches throughout the colonies, the psalm was the most common and important musical form in America before the nineteenth century.

What was William Billings's musical training?

In order to help support his family, young Billings trained as a tanner. He possibly received musical instruction from John Barry, one of the choir members at the New South Church, but for the most part he was self-taught. Billings had an unusual appearance and a strong addiction to snuff.

Who was known as the most famous singing school master and composer?

Although he listed his occupation as “Singing Master,” he was a tanner by trade, without formal musical training. He left school when he was 14 years old. Still, Billings became the most widely known and acclaimed American composer of his time. Virtually all of his work was for four-part voices without accompaniment.

What is the New England Psalm Singer?

The New-England Psalm-Singer (William Billings)

Where is Aaron Copland from?

Brooklyn, New York, United States