Born: Jan­u­a­ry 8, 1792, Med­field, Mass­a­chu­setts.

Died: Au­gust 11, 1872, Or­ange, New Jer­sey.

Buried: Rose­dale Cem­e­te­ry, Or­ange, New Jer­sey. Ma­ry A. Lath­bu­ry lies near­by.

Mason showed an in­tense in­ter­est in mu­sic from child­hood. He lived in Sa­van­nah, Georgia, for 15 years, work­ing as a bank clerk, but pur­suing his true love—mu­sic—on the side. He stu­died with F. I. Abel, im­prov­ing his skills to the point where he be­gan com­pos­ing his own music. Num­er­ous pub­lish­ers in Phil­a­del­phia and Bos­ton re­ject­ed his ear­ly work, un­til it was fin­al­ly ac­cept­ed in 1822 by the Han­del and Haydn So­ci­e­ty of Bos­ton, Mass­a­chu­setts, his na­tive state. How­ev­er, the col­lect­ion did not even car­ry Ma­son’s name:

I was then a bank officer in Savannah, and did not wish to be known as a mu­sic­al man, as I had not the least thought of ev­er mak­ing mu­sic a pro­fes­sion.

Little did he know that “re­ject­ed” col­lect­ion would even­tu­al­ly go through 17 edi­tions (some sources say 21) and sell 50,000 co­pies. It was adopt­ed by sing­ing schools in New Eng­land, and even­tu­al­ly church choirs.

After see­ing the suc­cess of his work, Mason re­turned to Bos­ton in 1826. He a­lso be­came the di­rect­or of mu­sic at the Han­o­ver, Green, and Park Street church­es, al­tern­at­ing six months with each con­gre­ga­tion. Fin­al­ly, he made a per­ma­nent ar­range­ment with the Bow­doin Street Church, though he still held his job as tel­ler at the Amer­i­can Bank. Mu­sic con­tinued to pull on him, though; he be­came pres­i­dent of the Han­del and Haydn So­ci­e­ty in 1827.

It was in Bos­ton that Ma­son be­came the first mu­sic teach­er in an Amer­i­can pub­lic school. In 1833, he co-found­ed the Bos­ton Acad­e­my of Mu­sic; in 1838, he be­came mu­sic sup­er­in­ten­dent for the Bos­ton school sys­tem. Low­ell Ma­son wrote over 1,600 re­li­gious works, and is of­ten called the “fa­ther of Amer­i­can church music.” His works in­clude:



  1. Admah
  2. Adwell
  3. Ain
  4. Alvan
  5. Amboy
  6. Antioch
  7. Anvern
  8. Ariel
  9. Arnville
  10. Azmon
  11. Baim
  12. Bealoth
  13. Bethany
  14. Boylston
  15. Brattle Street
  16. Brest
  17. Capello
  18. Chimes
  19. Corydon
  20. Coventry
  21. Cowper
  22. Danvers
  23. Das Lieben Bringt Groß Freud
  24. Dennis
  25. Dort
  26. Downs
  27. Eden
  28. Eltham
  29. Ernan
  30. Evan
  31. Gerar
  32. Gregorian
  33. Haddam
  34. Hamburg
  35. Hanwell
  36. Harwell
  37. Hebron
  38. Hendon
  39. Henley
  40. Hermon
  41. Highton
  42. Illa
  43. Ingham
  44. Laban
  45. Langdon
  46. Leni
  47. Malvern
  48. Mendebras
  49. Meribah
  50. Migdol
  51. Miss­ionary Hymn
  52. Mond
  53. Mount Zion
  54. Nain
  55. Naomi
  56. Nashville
  57. Nayton
  58. Norwich
  59. Oak
  60. Oliphant
  61. Olivet (Mason)
  62. Olmutz
  63. Putney
  64. Ripley
  65. Rockingham
  66. Rodman
  67. Sabbath
  68. Selvin
  69. Serug
  70. Shawmut
  71. Snowfield
  72. Star of Peace
  73. Trell
  74. Uxbridge
  75. Ward
  76. Watchman
  77. Wesley
  78. Wilmot
  79. Work Song
  80. Zebulon
  81. Zerah