Jablonski, Marek (Michael)

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Jackson, George K(nowil)

(b Oxford, bap. 15 April 1757; d Boston, MA, 18 Nov 1822). English-American composer, teacher and editor. He reportedly studied under Nares at the Chapel Royal, and while in London he taught privately, wrote a number of sacred and secular compositions and published a Treatise on Practical Thoroughbass (1785). St Andrews University granted him a doctorate in music (1791), which probably was an honorary award.

By 1797 he was in New Brunswick, New Jersey; there, while professor of music at a private academy, he presented concerts of popular and art music which received favourable attention throughout the state. He moved to New York in 1801 and remained there, teaching and giving concerts, until 1812 when he moved to Boston. Jackson played a prominent part in that city’s musical life as a teacher, composer, conductor, organist, music seller and consultant to the newly formed Handel and Haydn Society.

Jackson’s reputation rested mainly on his skills as an organist and teacher, but he also wrote nearly 100 compositions. He was essentially a conservative composer, making much use of figured bass and of fugal techniques. His keyboard pieces do not reflect his own apparent proficiency as a performer, but often are clearly didactic. His few surviving hymns and chant settings are stolidly harmonized in textbook style, but the settings of Dr. Watt’s Divine Songs are tuneful and show a degree of sophistication in their use of chromatic inflection and broad melodic curves not usual in contemporary settings of Watts.


for further details see GroveA (C. Kaufman) and Kaufman (1968)

Sacred: Ponder my words (Ps v), 3vv, op.2 (London, c1790); Dr. Watt’s Divine Songs Set to Music, op.1 (London, c1791); David’s Psalms, 1v, org (Boston, 1804); Pope’s Universal Prayer and his Celebrated Ode, The Dying Christian (A. Pope), SST, vn (n.p., n.d.); Sacred Music for the Use of Churches (n.p., n.d.); 7 hymn tunes, 2 canons, pubd in The Boston Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music (Boston, 1822/R); Benedictus, Gloria, pubd in Music of the Church (Philadelphia, 1828); TeD, 4vv, org, US-NL; 2 Books of Sacred Amusements, NL

Other vocal: A Favorite Collection of [10] Songs and Duetts, 1v, hpd/pf, op.3 (London, 1791); [6] New Bagatelles, 1v, pf (n.p., c1801); A New Musical Score of [13] Easy Canons: Sacred to Masonry, 1–12 vv (New York, c1807); many other songs, some pubd, some Bh, NL, others lost

Inst: A Favourite Sonata, hpd/pf, op.4 (London, c1795); Ov. with Double Fugue and Grand March, c1801, lost; Va Conc., c1805, lost; 2 petits duos, pf 4 hands (Boston, c1807); Duo, pf 4 hands (Philadelphia, c1808); A Musical Coalition … to Which is Added a Musical Pardoy, fl, pf, drum (n.p., n.d.); Toccamento, org/hpd/pf, NL

Pedagogical: A Treatise on Practical Thorough Bass, op.5 (London, 1785); Instruction Book to the Piano Forte (New York, 1825), lost; Book … for the Theoretic Part of Instruction, NL; I rudimenti da musica, or Complete Instructor for the Piano Forte, lost

Edns: Dr. Jackson’s Selection, pf, ?8 vols. (New York, 1801–12); A Choice Collection of Chants, 4 vv (Boston, 1816); The Choral Companion (Boston, 1817)

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