Farmer, Henry George

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Farmer, Henry George

Farmer, Henry George, eminent Irish musicologist; b. Birr, Jan. 17, 1882; d. Law, Scotland, Dec. 30, 1965. He studied piano and violin, and as a boy joined the Royal Artillery Orch. in London, playing the violin and clarinet at its concerts. He then studied philosophy and languages at Glasgow Univ. An extremely prolific writer, he publ. a number of original works, dealing with such varied subjects as military music and Arabic musical theories. He was the founder and conductor of the Glasgow Sym. Orch. (1919–43). Among his compositions were a ballet and other works for the theater, several overtures, and some chamber music.


Memoirs of the Royal Artillery Band (1904); The Rise and Development of Military Music (1912); The Arabian Influence on Musical Theory (1925); Byzantine Musical Instruments in the 9th Century (1925); The Arabic Musical MSS. in the Bodleian Library (1925); A History of Arabian Music to the 13th Century (1929); Music in Medieval Scotland (1931); Historical Facts for the Arabian Musical Influence (1930); The Organ of the Ancients from Eastern Sources, Hebrew, Syriac and Arabic (1931); Studies in Oriental Musical Instruments (1931); An Old Moorish Lute Tutor (1933); Al-Farabi’s Arabic- Latin Writings on Music (1934); TurkishInstruments of Music in the 17th Century (1937); A History of Music in Scotland (1947); Music Making in the Olden Days (1950); Oriental Studies, Mainly Musical (1953); The History of the Royal Artillery Band (1954); British Bands in Battle (1965).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire