French, Jacob

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French, Jacob

French, Jacob, American composer of Psalm tunes;b. Stoughton, Mass., July 15, 1754; d. Simsbury, Conn., May 1817. He was co-founder, with William Billings, of the Stoughton Music Soc. in 1774. He fought at the battle of Bunker Hill in the Revolutionary War, and was one of the few survivors of the Cherry Valley Massacre. After the war he became a singing teacher, retiring in 1814. He publ. New American Melody (1789), Psalmodist’s Companion (1793), and Harmony of Harmony (1802).


M. Genuchi, The Life and Music of J. F. (1754–1817), Colonial American Composer (diss., Univ. of Iowa, 1964).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire