Horsley, William, English organist and composer, father of Charles Edward Horsley; b. London, Nov. 15, 1774; d. there, June 12, 1858. At 16 he was articled to Theodore Smith, a pianist and organist, and later was influenced by John Callcott, whose daughter he married in 1813. He was organist at Ely Chapel, Holborn (1793–1802), the Asylum for Female Orphans (1802–54), Belgrave Chapel (1812–37), and the Charterhouse (1838–58). He helped to found the choral society Con-centores Sodales (1798–1847), for which he wrote many works. In 1813 he also helped to found the Phil. Soc. Horsley won fame as a glee composer; 124 of his works were publ, separately and also in 5 vols. (1801, 1804, 1806, 1811, 1827). He was also a successful song and ballad composer. Among his other works were A Collection of Canons (1817) and many piano pieces. He publ. An Explanation of the Musical Intervals (London, 1825) and An Introduction to the Study of Practical Harmony and Modulation (London, 1847; rewritten by his son, 1876).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire