Root, George Frederick

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Root, George Frederick

Root, George Frederick , American music educator, music publisher, and composer, father of Frederick W(oodman) Root; b. Sheffield, Mass., Aug. 30, 1820; d. Bailey’s Island, Maine, Aug. 6, 1895. He was a pupil of George J. Webb in Boston, then lived in N.Y. He was organist of the Church of the Strangers. Going to Chicago in 1859, he joined the music publishing firm of Root and Cady, established in 1858 by his elder brother, Ebenezer Towner Root, and Chauncey Marvin Cady; it was dissolved in 1871. He wrote many popular songs (Battlecry of Freedom; Tramp, tramp, tramp; ]ust before the battle, Mother) and publ, numerous collections of church music and school songs. For some of his earlier compositions he used the German tr. of his name, Friedrich Wurzel, as a pseudonym. He wrote an autobiography, The Story of a Musical Life (Cincinnati, 1891).


P. Carder, G.F. R., Pioneer Music Educator: His Contributions to Mass Instruction in Music (diss., Univ. of Md., 1971).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire