Woodbury (real name, Woodberry), Isaac Baker

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Woodbury (real name, Woodberry), Isaac Baker

Woodbury (real name, Woodberry), Isaac Baker, American composer, organist, teacher, editor, and writer on music; b. Beverly, Mass., Oct. 23, 1819; d. Columbia, S.C., Oct. 26, 1858. Originally a blacksmith, he began training in music with Lowell Mason in Boston in 1832 and later studied in London and Paris (1838-39); returning to Boston, he pursued a varied career. With his cousin Benjamin F. Baker, he organized the National Musical Convention, a teacher training school. In 1849 he went to N.Y. He was organist at Rutgers Street Church (1850-51) and served as ed. of the American Monthly Musical Review (1850-53) and the New York Musical Pioneer (1855-58). Woodbury’s prolific output includes some 700 compositions and publs., among them 16 collections and eds., 3 oratorios, a musical drama, over 400 hymn tunes, several songs, piano pieces, and 8 pedagogical vols.


R. Copeland, IB. W.: The Life and Works of an American Musical Populist (Lanham, Md., 1995).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire