views updated May 18 2018


Eccles, English family of musicians.

(1) Eccles (Eagles), Solomon, English virginalist, violist, and teacher; b. c. 1617; d. London, Jan. 2, 1682. He was born into a musical family. He was active as a musician and teacher until becoming a Quaker about 1660. He then publicly burned his music and instruments and thereafter preached against the evils of music. He wrote a tract entitled A Musick-lector (1667).

(2) Eccles (Eagles), Solomon, English bass violinist and composer; b. between 1640 and 1650; d. Guildford (buried), Dec. 1, 1710. He was a member of the King’s Private Musick from Aug. 31, 1685, to Aug. 6, 1710. He composed music for a number of plays.

(3) Eccles (Eagles), Henry, English musician, father of John Eccles; b. between 1640 and 1650; d. London (buried), March 31, 1711. He became a member of the King’s Private Musick on July 17, 1689.

(4) Eccles, Henry, English violinist and composer; b. between 1675 and 1685; d. between 1735 and 1745. He is first mentioned in a concert notice in London in 1705, and later was in the service of the Duke d’Aumont, the French ambassador to London; subsequently he served the Duke in Paris. He publ. under his own name 12 violin sonatas in Paris in 1720; 18 movements were adapted from Valentini’s Allettamenti per camera, op. 8, and 1 movement from Bonporti’s Invenzioni, op. 10. He also brought out there several more violin sonatas and 2 flute sonatas in 1723.

(5) Eccles, John, English composer, son of (3) Henry Eccles (Eagles); b. probably in London, c. 1668; d. Hampton Wick, Jan. 12,1735. He became a composer for the United Companies at the Drury Lane Theatre in 1693, and was also a musician-in-ordinary without pay in the King’s band. In 1695 he was made music director of the theater company at Lincoln’s Inn Fields. He composed numerous songs and other music for plays presented there until his retirement in 1706. He was made one of the King’s 24 musicians- in-ordinary in 1696, and was named Master of Musick in 1700. Eccles excelled as a composer of songs for the theater. He composed several important masques and other dramatic works, and also numerous court odes. In addition to his compositions, he also publ. Theatre Musick, Being a Collection of the Newest Aires for Violin (London, 1698), A Collection of Lessons and Aires for the Harpsichord or Spinnett Composed by Mr. J. Eccles, Mr. D. Purcell and Others (London, 1702), A Sett of Airs Made for the Queen’s Coronation (London, 1702), and A Collection of Songs for One, Two and Three Voices (London, 1704).


MASQUES AND OTHER DRAMATIC PIECES (all 1st perf. in London): Macbeth, after Shakespeare (Dorset Garden, 1694); The Rape of Europa (1694?); The Loves of Mars and Venus, after Motteux (perf. in Ravenscroft’s The Anatomist, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Nov. 1696; with G. Finger); A Musical Entertainment: Joy to the Youthful Pair (perf. in Ravenscroft’s The Italian Husband, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Nov. 1697); Ixion, after Ravenscroft (perf. in Ravenscroft’s The Italian Hus-band, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Nov. 1697); Europe’s Revels for the Peace, written for the Peace of Ryswick, after Motteux (Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Nov. 1697); Hercules, after Motteux (perf. in Motteux’s The Novelty, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, June 1698); Rinaldo and Armida, after J. Dennis (Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Nov. 1698); Acis and Galatea, after Motteux (perf. in Motteux’s The Mad Lover, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Dec.[?] 1700); The Judgment of Paris, or The Prize of Music, after Congreve (Dorset Garden, March 1701); The British Enchanters, or No Magick Like Love, an adaptation of Lully’s Amadis (Haymarket, Feb. 1706; with W. Corbett; only 2 songs extant); Semele, after Congreve (1707; not perf.). INCI DENTAL MUSIC TO: More than 60 plays, including Dryden’s Troilus and Cressida, or Truth Found Too Late (1694?), Dryden’s Aureng-Zebe (1694), and Congreve’s The Way of the World (Lincoln’s Inn Fields, March 1700). OTHER: His odes number about 40, but many have been lost.


J. Jeffreys, The E. Family (Enfield, 1951); S. Lincoln, /. E.: The Last of a Tradition (diss., Oxford Univ., 1963).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire