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Nathaniel Cooke


davidh
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Nathaniel Cooke was born in Bosham, West Sussex, and until his death in about 1811 he was the organist of the Brighton Parish Church, St Nicholas in Dyke Road. He published "A collection of Psalms & Hymns, sung at the Parish Church, Brighthelmstone, to which are added several canons and a Te Deum Laudamus. Composed, Selected and Arranged for the Organ or Pianoforte." The first edition had 73 hymn tunes, most of them his own compositions, with names taken from Sussex towns and villages, and the two following editions had many other tunes added.

 

Most are tunes with organ accompaniment, although some are in four part harmony. The ones that I have played through are pleasant enough, although none are now in common use. Their main disadvantage is that they are not easy for congregations to learn; for example, without practise it is difficult to know whether the next syllable goes with the next single note or a melisma of several notes.

 

I have heard that there was an article about him in the first edition of Groves Dictionary of Music. If anyone has access to a copy and could scan it for me I would be very grateful. (Send me a PM to get my email address.)

 

David

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I have a copy of the 1919 reprint of the first edition of "Grove" and the article on Cooke is short enough to reproduce here:

 

"COOKE, NATHANIEL, born at Bosham, near Chichester, in 1773, was nephew of Matthew Cooke, organist of St. George, Bloomsbury, from whom he received the chief part of his musical education. He became organist of the parish church of Brighton, for the use of the choir of which he published a Collection of Psalm and Hymn tunes, including some of his own compositions, which long continued in favour. He also published some small pieces for the pianoforte, and died after 1820. W. H. H." [i.e. William H. Husk]

 

If you still want a scan of the original, PM me and I will happily oblige.

 

In fact, the 1879 edition is online here: http://www.archive.org/details/adictionarymusi01wodegoog. The entry on Cooke is on page 397; it is identical with the entry quoted above except that it does not contain the last four words.

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Nathaniel also gets an honourable mention in the current New Grove, in the article on Matthew Cooke:

 

"Nathaniel Cooke (1773–1827), a nephew and pupil, was organist of Brighton Parish Church from 1813 until his death and was one of the 100 ‘most Eminent Living Musicians’ invited to contribute an autobiographical entry to Sainsbury’s Dictionary of Musicians (1824)."

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Nathaniel also gets an honourable mention in the current New Grove, in the article on Matthew Cooke:

 

"Nathaniel Cooke (1773–1827), a nephew and pupil, was organist of Brighton Parish Church from 1813 until his death and was one of the 100 ‘most Eminent Living Musicians’ invited to contribute an autobiographical entry to Sainsbury’s Dictionary of Musicians (1824)."

My thanks to Vox Humana (one of my favourite stops) for that information. No need for a scan - that would simply have saved time if the entry had been very lengthy.

 

David

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