Law, Andrew

Law, Andrew,

1749–1821, American composer, b. Milford, Conn. He was a preacher in Philadelphia and Baltimore and, later, a singing teacher in New England. Opposed to the contrapuntal style of William BillingsBillings, William,
1746–1800, American hymn composer, b. Boston. A tanner by trade, he was one of the earliest American-born composers. He wrote popular hymns and sacred choruses of great vitality using simple imitative counterpoint—hence their designation as
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, Law wrote rather simple hymn tunes. In his Select Harmony (1778), Collection of Best Tunes and Anthems (1779), and other compilations, he collected and arranged many tunes of other composers. He was among the first Americans to arrange hymns with the melody in the soprano instead of the tenor part. Law's teaching books were important in early American music education. One of the first American writers about music, he published Essays on Music in 1814.


See study by R. Crawford (1968).

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