The Music of George Frederick Root
George Frederick Root, aka G. Friedrich Wurzel, was born in Sheffield, MA on 30 August 1820, and died, at the age of 74, on Bailey’s Island, ME on 6 August 1895. He published over 500 pieces of music from 1848 until 1896. He used his German surname Wurzel, the English equivalent of Root, for his minstrel songs. He had two brothers, Ebenezer Towner Root and William A. Root; and five sisters, among whom were Francis A. Root (who played and taught piano, sang and gave vocal instruction) and the youngest was Fannie Root. He married Mary Olive Woodman in August 1845 and they had two sons, Frederick Woodman Root and Charles Root, and four daughters: [Mrs.] Clara Louise Root [Burnham] (who collaborated on several cantatas with him); Grace Woodman Root, Mary “May” Olive Root, (a mezzo-soprano), and Helen “Nellie” Clara Root (a contralto). His father, Frederic Ferdinand Root, died in 1866 and his mother, Sarah Flint, lived from 1796-1881, dying at the age of 85. For fuller biographical info, see The Story of a Musical Life: An Autobiography by Geo. F. Root (Cincinnati: The John Church Co. 1891; reprinted by AMS Press, Inc, New York, NY in 1973, ISBN 0-404- 07205-4).
For two excellent dissertations about Root, see: George Frederick Root, Pioneer Music Educator: His Contributions to Mass Instruction in Music (1971) by Mazie Pauline Hinson Carder (aka Polly Hinson Carder); and A Study of Oratorios and Sacred Cantatas Composed in America Before 1900 (1954) by Ralph McVety Kent. Both are available from UMI Dissertation Services .
He is best known for the songs The Hazel Dell (1853), Rosalie the Prairie Flower (1855), Departed Days (1857), There’s Music in the Air (1857), Flee As a Bird (arr. 1857), The Vacant Chair, or, We Shall Meet But We Shall Miss Him (1861), The Battle Cry of Freedom (1862), Just Before the Battle, Mother (1864), Tramp! Tramp! Tramp. or, The Prisoner’s Hope (1864), Farewell Father, Friend and Guardian (1865), Blaine for Our President (1884), and The Plumed Knight (1884).
reprinted in The Sabbath Bell (1856): p. 128
The Ladies’ Wreath: An Illustrated Annual for MDCCCXLVIII.– IX.. Edited by Mrs. S. T. Martin, pp. 323-4
Hundred Years Ago (Song and Chorus
The Academy Vocalist;
or Vocal Music Arranged for the Use of
Seminaries, High Schools, Singing Classes, Etc.
Published by Mason Brothers, New York
p. 126; also, The Repertoire. p. 72
p. 170; also, The Repertoire. p. 173
p. 201; also, The Repertoire. p. 131
New York: William Hall & Son, Plate No. 2734; Mills
A Library of Church Music
embracing about one thousand pieces, consisting of psalm, and hymn tunes
adapted to every meter in use, anthems, chants, and set pieces;
to which is added an original cantata, entitled
DANIEL; or, The Captivity and Restoration.
THE SINGING CLASS;
an entirely new and practical arrangement of the elements of music,
interspersed with social part-songs and practice.
By WILLIAM B[atchelder]. BRADBURY and George F[rederick]. ROOT,
THOMAS HASTINGS and T. B. MASON.
PUBLISHED BY MASON BROTHERS
[350 pages; 6 Jul 1853]
My Shepherd (6’s and 4’s
Hail Happy Day (Fourth of July Chorus)
Universal Chorus (Praise)
The World Is Not So Bad
My Mother’s Voice (Quartette)
Summer Days (Glee)
Shed Not a Tear
Rock of the Pilgrims (Patriotic)
George Pope Morris
A Farmer’s Life (Glee)
Our Country Home
Blaisedell (Hymn, L. M.)
p. 89 [also on p. 110 of The Jubilee (1857)]
Portland (Hymn, L. M.)
Malleville (7’s and 6’s)
127/007; Our Song World. p. 65
Flying Home (Happy news for my mother) (Song and Chorus) [27 Apr]
Proud World Good Bye! I’m Going Home (No. 6 from Six Songs by Wurzel )
Swinging, Swinging All Day Long (The Song of the Old Hall Clock) (Solo and Chorus)
The Grammar Lesson
Music Is Ringing
We’ll Follow Where You Go
Where the Warbling
To the Mountain
Thoughts of Childhood
Hark! the Rain Drops
Over the Mountain
Graceful the Willow
Sweet the Quiet Evening
The Singing School
Softly on the Lakelet
Rushing Down the Mountains
The True and Noble
Softly the Day Reclining
Delight and Joy
On Atlantic’s Wave
Golden Glories Slowly Rise
In Tones of Grief
High in the Sky
p. 71-72; The Triumph. p. 120-121
The Passing Bell
“Up into the light”
To the Woodland
How Still Is the Air
When the Woodland
p. 84-85; The Triumph. p. 124-125
Lightly Fall the Snow-Flakes
Down the Valley
Sounds of Night
Beethoven. L. M. (from Beethoven; Arr.)
Sabbath Morn. C. M.
Varina. C. M. (Double,) (from Rink, by G. F. R.)
Denville. 7s. (6 lines.) (From HUMMEL. By G. F. R.)
Gainesville. 8s & 7s. (6 lines.)
Calore. 8s, 7s & 4s.
Eldred. 6s, 7s & 8s.
Lauda. 6s, 8s & 4s.
Weep Not. 7s & 8s. (Peculiar)
Olga. 8s & 4s. (Peculiar) (Arr.)
Stilltan. 8s & 9s.
Day Star. 11s. (Peculiar)
HYMN. “The Shining Shore.” (Quartet or Semi-Chorus)
SENTENCE. “The Lord is in his holy temple.”
ANTHEM. “O praise God in his holiness.”
SENTENCE. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” [from the Cantata of Daniel ]
MOTET. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace.”
SENTENCE. “Come unto Him.”
MOTET. “How long wilt thou forget me.”
MOTET. “Return, O Lord”
HYMN ANTHEM. “He lives, the great Redeemer lives.”
Gloria Patria (Chant)
Te Deum Laudamus. No. 3. (Chant)
ANTHEM. “From the rising of the sun.”
CHRISTMAS ANTHEM. “Glory to God on high.”
PATRIOTIC HYMN. “The Pilgrim Fathers.”
CHORUS. “Hark! from the regions of Glory.
QUARTET AND CHORUS. “God of the nations.”
Mrs. Mary Ann Whitaker
HYMN. “In the silent midnight watches.”
SONG. “Flee, as a bird.” (Arr.)
[Mrs. Mary Stanley Bruce Dana, 1810-1883]
SOLO AND CHORUS. “How lovely is Xion.”
QUARTET or CHORUS. “Good night.” (German Folk Melodie) (Arr.)
Flee As a Bird [first published in 1856 on p. 373 of The Sabbath Bell ]
The Crystal Spring
The Repertoire. p. 200
128/091; The Repertoire. p. 59
Aleen (The Pearl of Juna)
Kind Friends, One and All (Song of Greeting)
128/023; The Silver Chime. p. 86 (for SAB)
126/016; The Diapason. No. 167
Lily Brook (No. 5 from Six Ballads [c1859; 13 Apr 1860]
Chicago: Root & Cady, Plate No. 6-4 (or 3760)
Low in the Dust of the Valley He Sleeps (Song and Chorus) [To the memory of my friend Isaac Baker Woodbury, 1819-1858)
My Home Is on the Prairie (No. 6 from Six Ballads ) [29 Oct]
Chicago: Root & Cady, Plate No. 7-4 (or 3762)
My Father’s Bible
My Mother She Is Sleeping (c1859) [26 Jan. 1861]
Oh Are Ye Sleeping Maggie
128/040; The Diapason: page 116
She Has Told It to the Winds
Softly She Faded (No. 2 from Six Ballads ) [29 Oct]
Chicago: Root & Cady, Plate No. 3-4 (or 3733)
The Forest Requiem (No. 3 from Six Ballads ) [29 Oct]
Chicago: Root & Cady, Plate No. 4-4 (or 3738)
Be Sure You Call as You Pass By
Don’t Run in Debt
C O L L E C T I O N O F C H U R C H M U S I C.
TO WHICH ARE PREFIXED
A NEW AND COMPREHENSIVE VIEW OF “MUSIC AND ITS NOTATION;” EXERCISES FOR
READING MUSIC, AND VOCAL TRAINING; SONGS, PART-SONGS, ROUNDS, ETC.
THE WHOLE ARRANGED AND ADAPTED FOR
Choirs, Singing Schools, Musical Conventions
A N D S O C I A L G A T H E R I N G S.
E D I T E D B Y
G E O R G E F. R O O T.
PUBLISHED BY MASON BROTHERS,
Boston: MASON & HAMLIN. Philadelphia: J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO. Cincinnati: W. B. SMITH & CO.
Chicago: ROOT & CADY
Electrotyped by SMITH & MCDOUGAL, 82 & 84 Beekman St. N.Y.
Printed by C. A. ALFORD, 15 Vandewater St.[N.Y.?]