THE PEDAGOGICAL WORKS OF
JOHANN CHRISTIAN GOTTLIEB GRAUPNER
DEBRA L. HESS
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Debra L. Hess
There are many people who have given me the support and
encouragement necessary to see this project through to
completion. With deep appreciation I wish to acknowledge
their contributions to my research.
I owe a debt of thanks to my committee chairman, Dr.
David Z. Kushner, whose example as a scholar and teacher
initially helped to convince me to pursue this degree. His
constant encouragement and guidance were an unfailing source
I also wish to thank the other members of my committee:
Professor Willis Bodine, Dr. Camille Smith, and Dr. John
White, all of the Music Department, and Dr. William Powell of
the College of Education. Their assistance in helping to
focus the purposes for this research and their suggestions
concerning the actual writing of the document were most
Thanks are also due to a great number of library staff
members in various locations who went beyond the call of duty
to help me in searching for various copies and editions of the
Graupner pedagogy books. To the research librarians in the
Music Department of the Boston Public Library and the American
Antiquarian Society I offer my thanks. Special recognition
also goes to Robena Cornwell, music librarian at the
University of Florida, and her staff for their gracious
It is with great appreciation that I also acknowledge the
support and encouragement of my parents, Richard and Helen
Lambrecht, who helped to foster my early love of music. They
never doubted my ability to complete this task even when I
doubted myself, and their constant moral support has been
Finally, I wish to thank the members of my own family for
their unequaled love and support. Peter and Adam, my sons,
have always allowed me the time needed to think and write,
even when it meant postponing their own activities, and their
undying confidence spurred me on to complete the task. Words,
however, cannot adequately express the debt I owe to my
husband and best friend, Steve Hess. His supportive attitude
throughout this entire process has been something I will
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . .
LIST OF TABLES . .
ABSTRACT . . .
1 INTRODUCTION . .
Need for the Study . .
Purposes of the Study . .
Research Questions . .
Methodology . .
Limitations . .
Organization of the Study ...
2 LITERATURE REVIEW . .
3 THE LIFE OF JOHANN CHRISTIAN GOTTLIEB GRAUPNER: HIS
ACTIVITIES AS MUSICIAN, PUBLISHER, AND TEACHER .
The Early Years . . .
Life in the New World . .
Boston Society at the Turn of the Century .
The Music Academy and Teaching Responsibilities
Music Publishing . . .
The Philharmonic Society . .
The Formation of the Handel and Haydn Society .
The Later Years . . .
4 AN ANALYSIS OF GRAUPNER'S PEDAGOGICAL WORKS .
Introduction . . .
Music Engraving and Printing . .
Rudiments of the Art of Playing on the Piano
Forte . . .
Rudiments, First Edition . .
Rudiments, Second Edition . .
A New Preceptor for the German Flute .
Complete Preceptor for the German Flute .
New Instructor for the Clarinet . .
Complete Preceptor for the Clarinet .. .114
The Unpublished Preceptor for the String Bass .119
5 SUMMARY, DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS, AND
RECOMMENDATIONS . .. 122
Summary . . 122
Discussion and Conclusions ........... 125
Recommendations . .. .133
REFERENCES . . 136
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . .. 142
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1 Contents of Lessons in Rudiments, First
Edition . . ... .. 81
Table 2 Contents of Lessons in Rudiments, Second
Edition . . ... .. 89
Table 3 Contents of Lessons in New Preceptor for the
German Flute . . .. 104
Table 4 Contents of Lessons in Complete Preceptor for
the German Flute . ... .113
Table 5 Contents of Lessons in Complete Preceptor for
the Clarinet . . 118
Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
THE PEDAGOGICAL WORKS OF
JOHANN CHRISTIAN GOTTLIEB GRAUPNER
Debra L. Hess
Chairman: David Z. Kushner
Major Department: Instruction and Curriculum
Johann Christian Gottlieb Graupner (1767-1836) was a
highly regarded musician and influential champion for the
development of music in Boston during the first quarter of the
nineteenth century. He was an accomplished performer on
several instruments, a music teacher, the proprietor of a
music store, and one of the first to publish music in Boston.
He was also the dominant force behind the formation of the
Philharmonic Society and Boston's famous Handel and Haydn
Among his publications, Graupner included six books for
instruction in playing the piano, the flute, and the
clarinet. Five of these works are extant.
The purposes of this study were (a) to present a
comprehensive analysis of these pedagogical works to determine
the type of musical instruction available during this period
of American history; (b) to consider these works within the
historical context of postrevolution America, a society in its
infancy in terms of its development and support of the arts;
and (c) to supplement the currently available musicological
research on Gottlieb Graupner and his contributions to music
instruction and curriculum in Boston during the first three
decades of the nineteenth century.
Graupner's pedagogical works were all found to have been
based largely on previously published instructional materials,
especially those of Muzio Clementi, Jan Dussek, R. Shaw, and
J. Wragg. Each of the works provided a thorough grounding in
the rudiments of music theory and a basic introduction to
playing the specified instrument. An analysis of these works
revealed that there have been some significant changes in how
some musical terminology is used and in some performance
practices since they were published. The repertoire found in
these tutors is a blend of works by European masters with the
patriotic marches and popular folk and love ballads of the
Graupner's contribution to music education was
significant. He not only filled a need in providing necessary
instructional materials for students and teachers, but he also
helped to foster an appreciation for the importance of musical
Research involving American music has grown rapidly over
the past century. From its modest beginnings in the
nineteenth century, early contributors such as John Rowe
Parker and John Sullivan Dwight erected a framework for the
study of music in America. In the ensuing years, others have
added immensely to this body of information and, with each new
discovery, have given us greater insights into the development
of music in the United States.
Most often this American musicological research has
centered on the lives and works of our nation's composers
resulting in a style analysis of each individual's aggregate
output. There is now available a vast amount of biographical
information concerning many of our composers as well as
analyses of their music and style characteristics.
One area, however, that often remains relatively
untouched in this research is the study of instructional
materials and pedagogical works, that is, compositions and
collections which were primarily written and compiled for the
purpose of teaching a person to play a particular musical
instrument. They often include some basic repertoire for the
instrument alongside a selection of training exercises and
some explanation of musical notation, and other basic
information about the specific instrument.
Much can be learned from a study of such works, for often
they give insights into performance practices of the day as
well as information about the teaching methods of a specific
era. The types of compositions included in such works also
give an indication of the general musical tastes of a
particular period, at least insofar as they were influenced by
the compilers of such pedagogical books.
In the early decades of the nineteenth century, there was
a mushrooming interest in music and music instruction in our
nation. This can be inferred from the increased activity in
the sale of music and musical instruments, as well as in the
numbers of people enrolled in music instruction. The fact
that between the years of 1801 and 1825, nearly 10,000
different musical titles were published in the United States
testifies to the importance of music in the lives of Americans
in the years when our nation was still in its infancy.
One important figure in the history of American music
instruction was Johann Christian Gottlieb Graupner, who was
very influential in the musical life of Boston during the
first three decades of the nineteenth century. Gottlieb
Graupner (as he preferred to call himself) is best known for
founding the first orchestra in the United States, the
Philharmonic Society of Boston, and for helping to organize
that city's Handel and Haydn Society. He was, however, also
a highly respected teacher of music in Boston and one of the
first to publish music there as well. Among his publications,
Graupner included many works of contemporary Americans, and
several works of his own. Included in the latter are his
instructors' for piano, flute, and clarinet.
Although these works are listed among Graupner's
publications, little has been written about them. Copies of
these works are scattered about in library collections
throughout the United States, yet there has not been to date
any thorough discussion of their contents or their place in
the history of musical pedagogy.
Need for the Study
There has been a growing interest in America's musical
past over the last several decades. As in all disciplines,
however, the interest in the past has not been rationed
equally to all eras. One neglected period is the early part
of the nineteenth century. Earlier in this century, the
renowned American musicologist, Oscar Sonneck, said of this
Whoever has had to occupy himself with our recent
histories of music in America, will have noticed the
scant courtesy shown to the first half of the nineteenth
century. More and more I received the impression
that the first half of the nineteenth century and no
'The terms instructor, preceptor, and tutor as used in
this work will refer to instructional materials, not to
individuals. This was common usage in the early nineteenth
century and the terminology that Graupner himself used.
longer the eighteenth century is the mysterious period in
our musical past. (Sonneck, 1916/1921/1970, p. 339)
Even in recent years the situation has not completely
remedied itself. As one scholar stated, "As yet, we know all
too little about 'music in America.'. the nineteenth
century has remained a virtually unexplored jungle" (Lowens,
1978, p. 7).
One of the reasons for the lack of attention to this
period has to do with the differing viewpoints of those
conducting the research. This interesting facet of American
musicology needs to be considered, especially as it pertains
to the early nineteenth century, to gain an appreciation for
the lack of research in this area.
This dichotomy in American musicology was most clearly
and carefully spelled out in the opening article of the
inaugural issue of the journal American Music. In the
article, "Musical Learning in Nineteenth-Century America"
(Crawford, 1983), the author traced the historiography of
American music, which he saw as having been dominated by two
virtually exclusive perspectives. The one, put forth by those
such as Oscar Sonneck, John Tasker Howard, and H. Earle
Johnson, viewed American music as having grown out of European
models. This "chip-off-the-old-block" philosophy tended to
focus its attention on works modeled on their European
counterparts. The vernacular tradition (which includes folk
and popular music) is either ignored or viewed as more
primitive, and thus not as noble or important as "true" art
The second perspective of American music, as Crawford
described it, is a newer development. In the work of such
scholars as H. Wiley Hitchcock, Gilbert Chase, and others, he
saw a rejection of the assumption that European music must be
the model for American music. Thus, their work has centered
on composers such as Billings and Ives who found their own way
in music without relying on European models.
Because almost all of the prominent musicians in America
in the early nineteenth century were immigrants from European
countries, they naturally tended to model their music-making
on those European forms and values with which they were
familiar. For this reason, the second perspective of the
history of American music has tended to play down the
important contributions that these immigrants made to our
young country. Unfortunately, this viewpoint, which generally
predominates today, does not give a complete picture any more
than the first perspective did.
This kind of attitude suggests that, as helpful as the
second perspective has been in identifying a strain of
vitality in American musical life, it will not likely
lead toward a sympathetic understanding of the nineteenth
century. (Crawford, 1983, p. 3)
To help in moving toward the goal of developing a
comprehensive picture of music in early nineteenth-century
America, Crawford suggested that a study of musical learning
and its dissemination could make that era more accessible to
scholarly understanding than it has been to date.
I am willing to predict that a study of musical learning
in the nineteenth-century America will surprise us.
Americans, accustomed to thinking of musical tradition as
a matter of repertoire, tend to believe that we have
grown beyond and repudiated all but a tiny part of our
own musical past. Perhaps, however, if we define our
legacy more broadly, incorporating musical learning and
related issues into our musical history, we will discover
that our American roots run deeper than we had thought.
This study represents an endeavor to close the gap to
some small degree between these two perspectives on the
history of American music by studying the pedagogical works of
an immigrant musician who was very influential in the musical
life of Boston for over thirty years. Because of his
respected position in the community as an authority on music,
Graupner's pedagogical works are an especially important
source for gaining insight into private music instruction at
In 1800, Boston was a thriving city of approximately
25,000 people, and a leading center of American cultural life.
These reasons alone make it an excellent geographical choice
for historical study. Boston, however, is also widely
remembered for its pioneering efforts in the inclusion of
music in the curriculum of the public schools. The efforts of
Lowell Mason and his contemporaries are well documented.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the work of
private music instructors. There has been to date relatively
little research conducted in the field of the history of
private instruction. Texts on the history of music education
tend to deal exclusively with the teaching of music in the
public school systems.
Compartmentalizing music education in this way keeps the
researcher from seeing the interaction of public and private
music instruction in a historical context. Obviously, decades
before music was included in the Boston public schools'
curriculum, private music instruction was available in that
city. The work of those private music teachers undoubtedly
had a great influence upon the ultimate decision to make music
instruction available for all school children.
Gates (1990) warned of the dangers of confining the study
of the history of music education only to that instruction
occurring in the public schools:
That is, we must guard against any attempts to confine
music education historical (and other) research to public
school music. First, doing history through this
"stencil" fails to connect school music to the society
that supports it; it doesn't provide enough information
for the study of comparative music education questions;
it diminishes the political genius of pioneers' and other
leaders; it ignores music teachers' nonschool music
education activities (church choir directing, private
lessons, community arts leadership, etc); and it reduces
the chance that information crucial to assessing
accurately the strength or weakness of music educators'
contributions to the musical life of a society will come
to light. Public school music's importance can be either
exaggerated or undervalued if music education researchers
don't provide the basis for seeing the societal context
of music teaching more clearly. (p. 29)
Gottlieb Graupner was indisputably one of the most
influential musicians in Boston during the first quarter of
the nineteenth century. He was a highly respected performer,
promoter, publisher, and teacher of music. Because Graupner
was so active in the musical life of Boston, a study of his
instructional style is especially important. His influence
was widely felt and his opinions were highly respected. It is
therefore reasonable to assume that his books of musical
instruction (some of which were released in several editions)
were highly regarded and widely distributed as well.
A systematic study of these works would provide
information about the type of musical instruction available
during this period of American history and also provide models
for the type of instrumental literature to which the amateur
performing public was exposed. Also, because Graupner
published instructional materials for several instruments, his
are an especially good choice for study since they would
provide a wider perspective of music instruction.
Purposes of the Study
The purposes of this study are as follows:
1. Present a comprehensive analysis of the pedagogical
works of Johann Christian Gottlieb Graupner.
2. Consider these works within their historical
context; that is, a society which was in its infancy in
terms of development and support of music.
3. Supplement the current musicological research on
Gottlieb Graupner giving special emphasis to his
contributions to musical instruction and curriculum in
Boston during the first three decades of the nineteenth
Research questions related to the purposes of the study
are as follows:
1. What do these works tell us about the musical
instruction in Boston during the early nineteenth
2. What types of theory instruction are given in these
3. Are there instructions for understanding musical
notation, rhythm, meter, key signatures, and the like?
4. What information is given on contemporary
performance practices? Are, for example, trills and
other ornaments explained?
5. Is any explanation of musical terminology given?
6. What type of instruction is given for the physical
holding of the instrument (in the case of the flute and
clarinet), or information about hand and foot placement
(for the piano)?
7. What models, if any, did Graupner use for these
8. What types of literature are included as lessons?
Which composers are represented in these works?
The highly regarded musicologist Glen Haydon (1941)
enumerated the stages in musicological research, but warned
that they often overlap and that the researcher may be working
on several of them at the same time:
1. Being conscious of the problem
2. Defining the problem
3. Integrating the problem into the general scope of
4. Searching for materials
5. Analyzing the materials
6. Synthesizing the work of the analyses
8. Writing the final statement
The first three steps are preparatory in nature and have
been addressed already in the opening sections of this
chapter. The next four involve locating and analyzing the
pedagogical works of Gottlieb Graupner, while the last entails
putting the gathered information into an accessible format
which can be used by others to better understand and interpret
the musical life in Boston in the early nineteenth century.
Musicological research is dependent upon both primary and
secondary sources for information. This research dealt with
both. In this project, the primary sources included the
pedagogical works of Gottlieb Graupner along with his personal
and business correspondence and records, as well as any
pertinent information available through public documents,
newspaper articles and advertisements. The secondary sources
were chiefly ones which provided biographical and background
information into the life and times of Graupner. These
included historical surveys of American music as well as non-
musical histories, which give insight into life in Boston
during the early nineteenth century.
An early step in this research was to locate copies of
the musical instructors and other related materials. Of all
the pedagogical works, only the second edition of Graupner's
piano instructor, Rudiments of the Art of Playing on the
Pianoforte, published in 1819, is readily available on
microfilm. The other works are less well known, and only
single copies are located in various research libraries in the
The seminal work on the life and accomplishments of
Gottlieb Graupner is Musical Interludes in Boston (1943)
published by H. Earle Johnson. In an appendix, Johnson listed
all the known Graupner publications, including the
instructional books which he had examined; however, the
library location of only one of the texts is given in this
An indispensable tool in discovering the whereabouts of
these works was Secular Music in America. 1801-1825: A
Bibliographv (Wolfe, 1964). This work was doubly useful
because it not only listed the known works of a given American
composer or compiler, but also indicated the library or
private collection in which the music could be found.
Unfortunately, not all of the instructional materials
published by Graupner were included in the bibliography since
it covered only the first twenty-five years of the nineteenth
A second reference work, Resources of American Music
History (Krummel, Geil, Dyen, & Root, 1981), was also helpful
in the search for primary source material, because it listed
the special historic collections housed in music libraries in
the United States. From these two sources it was discovered
that there are copies of the pedagogical works, personal and
business papers, and other biographical materials in five
important libraries in the United States: the American
Antiquarian Society Library in Worcester, Massachusetts;
Boston Public Library; Brown University Library; Library of
Congress; and the Newberry Library in Chicago.
The next step was to contact the individual libraries and
secure copies of the texts and other materials for study.
Since some of the texts were only available in very fragile
form and not suitable for photocopying, this necessitated a
trip to the Boston area to study the works. Analyzing
Graupner's pedagogical works obviously was a major portion of
this research effort. It was necessary to not only give a
detailed listing of their contents, but also to place these
works in their proper historical perspective. Haydon (1941)
spoke of the important interrelationship between the
systematic and historical facets of musicological research
when analyzing music.
The understanding of a particular composition may be said
to depend on a comprehension of what it is in itself and
in relation to other similar and contrasting contemporary
style-types. This is systematic knowledge. But it can
scarcely be separated from the complementary knowledge,
that of understanding this particular composition in its
historical perspective. Thus we conceive of
understanding as a knowledge of relations in a two-
dimensional frame of reference. (p.8)
This "two-dimensional frame of reference" was the key in
discussing the analyses of Graupner's pedagogical works. It
was important to bring into focus the contents of these works
as they related to their historical setting.
Treitler (1982) also discussed this historical
perspective approach to music research and its benefits:
There is a causal, positivist sense in which music is
understood as a precipitate of its context. And there is
a hermeneutic sense,in which it is viewed as a meaningful
item within a wider context of practices, conventions,
assumptions, transmissions, receptions--in short a
musical culture, which serves to endow its constituent
aspects with meaning while attaining its own meaning from
the combination of its constituents. From this
perspective analysis must be a central activity of the
historian. The most engaged and engaging writing about
music of the past nowadays tends increasingly toward a
comprehensive understanding. (p. 69)
As with all research, this study has its limitations.
Because there were conflicting accounts as to the locations of
several of Graupner's instructional books, and because several
of them appeared in multiple editions, it was not possible to
locate copies of all the various editions. For example,
Graupner's New Instructor for the Clarinet (1811) was cited in
Johnson (1943) as being housed in the Library of Congress;
however, no such copy can be presently found there or in any
other library. Thus, the researcher was left simply with
Johnson's three-line description of the work. Every effort
was made to study all available materials and to document
those which could not be presently located.
Organization of the Study
This study is presented in five chapters. The first
chapter contains the introductory material: the need for and
purposes of the study, research questions, a discussion of
methodology, the limitations of the research, and its
organization. Chapter 2 is a review of the related
literature. Chapter 3 presents background information
concerning the life of Johann Christian Gottlieb Graupner and
his activities in music performance, publishing, and teaching
in the Boston area. The fourth chapter contains an analysis
of the pedagogical works compiled and published by Graupner,
while the fifth consists of the study's summary, conclusions,
A survey of the literature concerning music and musical
instruction in America during the early part of the nineteenth
century yielded some interesting findings. It was necessary
to review several different areas to gain a clearer
perspective on the amount of information currently available
on Gottlieb Graupner and his pedagogical works.
This literature review includes a survey of general
histories of American music; histories of musical development
in New England, and more specifically, Boston; discussions of
early music publishing efforts in and around Boston;
bibliographies of musical instructional materials from the
early nineteenth century, as well as studies which trace the
development of music pedagogy or instructional materials.
Graupner was mentioned in all the major surveys of
American music. However, despite the fact that some lofty
plaudits were bestowed on him, such as the "Father of American
Orchestral Music" (Howard, 1965, p. 130), the organizer of
Boston's Handel and Haydn Society (Hitchcock, 1988, p. 39),
and the "man who assumed the dominant position in the musical
life in Boston" (Chase, 1987, p. 107), he received relatively
little attention in any of these works.
Each presented a brief biographical sketch, which
basically discussed Graupner's German heritage and the
founding of the Philharmonic Society as well as the Handel and
Haydn Society of Boston. Chase also mentioned that Graupner's
Rudiments of the Art of Playina on the Piano Forte appeared in
1806 and was reissued in 1819, 1825, and 1827, but he did not
mention the other instructional works. Howard accurately
stated that "he was a pioneer in compiling educational works
for the piano forte" (p. 131), but he gave the date of
Rudiments as 1819 (the date of the second edition), instead of
1806. Hitchcock accurately reported the date of the beginning
of the Philharmonic Society as 1809, whereas the other two
listed 1810, but he gave no mention of the Graupner's
activities as a teacher or of his pedagogical works.
Even less information was given about Graupner in other
general texts on the history of American music (Hamm, 1983;
Lowens, 1964; Ritter 1890/1972). In these works, Graupner was
either completely ignored or given only cursory consideration.
As might be expected, Graupner was given considerably
more attention in books and collections which focused
specifically on musical development in New England and Boston.
An article by John S. Dwight in The Memorial History of Boston
(1881) traced the development of music in that city. In this
work Graupner was described as "the first important teacher
here of the piano-forte and music generally," (p. 415) but his
pedagogical works were not mentioned.
Likewise, works such as Notes on Music in Old Boston
(Fisher, 1918/1976) and Olden-time Music (Brooks, 1888/1973)
generally discussed the musical performances of the day, and
Graupner was mentioned only in connection with his appearances
in concerts and benefits. Broyles (1991) focused his
attention on class structure in Boston and its affect on the
music institutions and the development of music there.
Although he provided some very interesting background
information into the part Graupner played in developing the
Philharmonic and Handel and Haydn Societies, he did not
explore the role of Graupner's private music instruction in
the historical development of the area.
Most of the biographical information on Graupner in all
these sources was derived from an unpublished manuscript
housed in the Boston Public Library. This work is a detailed
account of the life of Johann Christian Gottlieb Graupner and
his first wife, Catherine. It was written and donated to the
library by their granddaughter, Catherine Graupner Stone in
1906. She compiled a thorough family record of dates and the
activities of her musical ancestors, which have been used
extensively by subsequent historians in their writings about
The most thorough discussion of both the Graupners' lives
and their musical activities as well as the whole musical
scene in Boston in the early nineteenth century was compiled
by H. Earle Johnson in his Musical Interludes in Boston. 1795-
1830 (1943). In this work, he presented a detailed
description of the background of Boston social life, the
musical organizations active during this time, the most
important musical "personalities" of the day (the Von Hagen
family, Dr. George K. Jackson, and the Graupners), and the
musical business enterprises in the city. The latter included
music publishers, manufacturers of musical instruments,
merchants who sold music and instruments, and music teachers.
Especially important to the current study is Appendix III
of Johnson's book in which he included a catalogue of Graupner
publications along with specific publication information.
Included in the lists of larger works published by Graupner
were his five instructors: Rudiments of the Art of Plavina on
the Piano Forte, which appeared in two editions (with two
subsequent printings with minor revisions); New Instructor for
the Clarinet; G. Grauoner's Complete Preceptor for the
Clarinet; G. Graupner's Complete Preceptor for the German
flute; and A New Preceptor for the German Flute. Johnson
cited the then privately owned collection of Mr. J. Francis
Driscoll as the primary source for Graupner imprints. He also
mentioned that a copy of New Instructor for the Clarinet was
located in the Library of Congress.
The descriptions of the five instructors included general
information from each one's title page, such as the copyright
date and exact title. Johnson also gave a one- or two-
sentence description of the contents of each work and the
total number of pages. This listing is still the most
informative source on Graupner's pedagogical works, and yet it
presented only a skeletal description of the works themselves.
Intended only as a catalog of Graupner's publishing
activities, it did not purport to be an exhaustive analysis.
A very thorough discussion of musical activities in New
England during the early decades of the nineteenth century was
also presented in James Thompson's Music in New England. 1800-
1838 (1962/1963). Thompson described not only the sacred and
secular musical offerings of the time, but also the early
American efforts in musical journalism, publishing, and
private music instruction.
One of Thompson's stated goals was to show the
developments in American musical activity which led to the
introduction of music into the public school curriculum in
Boston in 1838. To this end, he discussed the role of private
music instruction in this society, explaining general
developments. He also gave a "classified tabulation of some
of the instruction books published in New England between 1800
and 1838," but admitted, "The list is representative, and
makes no pretense at completeness" (p. 513). Thompson's list
included the same five instructors that were given in
Discussions of early music publishing in and around
Boston were another source of information for this research.
Here again, however, the authors did not always give accurate
or detailed facts. In one source, Graupner was described as
"a pioneer in compiling educational works for the pianoforte"
(Ayars, 1937, p. 10), yet the author inaccurately cited 1819,
instead of 1806, as the first publishing date of Graupner's
One author did, however, supply some new and interesting
material. In Early American Music Enaraving and Printing
(Wolfe, 1980), the author presented an in-depth discussion of
the music publishing activities in that time. His research
unearthed a sixth instructor compiled by Graupner. Through a
study of the probate court records of Suffolk County,
Massachusetts, Wolfe discovered that the estate of Gottlieb
Graupner included 45 engraving plates for an instructional
book for the double bass. He hypothesized that since no
copies of this work had been found, it probably was never
printed, and the plates were melted down in 1836 or 1837 after
Another work by the same author, proved to be just as
informative. In Secular Music in America 1801-1825: A
Bibliography (1964), Wolfe presented a list of all the
Graupner pedagogical works published in the first quarter of
the century. He gave a brief synopsis of each work's contents
and the number of pages, as well as title page information.
Most importantly, Wolfe cited the private and public libraries
in America which housed copies of the works. Since this work
was compiled 25 years after Johnson's catalog of Graupner's
works, it obviously had more current information on the
location of copies of the music.
The one obvious limitation to this information is that
not all of Graupner's works were listed since they do not fall
within the boundaries of the years included in Wolfe's
bibliography. For this reason, Complete Preceptor for the
Flute (c. 1825) and Complete Preceptor for the Clarinet (1826)
were not included.
Also, as in the Johnson work mentioned earlier, the
information given was skeletal. As a bibliography, the
concentration was on publishing information, such as the exact
titles, years of publication, and copyright, rather than on
the contents or type of instructional material.
The literature search for this topic also included works
which deal with music instruction in early American life.
Unfortunately, most of the available resources on this topic
tend to focus primarily on the history of music education only
as it developed in the singing schools of New England and then
later in the public school system. Private music instruction
was not treated, and therefore, teachers such as Graupner were
not mentioned (Keene, 1982; Sundermann, 1971).
This oversight seems especially ironic in light of the
fact that the foundations of the history of music education
are deeply rooted in private music instruction. It is clear
that without the pioneering music education work of people
such as Gottlieb Graupner, the later (and much more well-
known) music education accomplishments of Lowell Mason and his
followers would not have been possible.
Graupner generally fared no better in studies of
pedagogical developments. For example, though several works
included information on the historical evolution of piano
pedagogy, they tended to exclusively deal with the literature
produced in Europe (Bashaw, 1980; Weitzmann, 1897/1969).
Since all of Graupner's works were published in America, none
of them were discussed or listed in these sources either.
A few studies in the history of piano pedagogy did
mention Graupner. In one, Keyboard Music in the Colonies and
the United States of America Before 1830 (Wolverton,
1966/1967), the author discussed the role that keyboard music
played in the cultural life of early America. He included in
this study works by both native Americans and immigrants.
Graupner was accorded a brief biographical sketch along
with a listing of a single keyboard work and the first two
editions of Rudiments of the Art of Playing on the Piano
Forte. There was, however, no information about the contents
of the books.
Rosenblum (1974), in a study of Clementi's Introduction
to the Art of Playing the Piano Forte (1801), found that this
work had "an unmistakable influence on several French,
English, and American methods" (p. ix). One of these was
Graupner's Rudiments. In comparing Clementi's work with
Graupner's, Rosenblum found that "many pages of text[,]
including the important sections on style and ornaments and
one-third of the lessons, are taken verbatim from Clementi"
In The Dawning of American Keyboard Music, J. Bunker
Clark (1988) also presented a wealth of information on the
piano instructional materials that were available to Americans
in the early years of our history. He included all such works
in use in America at the time, both those by foreign writers
such as Clementi and Dussek as well as those compiled by
native and immigrant Americans.
Clark gave an outline of the contents of the two editions
of Rudiments as well as a specific listing of the changes
between the first and second editions. Clark also charged
Graupner with the "wholesale" (p. 294) copying of sections of
both Clementi's and Dussek's instructors, while at the same
time admitting that "his (and Clementi's) Rudiments represents
a significant advance in thoroughness and technique, over a
period of more than two decades. Anyone who mastered the
contents certainly rose above the level of the mere
dilettante" (p. 296).2
2he issue of plagiarism (which will be discussed more
thoroughly later) deserves some mention at this point. It has
been well documented that much of what was published in early
American newspapers and periodicals was often taken directly
from previously published materials, often without any credit
given to the original author (Wunderlich, 1962/1963). For
example John Rowe Parker's Euteroeiad, an early American
musical periodical, reprinted large excerpts of Burney's
history of music for American consumption. This practice,
while unacceptable and illegal today, was in the nineteenth
century a common and accepted practice.
Graupner's instructors for wind instruments received even
less attention than his keyboard tutors. The four works for
woodwinds were listed in Warner's An Annotated Bibliography of
Woodwind Instruction Books. 1600-1830 (1967), but here the
data were limited to publishing information and locations of
extant copies, as one would expect in a bibliography. It
contained no information concerning the contents of these
The review of the related literature suggested that
although there had been some attention given to the life of
Gottlieb Graupner and the role that he played in helping to
develop the art of music in Boston during the early part of
the nineteenth century, there was only skeletal information
available on his pedagogical works. A study of these works
was needed in order to provide a realistic picture of music
instruction in Boston in the early part of the nineteenth
century and the role of music in that society.
THE LIFE OF JOHANN CHRISTIAN GOTTLIEB GRAUPNER:
HIS ACTIVITIES AS MUSICIAN, PUBLISHER, AND TEACHER
The Early Years
Much of what is known of the early part of Johann
Christian Gottlieb Graupner's life has been gleaned from a
biography written by his granddaughter, Catherine Graupner
Stone. A copy of Mrs. Stone's typewritten work is located in
the archives of the Boston Public Library. Through her study
of family keepsakes, documents, papers, and newspaper
clippings she was able to piece together a sketch of her
grandfather's life. She donated a copy of her writing to the
library in 1906 when she was living in California because, as
her letter states, "the earthquake and fire in San Francisco
last April, made one feel I would like to place copies of my
manuscript as far away as possible from the Pacific Coast"
(1906, Handwritten note attached to Stone's typewritten
Another very helpful work which discussed the life of
Graupner in the historical context of early nineteenth-
century Boston is H.E. Johnson's Musical Interludes in Boston
(1943). Although this research is almost 50 years old, it
still provided the most thorough background material on this
Johann Christian Gottlieb Graupner was born in the city
of Verden in the province of Hanover, Germany, on October 6,
1767. According to the birth and baptismal records of St.
John's Church and Garnison Congregation in Verden, which were
procured by Mrs. Stone:
On the ninth of October Johann George Graubner, Hautboiss
of the Regiment de la Motte, and his wife Anna Maria
Agnesa born Schonhagen, brought their son for baptism who
was born between two and three in the afternoon of the
sixth of the same month, named Johann Christian Gottlieb.
(cited in Stone, 1906, p. 3)
The child received his name from the three witnesses at
his baptism: Johann Michael Dohberg, an oboist; Christian
Heinrich Wilde, the gate-secretary; and Johann Gottlieb
Bohloke, a surgeon. The family name given in this entry of
the church records is "Graubner," but except for one other
family entry in 1765, it was always listed as "Graupner."
Johann Christian Gottlieb's father, Johann George
Graupner, was a trained oboist. He had studied with the city
musician of the Royal City of Hannover from 1743 to 1748, and
served as the oboist in the regiment of Colonel von Groten.
On August 13, 1752, he married Anna Maria Agnesa Schonhagen
and together they had eight children, the seventh of whom was
Gottlieb. Johann Georg Graupner died, according to the church
records, of consumption on March 26, 1787, at the age of 59
years, and his wife, Anna, followed him two years later, dying
of the same disease.
The young Graupner followed in his father's musical
footsteps. He, too, received a thorough musical education and
was taught to play "upon every known musical instrument,
although the double-bass and the oboe, hautboyy) were his
favorite" (Stone, 1906, p. 5).
He also served in the military as had his father. A copy
of his discharge papers in the possession of his descendants
documents that on April 8, 1788, at the age of twenty and a
half years old, he was honorably discharged from his duties as
the oboist of the Seventh Royal Infantry stationed at the town
and fortress of Hameln. Upon his discharge Graupner bought
the oboe which he had used during his military service. It
would become a very important part of his civilian life as
Three years after his discharge, according to John
Sullivan Dwight, Graupner was in London, England, performing
with Haydn "when the great master brought out the twelve
famous Symphonies in Salomon's concerts (1791-92)" (Perkins &
Dwight, 1883-1893/1977, p. 416).3
Although there is no surviving record of the actual
performers at these concerts, it is reasonable to assume that
Graupner was a member of Haydn's orchestra for several
'Dwight seems to imply here that all twelve of the London
symphonies were performed during the 1791-92 season. Only the
first nine of the symphonies (No. 93-101) were performed for
the Salomon concerts in 1791-92 and 1794-95. The last three
received their first performances in 1795 at the Opera
reasons. The family history written by his granddaughter
discussed Graupner's membership in the orchestra. Secondly,
the musical training and experience Graupner had at the time
would have qualified him for an orchestral seat. And finally,
his later zealous commitment to the performance of Haydn in
this country (often to the exclusion of more contemporary
works) would also tend to support this conclusion.
Life in the New World
The next few years of Graupner's life are more difficult
to document. Several sources claim that he emigrated from
England to Prince Edward Island for a short period of time,
but it is certain that by 1795 he had arrived in Charleston,
Graupner, like many other young musicians who lived in
England such as Alexander Reinagle, James Hewitt, and George
K. Jackson, was drawn to America by the promise of lucrative
employment in the new country. By 1790, the date of the first
census, America had a population of approximately 3.9 million.
The young, developing nation presented many new opportunities
for entrepreneurial musicians, as Loesser stated:
A "more perfect union" had been formed; moreover, the new
government was promulgating a sound national currency to
remedy the monetary uncertainty of the immediate past.
Businessmen, speculators, and landlords--money-handlers
generally--were happy. They were people who went to
theaters and concerts, bought instruments, and had their
daughters take lessons. (1954, p. 446)
Graupner became a member of the orchestra of the City
Theatre on Church Street in Charleston. He must have made a
favorable impression, for he was featured at the opening night
of the new fall season on November 10, 1795, playing an
unnamed concerto "between the play and the farce" (American
Antiquarian Society, Columbian Herald, November 9, 1795).
According to Sonneck (1907/1978), Graupner's first documented
concert performance (as opposed to entr'acte theatre
performance) was on March 21, 1796, when he played a
"'Concerto on the Hautboy' by Fischer" as part of a "benefit
concert for Mr. Petit and Mr. Villars" (p. 33).
It is interesting to note that the format of musical
concerts was often quite different from what is familiar
today. A concert, often called a benefit, might consist of
several acts with various performers, singers, and
instrumentalists presenting a program of disparate works.
Unfortunately for the music historian, the documentation
of exactly what was performed is often sketchy at best.
Copies of programs from this era often omit the composers'
names completely. An entry may simply say, for example, "A
sonata by Miss Z," or "Concerto for Hautboy, by Mr. Graupner."
It is clear that those named are the performers, not the
composers, but it is curious that the composers are not given
any credit for their work.
It was while playing in the City Theatre Orchestra that
Gottlieb Graupner made the acquaintance of Mrs. Catherine
Comerford Hillier, a singer and a member of the theatre troupe
during the 1795-96 season. Mrs. Hillier (also variously
spelled Heelyer or Hellyer) was a native of England where she
had performed on the stage. A widow with several children,
she had come to America to pursue her acting career. She
first joined a troupe in Boston at the Federal Street Theatre
where she made her debut in December of 1794.
At the close of that season in June, 1795, the management
of the theatre was almost bankrupt and the troupe of actors
left for Charleston to seek greener economic pastures. Before
she left Massachusetts, however, Mrs. "Hellyer" did appear "in
a benefit concert at Washington Hall in Salem" in a
performance which consisted of scenes from Romeo and Juliet,
Venice Preserved, and other works. (Hehr, 1963/1964, p. 114).
It is, of course, entirely possible that Mr. Graupner and
Mrs. Hillier had been acquaintances in London since both were
active in theatre productions there. But it was in America,
their new home, that they were to fall in love and marry. On
Wednesday, April 6, 1796, they were wed in Charleston, South
Carolina. Since the theatre productions were staged on
Tuesday, Thursdays, and Saturdays, the Wednesday wedding
afforded them at least a one-day honeymoon. Mrs. Graupner,
however, did not perform "on her wedding day" (Johnson, 1943,
p. 171), but rather was back on stage the next evening as
Melinda in The Recruitina Officer and Betty in The Irish
Taylo (A.A.S., Columbian Herald, April 6, 1796).
In addition to her acting career, Catherine Graupner was
also a singer. She performed vocal solos occasionally between
the acts of plays. This is well documented in the newspaper
advertisements of the day, which gave a complete account of
the plays performed, the cast members involved, and the
The company traveled briefly to Norfolk and Portsmouth,
Virginia, where the Graupners performed in a benefit concert
on October 7, 1796. Catherine rendered the solo "Sweet
Nightingale" with accompaniment provided by her husband on the
oboe as well as "A Favorite Song" and a duet, "What is Love?"
with Mr. Prigmore. Her husband showed his multiplicity of
musical talents by performing a violin duet by Pleyel with Mr.
Decker, as well as an unnamed oboe concerto and Fisher's Rondo
with variations on the oboe (Sonneck, 1907/1978, p. 60).
The company returned to Charleston, but in the next
theatre season, there is no mention of the Graupners on the
Charleston stage. After Catherine sang in a concert for Mr.
Edgar's benefit on September 21, they had headed north to the
Boston area which would eventually become their home for the
remainder of their lives.
Both Graupners are listed in the cast of performers for
the 1796-1797 season of the Federal Street Theatre in Boston.
In a compilation of the salaries for that period prepared by
the theatre manager, they are listed as having received a
combined amount of "thirty dollars per week" (Alden, 1956, p.
It does not appear, however, that the duo actually began
working on the stage in Boston until January of 1797. The
playbill for the evening of January 23 studied by Sonneck
tells of the North American premiere of Gretry's Richard.
Coeur de Lion, in which the part of Laurette was sung by Mrs.
Graupner, "her first appearance in these two years" (Sonneck,
1915, p. 214).
During the summer of 1797, the Graupners appeared in
Salem, Massachusetts, at Washington Hall with the theatre
company. Here, Mrs. Graupner, once again accompanied by her
husband on the oboe, entertained between the acts of plays
with such sentimental favorites as "Sweet Echo" and "How d' ye
do" (Sonneck, 1915, p. 160).
For a short time, Catherine Graupner continued with
Solee's theatre company performing in Philadelphia and, for
two nights, in New York, but by January of 1798, the Graupners
had settled in Boston. Unfortunately, a fire which totally
destroyed the theatre in February, left the acting troupe and
its musicians without work.
Graupner was quick to rebound from this lost source of
income, however, for by the next month he was already
advertising his new business venture:
Mr. Graupner most respectfully offers his Services to the
Ladies and Gentlemen of Boston, to teach Vocal and
Instrumental Music. Having devoted his life to acquire
knowledge in his profession he flatters himself with
giving entire satisfaction to those who honor him with
their commands. He will wait on those who prefer taking
lessons at their own houses, at such hours as may suit
their convenience, or at his lodgings, at Mrs. Granger's,
Orange-Tree Lane. Mr. Graupner also makes and repairs
most kinds of musical instruments. (A.A.S., Columbian
Centinel, March 3, 10, and 17, 1798)
In a similar income-generating move, Catherine Graupner also
advertised a concert that same month:
Mrs. Graupner most respectfully informs her friends and
the public in general that on THIS evening the 14th
March, will be presented for her benefit at Mr. Bowen's
Hall, Under the Museum, a Grand Concert of Vocal and
Instrumental Musick (sic]. Tickets to be had at Mr. B.
Russell's Office, One Dollar each. (A.A.S., Columbian
Centinel, March 14, 1798)
A year later, Gottlieb Graupner advertised a concert of
music which he intended to present "as soon as the
subscription is adequate to the expense." Obviously, not a
shy man, he went on to declare the praises of this upcoming
from the very flattering remarks of approbation
Mrs. Graupner's Concert was received last year, emboldens
him to say, that it shall be one of the most brilliant
performances ever produced in this town, as no pains or
diligence shall be spared to make it so, and to render it
worthy of their patronage. (A.A.S., Columbian Centinel,
April 17, 1799)
Tragedy struck the Graupners one month later, in May of
1799, when their home along with several others was destroyed
in a fire. The following article appeared:
This morning about five minutes past two, a fire took in
some out buildings in the vicinity of Newbury Street,
which in the course of three hours consumed thirteen
dwelling-houses. Mr. Graupner, and others whose
names we have not at this early period been able to
ascertain, were occupants of Mr. Jarvis' buildings. ..
Mr. Jarvis' houses, we learn, were not insured, as
reported. Many of the sufferers have claims on the
benificence [sic] of the public. (A.A.S., Columbian
Centinel, May 11, 1799)
Fortunately, no one was killed in the blaze, but it did
leave many of the families almost destitute. In an effort to
raise money to replace some of their household goods, the
Graupners advertised a concert for June 25, 1799, in Salem,
Massachusetts at the Market Street Concert Hall.
One reader of the Salem Gazette, who simply signed
himself "A. Citizen", responded to an ad for the concert with
the following letter to the editor:
I observe that a CONCERT of MUSIC is advertised in your
last paper, to be performed on this evening for the
benefit of Mrs. Graupner. It is hoped that as the
company expressed a great satisfaction for the last
excellent Concert which was given by Mr. Graupner, they
will receive no less pleasure from this. To render the
entertainment more complete, we are informed there will
be added to the other instruments an excellent Piano
Forte. The beauties of the instrument will be displayed
in the brilliant execution of Mrs. Von Hagan; whose taste
and talents procured her, when in Holland, the admiration
of the Court at the Hague, as they have since in America
commanded the applause of all who have heard her perform.
To the claim which Mr. Graupner's abilities give him to
the public patronage, his misfortune in being burnt out
of his house by the late fire at Botlen, will, it is
hoped, be duly considered by every humane mind. Those
that attend this Concert, will have added to the
enjoyment of music, the satisfaction resulting from
aiding those who have suffered from a calamity which they
themselves as inhabitants of a wooden town, are
peculiarly exposed to. (A.A.S., Salem Gazette, June 25,
The program that evening consisted of performances by a
variety of musically prominent friends of the Graupner family
including Mr. and Mrs. von Hagen, Mr. Mallet, and Mr. Munto,
as well as the Graupners themselves. The price of the tickets
was 75 cents, but there was no further record of the total
One of the most persistent fables about the life of
Gottlieb Graupner centers around a concert given on December
30, 1799 at the Federal Street Theatre in Boston. Because of
an article written in Harper's New Monthly Magazine (L.
Hutton, June, 1889) which credits Graupner as being the first
musician to present a song in blackface, he has erroneously
been credited as being the "father" of Negro minstrelsy by
many music historians (Broder, 1956; Davis, 1982; Howard,
The article unfortunately relied more heavily on hearsay
than on hard evidence. It quoted a Mr. Charles White, "an old
Ethiopian comedian and manager" (p. 133) as having given the
credit to Mr. Graupner for this performance in blackface,
based upon his reading of an article in the Boston Gazette of
December 30, 1799, which published the program of the
At the end of the second act of Oroonoko, according to
Mr. White, Mr. Graupner, in character, sang "The Gay
Negro Boy," accompanying the air with the banjo; and
although the house was draped in mourning for General
Washington, such was the enthusiasm of the audience that
the performer had to bring his little bench from the
wings again and again to sing his song. (Hutton, 1889, p.
This apocryphal story has been discredited, however, by
researchers who have taken the time to study the actual
program from the December 30, 1799 edition of the Boston
Gazette (A.A.S., at that time officially entitled J. Russell's
Gazette). The number in question, "The Song of the Negro
Boy," was sung that evening, not by Mr. Graupner, but by his
wife, Catherine. No mention is made of any accompaniment on
the banjo, nor of any blackface presentation.
As Johnson (1943) pointed out, the text of the song is
sung from the point of view of a white person, so that the use
of blackface would have been out of character, and thus
inappropriate. The story of this performance seems to have
mainly persisted as one historian accepted it from the
writings of another down through the ages without checking the
The Graupners continued to appear in concerts throughout
the Boston area for almost 20 years. Catherine took time out
from the stage, however, to bear and raise their eight
What is known about these children mainly comes from the
family history written by Mrs. Stone (1906). The eight
children were: Catherine Comerford Graupner Cushing (April,
1799?-October 10, 1888), who served as the organist at
Boston's Stone Chapel and was a rehearsal accompanist for the
Handel and Haydn Society; Charles William Gottlieb Graupner
(b. 1800-December 2, 1824), a fine violinist who performed
with his father in the Philharmonic Society; Samuel John
George Graupner (b. February 13, 1803 and died in infancy);
Samuel Smith Graupner (b. August 25, 1805 and died in
Valparaiso, Chile, date unknown); Frederick Graupner (no dates
given), who died in infancy; John Henry Howard Graupner (June
17, 1810- December 4, 1886), the father of Catherine Graupner
Stone, whom she describes as "an excellent pianist, who under
the instruction of his father, from the age of ten to
fourteen, he practiced four hours a day, including holidays"
(p. 25); Frederick Lewis Graupner (December 8, 1811-February
24, 1842), who "followed the sea and died unmarried" (p. 25);
and Charlotte Elizabeth Rowson Graupner (December 26, 1813-
December 17, 1886), who remained unmarried and gave private
piano instruction in Fairhaven and New Bedford, Massachusetts.
In 1807, during the week of his fortieth birthday,
Gottlieb Graupner became a naturalized citizen of the United
States of America. The certificate commemorating this event
is quoted by his granddaughter in her manuscript:
Know ye, that at the Court of Common Pleas held at
Boston within and for the County of Suffolk on the first
Tuesday of October in the year of our Lord one thousand
eight hundred and seven.
Gottlieb Graupner of said Boston, Musician, was
admitted to become a citizen of the United States of
America according to the Acts of Congress in such case
made and provided.
In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and
affixed t he seal of said Court this fifteenth day of
March in the year of our Lord one thousand, eight hundred
and eight, and in the thirty-second year of the
Independence of the United States of America.
Chas. Cushing Clerk. (cited in Stone, 1906, p.14)
Boston Society at the Turn of the Century
In the year 1800, the United States was beginning to come
into its own as an independent nation. With several wars
behind her, the young country was able to focus on commerce,
industry, trade, and expansion. This also was the year of the
election of Thomas Jefferson to the presidency, the man who
would oversee the Louisiana Purchase, an acquisition which
doubled the size of the nation and provided even greater
opportunities for development to its people.
In 1800, Boston was a city of approximately 25,000
people, not a metropolis by any modern comparison, but still
one of the largest, most prominent, and established cities of
the new federation. Here, due to the rise of commerce, there
was also developing an ever-growing group of merchants who
were, for the first time, enjoying an economic "boom."
The middle class used part of their new found wealth to
provide for their families some of the cultural amenities of
life, which had been considered luxuries only a generation or
two before. Families sent their children to academies to
learn drawing, painting, and foreign languages. They hired
teachers and tutors to instruct their offspring in the "finer"
things in life, including music, which was seen as very
important in the development of young people.
In the 1790s academies were opened to girls as well as
boys, although the two were rigidly segregated and the female
curriculum was considered to be "much less demanding" (Nye,
1960, p. 169). It included such things as music, drawing,
painting, light reading, English, and French.
This interest in the education of young people was not so
much to widen their horizons and encourage their development,
but rather to mold them into accepting an aesthetic model of
good taste and developing a sense of the "beautiful."
Young women especially were encouraged in the development
of some degree of musical ability in order to show their
correct upbringing. This was an inherited European standard
which had carried over to the new nation. Women were to learn
to play the piano and sing as a means of entertainment for
their family and friends, but very few were encouraged to
aspire to public performance as an occupation. In fact, to
some the history of the development of the pianoforte and the
social status of women are inextricably woven together:
In eighteenth and nineteenth-century England, as well as
in the rest of Europe, young feminine genteel idleness
was mostly filled with a number of trivial occupations
superficially related to the fine arts: they were known
as 'accomplishments'. Music was, indeed, one of the
most important of the young ladylike 'accomplishments;'
it was a favorite because it could be shown off while
actually being accomplished. (Loesser, 1954, p. 269-270)
This interest in music and in playing the piano naturally
provided many opportunities for those who offered their skills
as teachers, instrument makers, and publishers and sellers of
music. There was now a whole new market for their services
The Music Academy and Teaching Responsibilities
So it was that in November of 1800, Gottlieb Graupner,
together with Francis Mallet and Filippo Trajetta, opened
together in Boston, a Conservatory, or Music Academy, which
was advertised in this grand and elegant manner:
Music being almost an insperable [sic] branch of a
finished education, one of the most useful and agreeable
arts, is as an interpreter of the finer feelings;) a
In support of what is just advanced, the truth may be
adduced from time the most remote, and amongst all
nations, the most savage not excepted, Music has been
known and cultivated. Besides which, its agreeable
utility has been so repeatedly demonstrated by celebrated
and good men, that all those who may have it in their
power, must with their children instructed in an art of
such general use, and which affords so copious a resource
of rational pleasure. In prosperity our moments of
enjoyment are heightened by Music: In adversity, it
dissipates the gloom of care, mollifies the frowns of
fortune, and when obliged to seek a foreign asylum,
smooths [sic] the unequal paths, becomes our interpreter
among a strange people and our conductor to amiable
society; but a motive of still greater consideration
presents itself, that of addressing the Supreme Being in
melodious accents. These motives gave existence [sic] to
the many Musical Academies established in all Europe,
which have been raised to the highest degree of
Messrs. Mallet, Graupner, and Trieta [sic], have
jointly agreed, wishing to be useful to this metropolis,
and sensible that many will be able (by this way) to
satisfy their wishes in accomplishing the education of
their children, intend to open a new Institution (for
this country), but on the same foundation of the best
Conservatories of Europe, where the order, and the
progress of their pupils shall be their principal rule.
(A.A.S., Boston Gazette, November 24, 1800)
The conservatory was established on Rowe's Lane, and
according to newspaper advertisements which appeared the next
few months it seems to have done very well. One paper
advertised the addition of a "circulating library" (A.A.S.,
The Mercury and New England Palladium, February 3, 1801), and
in another the trio explained that they were "obliged to open
a second school for young ladies, and to alter the time of
instruction for young Gentlemen" to accommodate the influx of
patrons. Here also for the first time they advertised for
sale "several excellent piano fortes, violin strings, etc."
(A.A.S., Boston Gazette, June 1, 1801).
However, by November of 1801, one year after the founding
of their academy, Trajetta had left the business, and Mallet
and Graupner had expanded the scope of their business,
advertising a much wider array of musical instruments for
sale, including "grand pianofortes, double-action
harpsichords, and the best English guitars," as well as
American pianofortes manufactured by Benjamin Crehore which
they "warranted for six months" (A.A.S., Boston Gazette,
November 23, 1801) possibly in an effort to get the Bostonians
to buy American products rather than the more highly respected
Evidently the Conservatory partnership arrangement was
not an agreeable one, for in November, 1802, it was dissolved.
Both of the men, however, continued teaching independently.
Mr. Mallet moved to Congress Street and Mr. Graupner to No. 6
Franklin Street where he combined his teaching business with
music publishing and the sale of music and musical
Despite the dissolution of his partnership with Mallet
and Trajetta, Graupner continued to teach throughout his life.
Although there is no record of the number of his students,
some sources give an idea of his influence in the teaching of
music. One of his students was the famous, blind organist and
composer, Oliver Shaw, of Rhode Island. A biography of Shaw
(Williams, 1851) stated that he "went to Boston to pursue the
practice and study of music with a German teacher whose name
was Gottlieve Groupner [sic]. With him he continued the study
and practice of music on the piano and organ" (p. 11-12).
Graupner also taught in some of the private schools in
the Boston area, the most famous of which was one for young
ladies run by Susanna Rowson. Rowson was one of the most
popular authors of her time, and she and her husband became
very close friends of the Graupners over the years. Since
music was considered to be an essential part of any young
woman's education, it was a highly valued part of the
curriculum and its teachers were highly regarded as well.
In the spring of 1802, the firm of Mallet and Graupner
enlarged the scope of their music business by including a
"Printing Office for the correct and elegant execution of all
kinds of Music" (A.A.S., Boston Gazette, March 29, 1802).
included in their first offerings from their press were the
very popular "Battle of Prague" and a few selected songs.
Approximately twenty works of music were published under the
Mallet and Graupner name in 1802.
The business partnership, as was mentioned, lasted only
until November of that year, but Graupner continued in music
publishing. For the next twenty years, he was the major, and
at times the only, music publisher in the city of Boston. He
issued music from his "Music Academy," sometimes referred to
as "Repository" from 1803 to 1807, and then used the
terminology "Music Store" from 1807 until 1817 when his
publishing business declined. Graupner continued to publish
music on a lesser scale into the late 1820s. He was
undoubtedly the most productive of the early Boston music
publishers, issuing over 400 items.
Included in these works are many of the popular sheet
music ballads of the day as well as the equally fashionable
patriotic songs. The title pages of the music often included
information about where the songs were premiered in Boston and
by whom: "A Soldier to His Own Fireside," sung by Mrs. Jones
at the Federal Street Theatre in The Wife of Two Husbands,
published in 1805. Johnson (1943) provided a complete listing
of 420 works of this type published by Graupner with the
pertinent publication information.
Although, not remembered for his composing, Graupner did
publish two of his own works including a song entitled, "The
Attic Bower" (1802) and a work for piano and flute or violin,
"Governor Brooks Favourite Scotch March" (1820).
Throughout his publishing career, Graupner also showed a
great interest in compiling and printing larger collections of
works. These include The Musical Magazine, published in 1803;
The Monitor, or Celestial Melody, 1806; The Anacreontic
Vocalist, 1809; and A Collection of Country Dances and
Cotillions, 1821; as well as his instructional books for
pianoforte, flute, and clarinet. Because these four large
collections are no longer easily obtained, the following
succinct descriptions of them are gleaned from Johnson's
The first three works are collections of vocal works.
The Musical Magazine was published in three volumes each
selling for two dollars and ten cents. Each contained vocal
selections mainly from the popular ballad operas of the day by
composers such as Arnold, Shield, and Hook. Many of the works
had been previously published separately by Graupner. Volume
III does contain his own "Attic Bower" (without attribution)
as well as a song by Haydn. All three volumes were offered
for sale in the April 4, 1803 edition of the Boston Gazette.
In January, 1806, Graupner announced the publication of
the Monitor. or Celestial Melody (A.A.S., Boston Gazette,
January 16, 1806). This work was a collection of sacred works,
psalm and hymn tunes "taken from a celebrated work lately
published in London" and was offered in installments to
subscribers for 50 cents, and to nonsubscribers for 75 cents.
Each issue contained music for four voices and organ suitable
for worship services. The complete collection comprised 95
The Anacreontic Vocalist was a collection of glees,
catches, canons, duets, and rounds mainly by English composers
such as Byrd, Purcell, Playford, and Arne. The books were
advertised as early as January 21, 1809, but were not ready
for public sale until June 30 of that year. They sold for one
dollar and fifty cents for subscribers and two dollars for
The fourth large collection published by Graupner was
entitled, A Collection of Country Dances and Cotillions and as
the title implies contained short works to accompany dancing.
The four volumes were very popular since dancing schools
abounded in the Boston area at this time. Graupner was
certainly a shrewd businessman as well as a musician who
accurately perceived the market for music in that city.
The remaining collections published by Graupner were his
preceptors, or instructional books. These too, had their
place in the market, as there was increasing interest in
learning to play a musical instrument. Acquiring this ability
was seen as an important step in the process of becoming
The earliest of these instructional works was Graupner's
Rudiments of the Art of Playing on the Pianoforte which
appeared first in April, 1806 with a second, slightly revised
printing in 1808. This was followed by a second edition of
the work in May, 1819 with subsequent reprintings in 1825 and
1827. The other four were woodwind instructors, two for the
clarinet and two for the flute: New Instructor for the
Clarinet (dated by Johnson (1943) as 1811); Gottlieb
GrauDner's Complete Preceptor for the German Flute (c. 1825);
Gottlieb Graunner's Complete Preceptor for the Clarinet
(1826); and A New Preceptor for the German Flute (c. 1807).
Since these works form the basis for the next chapter, a
discussion of their contents will be presented there.
The Philharmonic Society
In addition to his commitments as teacher and publisher
during these years, Graupner continued to perform as well. In
one such performance he and Catherine joined forces with
Signior Convoglio and Francis Mallet on Friday, September 23,
1808. Mrs. Graupner sang "Softly waft ye southern breezes,"
by Hook and "Aid me, Venus" by Shield both accompanied by her
husband on the oboe. Catherine also participated in several
duets with other members of the cast and a trio with her
daughter Olivia and Mr. Mallet (A.A.S., The Repertory,
September 23, 1808).
The following year, Graupner and a small band of
musicians and amateurs organized themselves into a society
which would become a milestone in American musical history--
the first permanent orchestra in the United States. This
group, known as the Philharmonic, Philoharmonic, or Philo-
harmonica Society, met regularly to perform orchestral works,
at first simply for their own edification and entertainment,
and later on, for an ever-widening Boston audience.
The exact date of the inaugural meeting of the
Philharmonic Society is not known, but on October 4, 1809,
there was a call for the meeting of "the members of the
Philoharmonica Society. at the Society Room Franklin-
street, on Saturday Evening next. By order of the President"
(A.A.S., Columbian Centinel, October 4, 1809). Obviously,
some ground work had been already laid before this
announcement which was signed by the secretary, Samuel
Stockwell. Officers had been elected and a place secured for
meeting, but there does not appear to be any documentation for
these earlier events.4
The small orchestra was comprised of both the
professional and amateur musicians of Boston and met regularly
for almost twenty years before disbanding. Although the
membership of the performers in the group fluctuated from
season to season, Gottlieb Graupner was the undisputable
*As reported by Broyles (1991), some researchers have
purported that the Philharmonic Society my have been in
existence as early as 1797 when Graupner arrived in Boston, or
at least since 1799 when a call for a meeting of a
"Philharmonic Society" was announced in the April 6, 1799
edition of the Columbian Centinel by the secretary, W.H.
M'Neill. Since there was no further public mention of a group
with this name until the 1809 meeting, other researchers
(Johnson, 1943) have come to the conclusion that the 1799
reference was for a similar group whose existence was short-
lived, and that Graupner's Philharmonic Society came into
existence during the 1809-1810 concert season.
leader of the group throughout its existence. Some idea of the
makeup of the group is given in this recollection:
The orchestra of perhaps sixteen musicians was led by Mr.
Graupner with his double bass. The violins were M.
Granger, Amasa Warren, Mr. Dixon the English consul, and
M. Eustaphieve, Russian consul; clarinet, Granger, sen.;
bassoon, Simon Wood; trumpet, William Rowson; flute,
George Cushing; French horn, tympani, and bass-viol
(cello). (Perkins & Dwight, 1883-1893/1977, p. 34n)
Obviously, the composition of the group changed from
season to season as talent was available. The performers were
both professional musicians and amateurs in the Boston
community. Other members over the years, according to Johnson
(1943), included such people as Louis Ostinelli, violin;
Simeon Wood, bassoon; G. Pollock, flute; Henry Niebuhr and S.
Wetherbee, horns; W. Bennett and A. Passage, violins or
violas. Sophia Hewitt and Catherine Graupner, two well-known
female performers in Boston, are also listed among the names
of the members of the Philharmonic Society. Musicians
visiting Boston were also invited to sit in with the group for
their regular Saturday rehearsals. Anthony Philip Heinrich,
the noted American composer, for example, arrived in Boston in
May of 1823, and was undoubtedly invited to play with the
group as well as in the Handel and Haydn Society orchestra.
Altogether, there were probably between twelve and twenty
performers at any given meeting of the society.
Alongside the performers in the Society were also some
non-performing members who evidently took care of business
while enjoying the company and performances of their musical
friends. These included William Coffin, who served as
secretary of the group for many years, Eben Frothingham,
Matthew S. Parker, Allan Pollock, John Dodd, and Chester
Members could renew their association with the
Philharmonic Society each season. The first meeting each year
took place on the first Saturday in October and thereafter
weekly (although occasionally fortnightly) until sometime in
April. The group met at several locations, most often at the
Pythian-Hall on Pond Street, Boylston Hall, or at Graupner's
Music Store on Franklin Street. At some point in the group's
development, entry to the meetings evidently was handled
through tickets given to the society's members. Although the
time of meeting was usually set at 7 p.m., an exception to
this was noted in the following advertisement which reminds
the reader that little has changed over the years concerning
the timely arrival of audiences:
The performances to commence at six o'clock. Gentlemen
are requested to be punctual in their attendance, that no
interruption may take place after the music is begun.
(A.A.S., Columbian Centinel, January 28, 1815)
The importance of Graupner's role in the founding of this
society cannot be overestimated. He had both the experience
and the background requisite for such an undertaking. His
days of playing in the Salomon concerts under Haydn certainly
speak to his musicianship and knowledge of the standard
repertoire. H. Earle Johnson (1943), Graupner scholar, has
stated emphatically that the existence of the Philharmonic
society rested in the capabilities of Graupner.
It is conceivable that the extensive business of
publishing and selling music might have been undertaken
by others, that the Handel and Haydn Society would have
been formed without the participation of Graupner, that
the music of the Federal Street Theatre might have
pleased the patrons without the sound of his oboe or
double bass, and that other musicians would have carried
on his teaching employment by individuals and academies;
by no means, however, could the Philharmonic Orchestra
have found a leader possessed of the inner fire, the
outward patience, and the practical wisdom for carrying
on a career so useful to the awakening musical
intelligence of Boston's populace. (p. 120-121)
During the early years of the society's existence, little
is known of exactly what music the group performed since the
meetings were open only to the members of the group (both
performing and non-performing). According to Broyles (1991),
"The distinction between rehearsals and concerts was thus a
subtle one" (p. 457).
From 1815 onward, however, there is more information
about what the group performed. High on the list were the
symphonies of Haydn (especially the "Surprise"), Pleyel's La
Chasse Svmphonv, and Overture to Lodoiska by Kreutzer. Also
included were works of lesser-known composers such as Gelinek
The performances also, however, included on at least two
occasions works of Beethoven: his unidentified "Minuetto--
Full Orchestra" (from a program published in the A.A.S.,
Columbian Centinel, September 19, 1818) and "the celebrated
Grand Sonata, for the Pianoforte, with the funeral march"
(A.A.S., Columbian Centinel, February 27, 1819) which was
performed most likely by Sophia Hewitt, a member of the
society and an accomplished pianist. Although these are not
the earliest documented performances of Beethoven's works in
this country, their inclusion in the repertoire of the group
certainly underscores the fact that the Philharmonic Society
was interested in more than just the works of Haydn and
The esteem in which this group was held by the members of
the Boston musical community is shown in an several articles
written by newspaper entrepreneur, John Rowe Parker:
Until the formation of the Philo-harmonic for
instrumental, and the Institution of the Handel and Haydn
Socieites, for vocal performances; regular concerts have
never succeeded in this metropolis, and although there
existed other causes of failure, beside the want of
knowledge of music, yet this last is clearly the reason
why patronage has been so sparingly bestowed on
professors. The exertions of those Societies have, of
late years, encouraged eminent performers to visit us.
The flattering encouragement they have met with, has
furnished opportunities for the display of talent among
ourselves, to which we might otherways [sic] have been
ignorant that we possessed. (Euterveiad, April 8, 1820)
The cultivation of Instrumental music in this metropolis
by the Philo Harmonic Society has been productive of the
most beneficial consequences. The reorganization of this
useful and necessary institution, merits the applause of
every Amateur, and marks a growing taste for refinement
in one of the branches of polite education. (Euterpeiad,
October 7, 1820)
The Philharmonic Society met regularly from 1809 until
1828, however, during the last few years the group was not
performing as regularly as they had between 1814 and 1824.
The last performance date commonly given for the Philharmonic
Society is November 24, 1824, however, that seems highly
unlikely since season tickets were advertised for sale the
following week in the Columbian Centinel (A.A.S., November 27,
1824). There are notices for the annual meetings on the first
Saturday in October for the years 1826-1828, but none for 1829
or after (A.A.S., Columbian Centinel, October 7, 1826; October
6, 1827; October 4, 1828).
It is true that after the close of the 1822-23 season,
Louis Ostinelli and his wife Sophia Hewitt moved to Maine. It
would have been tremendously difficult to fill the void
created by the departure of these two excellent musicians.
Johnson (1943) states that Mr. Dixon, the British consul, and
John Henry Howard Graupner, the conductor's son, joined the
group at this time, but neither was "sufficiently talented to
hide the need of another performer the rank of the eminent
Louis Ostinelli" (p. 151). Since John Henry would have been
a mere 13 years old at the time, this seems rather self-
It is possible that Charles William Graupner, John's
older brother, was a member of the Philharmonic Society at
this time as well. He is described by his niece, Catherine
Stone (1906), as a "fine violinist" (p. 24) and would have
been 23 years old at the time and more suited to membership in
the group than his younger brother. Unfortunately, Charles
lived only until December 2, 1824. The cause of his death was
listed as consumption.
This family loss had been preceded in June, 1821, by the
death of Catherine Graupner, Gottlieb's beloved wife. These
two catastrophes in the life of the conductor of the
Philharmonic Society, undoubtedly took their toll on the
amount of energy he was able to commit to the group, and may
have contributed greatly to its final demise.
It is obvious that the death of Catherine was a loss to
the entire Boston musical community. A touching tribute was
paid to her in the pages of John Rowe Parker's newspaper:
It is not within our original design to notice the
demise of any individual. We are however constrained to
remark, that the usefulness and talents of one who has
filled so conspicuous a station in the musical world,
demands a record of those services which have on all
occasions contributed so essentially to endear her memory
to a very numerous and much extended acquaintance.
Mrs. Catharine [sic] Graupner for many years was the
only female vocalist this metropolis possessed. Of the
deceased, it may be truly said, her urbanity of manners,
obliging and hospitable disposition, was a general theme
of observation. .
Her friends, and the musical part of the community in
particular, whom she has so often charmed with her
earthly song, hope, she is now imploring with heavenly
"Angels ever bright and fair
To take, take her to their care."
Where, "The bright Seraphims in burning row
Their uplifted Trumpets blow;
And where the Cherubic host, in tuneful choirs
Touch their immortal harps with golden wires."
(Euterpeiad, June 9, 1821)
The Formation of the Handel and Haydn Society
For many years, the members of the Philharmonic Society
worked closely with the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston in
the promotion of music. The formation of the Handel and Haydn
Society, however, actually came about as a brain-child of
several of the members of the former group. In the history of
the society is preserved a letter of George Cushing,
I was a member of the Philharmonic Society, which was got
up by a number of amateurs for the performance of vocal
and instrumental music, principally the latter. In the
intervals of the performances, the low state of church
music was a frequent subject of conversation. On one of
these occasions, a group of four or five happening to
meet, the subject was renewed, when your humble servant,
who was one of them, remarked that it was useless to talk
[italicized] anymore about it, but that we had better
proceed to action by having a meeting called of such as
felt an interest in the subject. This being at once
assented to, a meeting was shortly after held in Mr.
Graupner's Music Hall, which resulted in the formation of
the Handel and Haydn Society. The names of the persons
just referred to, as far as I can recollect, were as
follows: G. Graupner, Augustus Peabody (counsellor-at-
law), Matthew S. Parker (cashier of the Suffolk Bank),
John Dodd, and myself. (Letter of George Cushing to Rev.
Luther Farnham, December, 1871, cited in Perkins &
Dwight, 1883-1893/1977, p. 37)
Obviously there was interest in such a vocal society, for
it took very little time before the group was functioning.
The first meetings took place in March of 1815, and by April
13, a constitution for the new group was already drawn up. In
the preamble to this document, the reader is given a clear
idea of the intended purposes of the group:
While in our country almost every institution, political,
civil, and moral, has advanced with rapid steps, while
every other science and art is cultivated with a success
flattering to its advocates, the admirers of music find
their beloved science far from exciting the feelings or
exercising the powers to which it is accustomed in the
Old World. Too long have those to whom heaven has given
a voice to perform and an ear that can enjoy music
neglected a science which has done much towards subduing
the ferocious passions of men and giving innocent
pleasure to society; and so absolute has been their
neglect, that most of the works of the greatest composers
of sacred music have never found those in our land who
have even attempted their performance. Impressed with
these sentiments, the undersigned do hereby agree to form
themselves into a society, by the name of the Handel and
Haydn Society, for the purpose of improving the style of
performing sacred music, and introducing into more
general use the works of Handel and Haydn and other
eminent composers; and we agree to adopt thirteen
regulations for the government of the society, and to
abide by them. (Perkins & Dwight, 1883-1893/1977, p. 39)
The members of the Philharmonic Society were often
involved as members of the orchestra in the musical concerts
of the Handel and Haydn Society. The first concert was given
at Kings' Chapel at six o'clock on the evening of December 25,
1815, and included parts of Haydn's Creation and Handel's
Messiah and Israel in Evgpt. Gottlieb Graupner played double
bass in the orchestra and Catherine sang "With Verdure Clad"
and "Let the Bright Seraphim" (Perkins & Dwight, 1883-
1893/1977, p. 44).
The choir consisted of ninety male and ten female voices
"whose treble was strengthened, according to the custom of the
time, by a few falsetto voices" (Perkins & Dwight, 1883-
1893/1977, p. 44). In the audience were nearly 1000 people,
an amazing number considering the population of Boston at this
time. Reviews of the concert were favorable as well, helping
to successfully launch the newly formed organization.
After his initial groundwork role in the formation of the
Handel and Haydn Society, Graupner had little to do with the
month to month operations of the organization. He did
participate with other members of the Philharmonic Society in
performances of the choral group for which they were
remunerated. Graupner's music store also profited from the
existence of the Handel and Haydn Society. Since he was the
major supplier of musical scores in Boston at this time, it
was only logical that the society would purchase its needed
music from Graupner's inventory. For example, for the
preparation of the first concert "a number of copies of
Haydn's Creation (single vocal parts on half sheets) were also
purchased (September 22) from Mr. Graupner at five cents a
page" (Perkins & Dwight, 1883-1893/1977, p. 42). Graupner
also provided for the rental and tuning of the society's
pianofortes which afforded him some additional income.
The Later Years
On Wednesday, October 2, 1822, just a few days before his
55th birthday, Gottlieb Graupner married Mary Hill in
Providence, Rhode Island. Little is known of the new bride
except that she was "the only daughter of Captain John Hill of
Boston" (A.A.S., Rhode Island American and General Advertiser,
October 4, 1822). The couple had three children: Harriet
Hills Graupner (b. December 15, 1823), Stephen Hills Graupner
(no birth or death dates known), and Charles E. Graupner
(?1828-October 22, 1841).
Apart from his family life, Graupner's later years do not
appear to have been his happiest. After 1820 his business
steadily declined, many of his musical friends had died or
moved from Boston, and by 1825 the Philharmonic Society had
lost much its original importance in the musical circles of
Boston. Financial problems were close at hand as well.
Already as early as 1818, there appear to have been signs
that Graupner's music business was declining. In that year he
took on George Cushing, his son-in-law, as his partner. The
firm was known as G. Graupner and Company and moved from its
long-standing location on Franklin Street to 25 Marlboro
Street. Here Graupner and Cushing continued to sell "direct
from London, an elegant assortment of Piano Fortes, among them
a Cabinet Piano, of uncommon richness of tone." They also
sold music which included songs by Mozart and Haydn and
oratorios by Handel, Haydn, and Beethoven, "together with a
great variety of sonatas, variations, &c for the Piano Forte"
(A.A.S., Columbian Centinel, October 28, 1818).
Unfortunately, this association proved to be as
disastrous as his previous partnership with Mallet and
Trajetta, for early in 1820, the following advertisement was
placed in a Boston newspaper:
G. Graupner & Co. respectfully give notice, that being
about to close their present concern, they will sell off
their large and valuable Stock at such very reduced
prices as cannot fail to make it an object to purchasers,
and especially to Dealers in their line. They further
give notice, that their Copartnership will expire on the
17th of Feb. next, on which day all that remains of the
Stock will be sold at Public Auction, without reserve.
(A.A.S., Columbian Centinel, January 19, 1820)
A few months later another small advertisement tends to
support the idea of a business decline: "To be let, Store No.
6, Franklin-Street--possession given immediately" (A.A.S.,
Columbian Centinel, June 3, 1820). It is not clear whether or
not Graupner was able to sublet his business at this address
for he used the familiar Franklin Street address in some
advertisements between 1820 and 1827, but he may have simply
been living at this location.
For the next several years, Graupner continued to sell
music and instruments from a store at No. 197 Washington-
Street (A.A.S., The Evening Gazette, July 15, 1826), but
overall the business appears to have been in a steady decline.
Another event tends to support the idea that Graupner was
in financial difficulty at this point in his life. On April
30, 1825, there was a benefit concert for Graupner, the
announcement for which came with the following plea for
generosity: "Such artists have a claim upon society and
patronage should be extended to keep them above the exigencies
of life" (A.A.S., Columbian Centinel, April 30, 1825).
The program included some traditional favorites of the
Philharmonic Society, the Kreutzer Lodoiska Overture and
Haydn's Military Symphony. Also, two of the Graupner children
performed at the benefit. "Miss Graupner" (most likely
Charlotte) and "Master Graupner" (perhaps John Henry Howard)
performed works for the occasion.
Johnson (1943) also mentions other benefits for the aging
Graupner. One, in 1828, was presented by the French Opera
Company of New Orleans. Since these performers were new to
the Boston community, it is possible, as Johnson suggested,
that they were showing respect to one of the great names in
Boston's musical circle in hopes of securing a larger audience
for their series of Boston performances.
In September, 1827, Graupner moved one last time to No.
1 Province House Court and there advertised an academy.
Mr. Graupner intends to give Instruction in Music, on
Thursday and Saturday afternoons, in addition to his
regular school of Monday and Thursday mornings, for the
accommodation of Young Ladies, who do not wish to
interfere with their school hours. His afternoon school
will commence on Thursday at half-past 2 o'clock, P.M.
Apply at his Academy, No. 1, Province House Court.
(A.A.S., Columbian Centinel, September 12, 1827)
Two years later in September, 1829, there was another
clearance sale advertised by John Ashton: "for sale a large
assortment of Piano Forte music, consisting of Graupner's and
Bradlee's Catalogues at Half Price" (A.A.S., Columbian
Centinel, September 9, 1829). This seems to have been the
last mention of his business dealings in the press, which
leaves one to assume he had at least semi-retired from the
music business by then.
Graupner did not, however, remove himself completely from
the music business. A study of his business papers revealed
that on June 24, 1832, at the age of 64, he wrote a bill to a
Mr. E. Billings: "For tuning piano $2.00" (Horace Mann
Reynolds Papers, A54745). This small scrap of paper
speaks volumes about the changes that had occurred in Gottlieb
Graupner's life. The once undisputed leader of music in
Boston had reverted to tuning pianos to generate income.
According to his granddaughter, Johann Christian Gottlieb
Graupner died on April 16, 1836, of an ulcerated sore throat
at No. 1 Province House Court, Boston, Massachusetts, "at the
age of sixty-nine years and six months" (Stone, 1906, p. 4).
Obviously, Mrs. Stone's computations are a year off, since
Graupner would have been only 68 in April of 1836.
The official cause of death was listed as "pleurisy
fever" (Official Record of the Deaths and Burials in the City
of Boston, 1836). His funeral was held at Trinity Church,
Summer Street, on April 20. His body was placed in the family
vault No. 14 under St. Matthew's Church in South Boston. In
1866 when the church was demolished, "his body along with
those of other members of his family was removed to 630 Heber
Walk, Mt. Hope Cemetery, West Roxbury, Massachusetts" (Stone,
1906, p. 4).
In comparison to the glowing newspaper eulogy given his
first wife, Catherine, the notice of Gottlieb Graupner's
passing was stark indeed, a sign perhaps that this once
prominent figure in Boston's musical society had been
forgotten by a younger, more musically progressive generation.
DIED In this city on Friday, Mr. Gottlieb Graupner,
Professor and teacher of music, about 70. Mr. Graupner
was a native of Germany but has resided upwards of 30
years in this city where he was equally well known for
his musical skill and acquirements as for his private
virtues. (A.A.S., Independent Chronicle and Boston
Patriot, April 20, 1836)
AN ANALYSIS OF GRAUPNER'S
Between the years 1806 and 1826, Gottlieb Graupner
published in Boston a succession of instructional works for
beginning students. These books, referred to as tutors,
instructors, and preceptors, were then sold by Graupner to the
growing market of pupils eager to complement their education
with the appropriate dose of musical instruction.
These works include Rudiments of the Art of Plavina on
the Piano Forte, first published in 1806 with a second revised
edition appearing in 1819; A New Preceptor for the German
Flute, which was published c. 1807-1809; A New Instructor for
the Clarinet, which according to Johnson, (1943) was at that
time located in the Library of Congress and had a copyright
date of January 15, 1811; Complete Precentor for the German
Flute, c. 1825; and Complete Preceptor for the Clarinet, dated
July 14, 1826.
The present writer unearthed copies of all the above
works except A New Instructor for the Clarinet which has not
been located within the archives of the Library of Congress
for several decades. Evidently, since Johnson first learned
of the work in the 1940s it has been misplaced or lost. Also,
as was mentioned in an earlier chapter, Graupner's estate
listed plates for a preceptor for the double bass. It seems
likely that this work was either never completed or never
published since there is no other mention of the work anywhere
and no copies are known to be extant. It may have been a
project begun by Graupner which never was seen to completion.
During the early decades of the century, Graupner was a
shrewd businessman who was able to monitor the musical market
carefully and produce the types of popular melodies which he
knew the quickly burgeoning middle-class population would
crave. His pedagogical books also filled a need as the demand
for musical instruction increased dramatically during this
It has been revealed by several scholars (Rosenblum,
1974; Clark, 1988) that Graupner's piano pedagogy books are
not completely original works, but quote extensively from
earlier books by both Muzio Clementi (Introduction to the Art
of Plavino on the Piano Forte, 1801/1974) and Jan Dussek
(Instructions on the Art of Plaving the Piano Forte or
The present writer has also discovered that Graupner's
instructional books for woodwind instruments are not original
works either, and therefore, some discussion of the issue of
plagiarism during this period in time is warranted before
examining the contents of the individual books.
It is commonly understood that in previous centuries all
types of printed material were regularly republished without
benefit of attribution to the original author or composer. In
this country, for example, John Rowe Parker's EuterDeiad, an
early music periodical, reprinted unattributed sections of
Charles Burney's A General History of Music (1776) in a serial
format. In another example, James Hewitt's II Introductione
di Preludio. Being an easy method to acquire the Art of
Playing extempore upon the Piano-Forte (c.1807) is a
translation of Andre Gr6try's piano instruction book.
Wolfe (1980) provided a thorough discussion of the
history of the copyright law in America, and explained that
the original Copyright Act of 1790 protected only works
published by native-born and naturalized American citizens.
In fact, the law specifically stated that it should not be
construed to prohibit the reprinting within the United States
of works published by any person who was not a citizen of the
United States. Congress not only allowed the pirating of
foreign publications, but in essence encouraged it.
Foreign editions, especially the favorites of the London
stage, were reprinted by American publishers (Blake,
Willig, Aitken, and others) as soon as copies reached our
shores. (One is inclined to suspect that, as was the
custom with book publishers, some of our more
enterprising publishers of music must have had
arrangements with foreign agents for the transmission of
copies of popular foreign compositions expressly for
reprinting here.) In this regard it was 'open season'
all the time. (Wolfe, p. 193)
It is not this writer's intent to debate the ethics of
plagiarism of published works during this time, but rather to
present the existence of such piracy so that it can be
discussed within its historical perspective. In any case,
Graupner's pedagogical works must be examined in light of
their historical precedents, regardless of these
Music Engraving and Printing
The process of music engraving and printing in America in
the early nineteenth century was usually carried out by
English and German musicians and music teachers who emigrated
to this country after the Revolution. Generally the engraver-
publisher undertook such a sideline to supplement his income
and to provide a ready source of music for his pupils.
Graupner was no exception. In his exhaustive study of the
process of early American music engraving and printing,
Richard J. Wolfe quoted a handwritten deposition of John W.
Moore, the nineteenth century commentator on American music,
which explains that Graupner went into the business of
printing "because he was unable to obtain in this country a
satisfactory supply of such music as he wanted to use" (cited
in Wolfe, 1980, p. 124).
The process that Graupner used involved stamping or
engraving pewter plates with a set of punches. Pewter, an
alloy, was used in place of the earlier copper because of its
reduced cost, greater pliability, and increased durability.
By 1802, the year Graupner began his publishing, the
paper used in the printing process was generally made in
America. The finer, water-marked European papers were used
only for special printings.
The retail cost of one printed page of music was usually
12 1/2 cents or the equivalent of a shilling. Sometimes music
from this period advertises the price in both dollars and
cents, and in shillings and pence, reflecting the coexistence
of the two monetary systems until the 1830s when American
currency was standardized.
Until about 1818, Graupner engraved his own plates using
tools procured from England. After this date, Samuel
Wetherbee was employed by him to do the engraving. Graupner
evidently also taught his son, John Henry Howard, the art of
engraving, for the younger Graupner became the head of that
department in the firm of Oliver Ditson and Company (the
daughter company of Parker and Ditson) which bought many of
the elder Graupner's plates after his death in 1836.
Graupner added publication numbers (and earlier on, plate
numbers) to some of his works. Although some scholars have
used these plate-numbering systems in an effort to reconstruct
exact dates of publication for various printers, Wolfe (1980)
contends that the non-standardized practice may, in fact,
complicate the process of affixing dates to specific works:
Those publishers who did maintain numbering systems
sometimes added identifying symbols to their plates only
upon reprinting them, which in some cases may have
occurred long after the initial engraving. (In a few
cases, plates, particularly for instrumental works, were
never reprinted by their publishers and, as a consequence
never got into the publisher's numbering system. Because
of this practice, which is especially identified with
Gottlieb Graupner of Boston, it is difficult to
reconstruct early plate-numbering systems to the point
that they can be employed accurately for dating music,
most of which appeared without an indication of year of
publication. (p. 197)
One advantage of using engraved plates for music
publishing was that the printer could print out as many or as
few copies of a given work as he desired. The publisher was
able to reissue music continually from the same set of plates
as long as they remained in good condition and were kept from
being scratched. Initially a printer would produce a small
number of copies of a work in order not to tie up precious
quantities of paper in unsold inventory. This practice lead
to an interesting chronology in the life of an engraved plate:
Because of the small editions which must have
predominated in early American music publishing, plates
engraved for them had a life expectancy which usually
exceeded the needs of their original owners or makers.
This factor gave rise to the custom of transferring plate
stocks and even tools and implements, to a subsequent
publisher when a publisher quit business or died. The
succeeding publisher then reused these earlier plates to
issue a new edition under his own name or imprint.
(Wolfe, 1980, p.200)
This is exactly the situation in the case of Graupner's
A New Preceptor for the German Flute. The work is an exact
copy of The Flute Preceptor by R. Shaw which was published in
Philadelphia in 1802. Graupner acquired the plates from Shaw
and continued to publish the work adding only a new title
page, a glossary, and changing the title on the first page of
text. Shaw's name appears nowhere in Graupner's book.
Besides selling the pedagogy books in his own music
store, Graupner distributed his works through a network of
other music merchants and book store owners. It is possible
to piece together an overview of this system from a study of
the H. M. Reynolds papers housed at Brown University.
Evidently, Mr. Reynolds had acquired some of the business
records of Graupner and the documents were sold to the
university after his death. They include an invoice book
dated 1802-1817; an order book, 1808-1815; and an invoice-
commission book which records music sent to Graupner from New
York by James Hewitt. The last book even includes the names
of the ships and their captains who transported the music.
From the account books, it can be seen that Graupner's
distribution network radiated out from Boston and included
such retailers as Mr. Adams in Portland, Maine; Cushing and
Appleton in Salem, Massachusetts; Henry Cushing of Providence,
Rhode Island; Thomas and Sappen of Portsmouth, New Hampshire;
Nicholas Geoffroy of New Port; William P. Wilder of New Port;
and a merchant of Philadelphia whose name is illegible in the
Rudiments of the Art of Playina on the Piano Forte
In 1806, Gottlieb Graupner published the first edition of
his earliest pedagogical work. The title page of the piano
tutor gives the reader a wealth of information about its
purpose as well as the customary advertisement for its
Rudiments of the Art of Playing on the Piano Forte
containing Elements of Music[,] preliminary remarks on
Fingering with Examples, thirty fingered Lessons, and a
plain Direction for Tuning. Arranged by Gottlieb
Graupner. Entered according to Law [,] Boston[.) Printed
and Sold By G. Graupner at his Musical Repository. 6
Franklin Street. Where may be had the latest and best
Publications of Europe and America, Also Clementi's new
patent Piano Forte's [sic] superior to any others yet
known, together with a general Assortment of Music and
Musical Instruments on the best Terms. Piano Fortes to
let and tuned at the shortest Notice. As a supplement
[sic] to the above, Work may be had progressive fingered
Lessons selected from the best Composers. Price $2.50
(n.p. title page)
Unlike many of Graupner's publications, the dating of
this work is certain. Leonard (1944) found that Rudiments was
registered for copyright on August 29, 1806, with the U.S.
District Court of Massachusetts. Also, it was advertised in
Boston newspapers in the following days as "published this day
and for sale by G. Graupner, at his Musical Repository, No. 6
Franklin Street" (A.A.S., The Repository, September 2, 1806
and A.A.S., Boston Gazette, September 4 and 11, 1806).
The title page of this first edition is followed by forty
pages of instructional text and musical examples "arranged by
Gottlieb Graupner." The use of the term "arranged" here is
very appropriate, since research has shown (Clark, 1988,
Rosenblum, 1974) that almost all of the text, many of the
lessons, and the glossary were taken directly from two works
published earlier by the pianists Muzio Clementi (Introduction
to the Art of Playing on the Piano Forte, 1801/1974) and Jan
Dussek (Instructions on the Art of Playing the Piano Forte or
Harpsichord, 1796). Although the works were both published in
London after Graupner had already settled in America, both
authors were active in London as performers during the 1790s
when Graupner was living and performing in that city as well.
He was undoubtedly acquainted with the reputation of these
musicians as expert teachers and performers.
The works published by Clementi and Dussek were among
the earliest ones written specifically for the pianoforte.
They were both incredibly popular books with multiple
printings. Besides the eleven English editions published by
Clementi's firm, his Introduction was translated into French
and German in 1802, Spanish in 1809, and Italian in the 1830s.
The eighth English edition was reproduced in the United States
by the New York publishers J.A. and W. Geib in 1820-21. The
Geibs had their engraver make new plates and reproduce the
work in this country fifteen years after Graupner had
introduced the material to the Boston musical community.
Clementi's work had, according to Rosenblum (1974), "an
unmistakable influence on several French, English, and
American methods" (p. ix). These include Louis Adam's Methode
of 1804; Johann Baptist Cramer's Instructions for the
Pianoforte, 1812; Neville Butler Challoner's A New Preceptor
for the Pianoforte, c. 1810; and Graupner's Rudiments, 1806.
The fact that Graupner published the work as early as he did
emphasizes his keen perception of the music market and his
good judgement in selecting such excellent teaching material
for publication. Even Graupner's detractors give him credit
for capable discernment in the selection of his sources:
In spite of Graupner's grand theft, his (and Clementi's)
Rudiments represents a significant advance in
thoroughness and technique, over a period of more than
two decades. Anyone who mastered the contents certainly
rose beyond the level of mere dilettante. (Clark, 1988,
The business ledger books kept by Gottlieb Graupner, now
housed at Brown University, contain an entry for March 7,
1806, which lists all the items "bought of Clementi and Co."
of London (Horace Mann Reynolds Papers, A5474511]). Included
in this handwritten list of musical instruments, sheet music,
and miscellany are copies of Pleyel's sonatas, Cramer's Opus
31, and Clementi's Introduction as well as copies of a
preceptor by an author whose name is not completely legible,
but looks very much like Dussek. In any event, it is known
that Graupner had easy access to these two preceptors which
were published in London and that it took him very little time
to appreciate the usefulness of these texts. Within six
months he was printing his own copies using much of Clementi's
and Dussek's own words.
It is also interesting to note that Graupner continued to
order copies of Clementi's tutor even after he was publishing
his own version of the work in this country. The ledger book
lists several more orders for the English preceptor in
September, 1809 and March, 1810. Evidently, Graupner was a
shrewd businessman who realized that some of his customers
would prefer to purchase the European "model," and he was
happy to oblige them.
Although it is not possible to determine exactly how many
copies of Graupner's Rudiments were published, it was
evidently his most popular work based on the number of
printings and editions. The first edition was reprinted with
minor changes in 1808, and a second (and much better known)
edition was published in 1819 with subsequent printings in
1825 and 1827.
Graupner wasted no time in distributing his new work
through his network of New England stores that worked on
commission. An entry in his ledger book dated October 1,
1806, lists "3 Instruction Books P.F. [pianoforte] 7.50" sent
to Thomas and Sappen of Portsmouth (Horace Mann Reynolds
Papers, A54745[l]). This was less than a month after the book
was first advertised in the Boston newspapers.
Rudiments. First Edition
Copies of the first edition of Graupner's piano preceptor
(in "hard" copy and microform versions) are housed in both the
Boston Public Library and the library of the American
Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts, dated 1806
and 1808. The 1806 printing contains plate numbers only on
pages 1-3 (219-221) and pages 17-20 (235-238), while the later
printing uses the identifying numbers throughout (219-258).
In both, the text line "Graupners [sic] Art to play on the
Piano Forte" or "Graupners Art of playing on the Piano Forte"
is found at the bottom of some of the pages.
The differences between the two printings are slight and
can only be detected on a page-by-page comparison. There are
some spelling changes (for example, "stacato" for "staccato")
and some additions to the glossary. The later printing
contains definitions for nine additional terms (Direct, Fuga,
Largo Assai, Musico, Non, Non Troppo Largo, Obligato [German
spelling], Overture, and Rinforza). Although these changes
did not significantly change the content of the work, they are
helpful in that they confirm a second printing of the text.
As was customary for pedagogy books of this period, the
opening pages of the book include a discussion of the elements
of music and their symbols. In the first nine pages the
reader is presented with information on note names and their
place on the clefs, a thorough discussion of various clefs and
their ranges, a fingering chart that illustrates which notes
on the five-octave keyboard correspond to the individual notes
on the staves, and an explanation of intervals and the
diatonic scale, note names and their values, simple and
compound time, accidental and other various musical symbols.
Although these opening pages provide a thorough
explanation of the basic rudiments of music which would be
similar to those taught today, there are some noteworthy
deviations from modern methods which give the reader some
Graupner devoted two full pages to the study of clefs.
Interestingly enough, although beginning pianists generally
use only the treble and bass clefs, Graupner included an
explanation of seven clefs: first, second and third treble,
counter tenor, tenor, bass tenor, and bass.
In his discussion of note values, Graupner used the
English terminology in common use in his time. The terms used
include the semibreve, minum [gij], crotchet, quaver,
semiquaver, and demi-semiquaver. He included a table
comparing note values with their equivalent rests.
Following his explanation of accidental markings and how
enharmonic notes are "struck by the same key" (p.7), Graupner
explained to the student the concept of tempered tuning of the
Now the Inconveniency of charging the memory with the
various uses of the same Keys, is but small; when
compared with the Impracticableness [fij] of performing
on an Instrument, furnished with Keys; perfectly
corresponding with every Flat and Sharp, single or
double, which Composition may require.
A method, therefore, has been adopted in tuning, called
TEMPERAMENT; which by a small deviation from the Truth of
every Interval, except the Octave, renders the Instrument
capable of satisfying the Ear in every Key. (p.7)
This excerpt is complemented at the end of the book with
a two-page discussion of how to tune the piano forte beginning
with c' and its lower octave and proceeding downward by
fourths. Graupner, using the obscure German term
"temperature" for temperament, gave the would-be tuner the
following recipe for mean-tone tempering of the scale:
To obtain the Temperature, that is, a small
proportional Deviation from the Truth of every Interval,
except the Octave, the 5ths must be tuned rather flat,
and the 3ds rather sharp than otherwise; if this is well
observed by tuning the first 8ve, than the first C will
prove a perfect 5th to F below.
If the first Trial gives a fine Third, than what has
been done may be depended; on but if otherwise, it will
be best to begin a fresh, and tune all over again, and
the same by the second Trial. (p.40)
It is not surprising that since Graupner heavily quoted
Clementi's preceptor in this opening section, his book should
also emphasize the legato playing style advocated by the
European master. The following passage, for example, is taken
directly from pages eight and nine of Clementi's text:
[Legato] must be played in a smooth and close manner;
which is done by keeping down the first Key, 'till the
next is struck; by which means, the Strings vibrate
sweetly into one another.
N.B. When the Composer leaves the Legato, and Staccato
to the Performers (sic] taste the best rule is, to adhere
chiefly to the Legato; reserving the Staccato to give the
spirit occasionally to certain passages, and to set off
the higher beauties of the Legato. (Graupner, 1806, p.9)
The following section, which includes two pages of
musical terms and their definitions, gives added information
about the usage and ambiguity of nomenclature in the early
part of the nineteenth century. This section begins with a
"list of terms mostly in use, to ascertain the Velocity of
every Composition--beginning by the slowest Degree, which is
Adagio--and gradually proceeding to the quickest, which is
Prestissimo" (p.10). The list taken from Clementi (p. 13
without the spelling error), is as follows:
1. Adagio 2. Grave 3. Largo 4. Lento 5. Larghetto 6.
Andantino 7. Andante 8. Allegretto 9. Moderato 10.
Tempo Guisto [sic] 11. Maestoso 12. Con Commodo 13.
Allegro 14. Vivace 15. Conspirito 16. Spiritoso 17.
Con Brio 18. Con Fuoco 19. Presto 20. Prestissimo
In this ranking, from slow to fast, Adagio is considered
to be the slowest tempo and is thus placed before Grave and
Largo. Although this may seem to be confusing to the modern
musician, it is in keeping with the Italian custom of the
eighteenth century. Likewise, Andantino is considered to be
slower than Andante, a reversal of today's interpretation, but
an illustration of the ambiguity associated with the term in
the late eighteenth century. It is also worthy to note that
several of the terms in the tempo list, such as Spiritoso, Con
Brio, and Maestoso, connote in present usage more an
indication of emotion or mood rather than a specific tempo.
As was explained earlier, the two printings of the first
edition of Rudiments vary slightly in their inclusion of terms
on the two pages of the glossary or "table of technical terms
by the alphabet" (p.10). The terms and their definitions are
taken verbatim from Dussek's Instructions on the Art of
Plavina the Piano Forte or Harpsichord (1796/1974); however,
Graupner only selected 90 words (99 in the 1808 printing) from
Dussek's more extensive list.
Unfortunately, Graupner's use of Dussek's definitions
included copying his errors as well. In the definition for
"Mezzo piano," both texts give the meaning "softer than Piano"
(Dussek, p. 46; Graupner, p. 11), rather than the customary
"moderately soft, louder than piano" (Randel, 1986, p. 491.)
Also Graupner includes the term "Gicesto, Just, Exact; as a
Tempo Gicesto, in just and exact Time" (p. 11) rather than
Dussek's spelling, Giusto, used for the same definition (p.
Another term defined here which gives some perspicacity
to performance practices is "Capricio [riJ], an Extemporary,
a piece of Music, in which the Author, without any Restraint
of Music, give Liberty to his Fancy, nearly the same as
Preludium" (p. 10). This definition is especially revealing
when understood in the context of the tradition of the
Classical period, one which is usually considered to be
synonymous with restraint rather than the expression of
emotion. The meaning of the term here shows that the late
Classical period was not devoid of sentiment and that there
was room for the demonstration of emotion through the
composing and performing of such extemporaryy" works as the
capriccio and the prelude.
Another area which provides information concerning
performance practice is the use and description of ornaments.
Graupner limited his discussion of ornaments to appoggiaturas,
turns, shakes (trills), and beats (mordents) as had Clementi
from whom the definitions were taken. This is in sharp
contrast to earlier pedagogy books such as those of the French
clavecin school which gave much more emphasis to the
delineation of many more ornaments. The trend at the
beginning of the nineteenth century was to use ornaments to
enhance but not obscure the melodic line. To this end, for
example, Graupner chose to use Clementi's interpretation of
the transient or passing shake in which the trill begins on
the main note before moving to its upper neighbor. This puts
the melodic line on the strong beat, emphasizing it rather
than the dissonance as would have been the case in an earlier
time. Unfortunately, in engraving the plate for printing,
Graupner made an error in the example that shows the
realization of the passing shake. The sixty-fourth and
sixteenth notes are reversed from Clementi's example,
rendering the illustration very misleading to the beginning
Graupner's explanation of the appoggiatura is also in
keeping with the style of the day:
The APPOGGIATURA is a Grace prefixed to a Note, which is
always played Legato, and with more or less Emphasis,
being derived from the Italien [sic] verb Appoggiare, to
lean upon; and is written in a small Note. Its lenght
[aig] is borrowed from the following large Note, and in
general, it is half of its Duration; more or less;
however, according to the Expression of the Passage. (p.
In the page of examples which follows, the student is given a
thorough set of realizations of the appoggiatura in various
situations. These realizations always are presented with the
grace note played on the beat and generally for half of the
duration of the main note. But Graupner did give the final
discretion to the performer to play "as Taste best directs in
the Passage" (p.12).
Similarly, in the discussion of the beat, the student is
encouraged to allow the length of the ornament to be
determined by the circumstances of the passage, but the change
in musical styles of the period is also clearly signaled in
the concluding statement: "Lastly, let us remark, that the
Beat is seldom used in modern Music" (p.14).
Not until page 16 does the text give the student
information pertaining specifically to the piano. Included
here are instructions on fingering, positioning of the hand,
and practicing scales in all the major and minor keys.
Curiously, however, there is no discussion of the piano pedals
or their use, despite the fact that the devices were common on
the pianos of the period. Evidently, since Clementi had not
included this information in his text, Graupner considered it
unnecessary as well.
As Rosenblum (1974) has asserted, Clementi was likely to
have been the earliest writer to make the point that the
easiest fingering may not also be the best for achieving the
desired musical (legato) effect. Graupner used Clementi's
exact words to make his opening remarks on the art of
To produce the best Effect, by the easiest Means, is the
great Basis of the Art of Fingering. The Effect, being
of the highest Importance, is first consulted; the Way to
accomplish it is then devised; and that Mode of Fingering
is preferred] which gives the best Effect, tho' not
always the easiest to the Performer. But the combination
of Notes being almost infinite, the Art of Fingering will
best be taught by Examples. (p.16)
The beginning student is also given directions for
striking the keys and positioning himself or herself at the
The Hand and Arm should be held in an horizontal
Position; neither depressing nor raising the Wrist: the
Seat should therefore be adjusted accordingly. The
Fingers and Thumb should be placed over the Keys, always
ready to strike, bending the Fingers in, more or less in
proportion to their Length. All unnecessary Motion must
be avoided. (p.16)
Following this explanation, the major and minor scales
are presented with specific fingerings noted for each scale.
Graupner used the English system of notation in which + is
used to designate the thumb followed by 1 through 4 for the
other fingers in order. The preferred style of legato
performance required more extensive use of the thumb than in
earlier times, however, the use of the thumb was still
regularly avoided on the black notes.
In keeping with the emphasis on legato playing, the
student was also taught the art of silent substitution in
short exercises with the following directions:
The 4X means that after striking C with the 4th Finger,
the Thumb is shifted on the key without striking it; and
in a similar manner with the left Hand. This mode of
Fingering should be much practised [sic] in various ways,
the Legato Style requiring it very frequently. (p. 19)
The next three pages contain fingered exercises
consisting of repeated notes, arpeggios, and passages in
thirds and sixths. The selections are all notated in the
treble clef except for one in bass clef for the left hand with
the following note for adapting the exercises: "Most of the
passages fingered for the right hand, may, by the Ingenuity
and Industry of the Pupil, become models for the Left" (p 21).
The remainder of the book (except for the last two pages
on tuning the piano which have already been discussed)
consists of musical exercises arranged for the beginning
student. The following is a compilation of the lessons with
the tempo and title of each (if given), key, and composer (as
given or ascertained).
Table 1 Contents of Lessons in Rudiments. First Edition
Lesson Tempo/Title Key Composer
I Moderato C major Graupner
II Con Commodo C major Graupner
III Allegro C major
IV Andante C major Graupner
V Vivace C major Graupner
VI Andante C major Loelein
VII Con Spirito C major Linley
VIII *Air in Atalanta C major Handel
IX Allegretto C major Nauman
X Vivace C major Pleyel
XI Andantino C major
XII Rondo/Allegretto C major Hook
XIII *Gavotta/Allegro A minor Corelli
XIV Allegro F major Bergfeld
XV Menuetto F major Pleyel
XVI *Con Anima D minor Scarlatti
XVII *Air in the Cherokee G major [Storace]
XVIII Rondo/Andante G major
XIX *Andante G major
XX *Larghetto G major Pleyel
XXI *Air/Allegro G major
XXII *Minuetto B-flat major Scarlatti
XXIII *Air/Allegretto B-flat major [Baudron]
XXIV Overture (Lodoiska) D major [Kreutzer]
Allegro con Spirito
XXV Andante cantabile E-flat major Pleyel
XXVI Andante A major Haydn
XXVII Siciliana A major Pleyel
XXVIII Andantino A major Pleyel
XXIX Allegro A major
XXX *Polonoise/Andante E major J.S. Bach
*Indicates works included in Clementi's Introduction.
As shown in Table 1, of the 30 exercises, 12 are in the
key of C major with the remainder in relatively close keys
making them both accessible to the beginning pianist and
playable upon the early nineteenth-century piano. Lesson XXVI
is not however in the key of A-sharp major as the page
contends, but in A major. The most remote key, E major, is
represented by a single example, J.S. Bach's "Polonaise"
(Polonoise) from the Sixth French Suite.
According to Clark (1988) this work marked the first time
that Bach's music had been included in an American
publication. Since the German master had been dead for 50
years at the time, it is noteworthy that Clementi and Graupner
considered his composition important enough to be included in
their preceptors at a time when many others had forgotten or
belittled his contributions to keyboard literature. For
whatever reason (possibly for space considerations), Graupner
chose not to include the minuet section from the Bach work as
Of the 30 musical examples, or lessons, 10 (not 5 as
noted by Clark, 1988) are taken directly from Clementi's
Introduction, making this section of the book Graupner's most
original. The lessons begin with some of his own simple
examples, giving the novice pianist some easier pieces to
conquer at first. He also omitted most of the relative minor
keys (which Clementi had included).
The other composers whose works are included in this
tutor are those who music was popular in England during the
early nineteenth century: Loelein, Linley, Handel, Nauman,
Pleyel, Hook, Corelli, Bergfeld, Scarlatti, and Haydn.
Although Handel, Corelli, and Scarlatti had been dead for
many years, their music had been kept alive through repeated
performances. The Concert of Ancient Music which existed in
England from 1776 to 1849 performed only music that was at
least 20 years old, and Handel and Corelli's works were among
those most frequently performed. Domenico Scarlatti's
harpsichord pieces were likewise popular in England at this
time, having been published there by both Roseingrave and
The lessons represent a mixture of works originally
composed for keyboard and those adapted for the piano from
other media. Those adaptations include the Corelli "Gavotta"
taken from his Sonata in A Minor, Opus 4 No. 5; the Kreutzer
orchestral overture to the opera, Lodoiska; and Haydn's
"Andante" from SymDhonv No. 53 in D Major (Imperial Symphony).
Graupner included in the lessons many of the same types
of music which he had been selling in his store. The overture
to Lodoiska by Kreutzer as well as works by Pleyel, Hook, and
Haydn were pieces which his business records show he had
ordered repeatedly from London. Graupner was acutely in tune
with the music popular in cultured circles of the day, and he
consistently provided the music that the customers were
willing to buy.
Rudiments. Second Edition
In 1819 Gottlieb Graupner revised his piano tutor and, in
May of that year, published the second edition. In many
respects this edition is similar to the first, but there are
some significant changes over the work published thirteen
years earlier. There were at least two additional printings
of the second edition in 1825 and 1827, dates carefully
recorded on the preface pages. All of the copies sold for
$2.50, just as the first edition had.
All of the plates used for the second edition were
completely new. Whereas the 1808 printing used consecutive
numbering of the plates, all the plates used in the second
edition are numbered 520, another example of the inconsistent
use of a decipherable numbering system by Graupner.
The preface, which was not included in the first edition,
gives the historian added information as to the place of music
instruction in 1819 in the United States:
THE very favorable reception which the first edition of
the following work has met with, and the still increasing
demand for it in all parts of the United States, have
induced the author to publish a second, with additions
and improvements. He deems it unnecessary to enter into
a minute detail of the various motives, which, in
addition to the above, have prompted the present
undertaking. It is sufficient, perhaps, to say, that the
study of Music (more particularly vocal) is daily
becoming more and more fashionable in this country, and
the consequent measure of rational enjoyment which its
practice affords, both to hearers and performers, has
fully realized the anticipations of its warmest friends.
Of all Instruments as yet known, the Piano Forte claims
precedence as an accompaniment to the human voice; and
its use has become so universal, that the education of a
young lady is hardly thought to be complete without it.
But the excellence of the Piano, as an accompaniment to
the voice, is not its greatest recommendation. As a Solo
Instrument, if we take into view its power of
combination, it is perhaps superior to all others; and
accordingly we find, that the greatest masters of modern
times have successively exercised their talents in
eliciting its various powers; which indeed, are no so far
developed, that it is probable no further improvements of
much importance will be made.
Sensible of the above facts, and convinced of the
necessity of a standard elementary work, both for
teachers and Learners, the author of the following work
has spared no pains to render it as complete as possible.
He has consulted the best modern works of the kind, and
taken such hints from them, as he thought would be
useful, more particularly as applicable to the
compositions of the modern school. These, added to the
improvements which his own long experience in teaching
has enabled him to make, he trusts will render the work
still more worthy of the liberal patronage, with which
the former edition has been already honored. In this
hope, and with the most grateful acknowledgments for
their liberal encouragement of his professional
exertions, this new edition is respectfully submitted to
the public. Boston, May, 1819 (Preface)
In the three printings of this edition there are some
small changes in the title page. The 1819 copy states that
the work is "arranged by Gottlieb Graupner" (title page) while
the later printings, both dated January 1, say "composed and
arranged by Gottlieb Graupner" (1825, title page; 1827, title
page). The earlier work lists Graupner's workplace as the
"Musical Repository," but the later two printings use "Musical
Ware House." Also, the first printing includes the following
information on the title page which was omitted later: "Also
Clementi's new patent Piano Forte's [sic], superior to any
others yet known," and "As a supplement [sic] to the above,
Work, may be had progressive fingered Lessons, selected from
the best Composers."
Many of the changes in the second edition were cosmetic
in that they attempt to modernize and Americanize the text.
Common nouns which regularly appeared in Germanic-style with
their first letter capitalized in the first edition were
changed to lower case in the second. Older spellings of words
were updated as well. For example, "cliffs" was replaced by
"clefs" and "stile" by "style."
Despite Johnson's contention than the second edition of
Graupner's Rudiments is essentially the same as the first
except that "the thirtieth Lesson, by Sebastian Bach, is
omitted" (1943, p. 333), there are some changes and additions
of a more substantive nature. In the second edition, Graupner
added more exercises for the right and left hands together,
new and different material in the glossary, an added exercise
for ornaments, a section on fingering chords, a short entry on
using the piano pedals, and diagrams of hand position at the
keyboard. Also, Graupner revised many of the 30 lessons from
the first edition.
The added exercises in the second edition consist mainly
of expanded drills for using both hands together at the
keyboard. They include chromatic and diatonic scale passages
in both parallel and contrary motion which the student is
directed to play "very quick [sic]" (p. 19). There is a new
exercise included for the double shake for both the right and
left hands although a note indicates that it occurs "seldom
with the Right Hand" (p.14) and the admonition to "be very
careful, in making the Shake, not to move the Hand, but merely
the Fingers" (p. 14).
The added diagram of hand position at the keyboard is
inserted after the preliminary directions for sitting at the
keyboard. The two diagrams are line drawings of the right
hand with the captions, "Position of the Hand ready to
strike," and "Position of the Hand when it strikes" (p.16).
The other added information concerning the piano itself is
presented on the last page of the book where three paragraphs
on the use of the pedals and the symbols used for marking the
music are inserted:
The English Square Piano (which is almost universally
used in this Country) has but one Pedal, which raises the
Dampers, and of course continues the vibration as long as
the foot remains on it. The English Grand Piano has
two Pedals; the right raises the Dampers, and the left
moves the Key-Board so as to play on one string only
instead of three. (p 51)
There are several significant changes in the sections
which make up the glossary and the chart of tempo
designations. In the ranking of tempi from slowest to
fastest, the positions of Andante and Andantino are reversed.
In the earlier 1806 edition, Andantino was considered to be
slower than Andante. In the second edition, the glossary
definition of Andantino is "a little quicker than Andante" (p.
10). This is the generally accepted meaning today. There are
some minor changes in the definitions of other tempo
designations as well. For example, Largo, earlier defined as
"very slow" (1806, p.11), is changed simply to "slow" (1819,
p. 11), and Adagio, "slow time" (1806, p. 10), becomes "the
slowest time" (1819, p. 10). These changes highlight the fact
that there were shifts in meaning in many tempo designations,
and that many of our current definitions were not solidified
until sometime in the nineteenth century.
There were also some additions and deletions to the
second edition of the glossary. All three printings include
the nine terms added to the second printing of the first
edition (Direct, Fuga, Largo Assai, Musico, Non, Non Troppo
Largo, Obligato, Overture, and Rinforza). The 1819 printing
also adds a definition for Lentando, but omits the term Vivo,
keeping the total number of terms at ninety-nine. The 1825
and 1827 printings of the second edition both added "Fuoco,
Fire, as Con Fuoco, with Fire" (p. 11), to round off the count
at an even one hundred definitions. Unfortunately, as the
plate had to be restruck for these last two printings, several
typographical errors in the form of spelling mistakes found
their way onto this page of the last two printings
Johnson noted that some of the copies of the second
edition of Rudiments bear the following note:
This edition differs from those heretofore published by
him in the omission of 20 pages. This was done and this
edition of my instruction book published at the request
of several instructors of music. The pages thus omitted
contained exercises which were generally considered
difficult of execution. (1943, p. 333)
In actuality, the second edition has a total of 51 pages, 11
more than the first edition. Despite the implication to the
contrary, there are still 30 lessons in the second edition (or
actually 31 if the prelude inserted between numbers XXV and
XXVI is counted).
Table 2 Contents of Lessons in Rudiments. Second Edition
+Mode & Rhythm
*+Air in Atalanta
*+Air in the Cherokee
* German Hymn with
+Overture to Lodoiska
C major Graupner
C major Graupner
C major Graupner
C major Graupner
C major Graupner
C major. Linley
C major Handel
C major Loelein
C major Nauman
C major Hook
A minor Corelli
F major Graupner
G major [Storace]
G major Pleyel
G major Pleyel
D major [Kreutzer]
E major Corelli
G major Hayden
*Works included in Clementi's Introduction, first edition.
+Works included in Graupner's Rudiments, first edition.
There are, however, some definite omissions and
substitutions in the lessons included in the second edition
(see Table 2). Seventeen of the 30 lessons are the same as
those used in the first edition (although several appear in a
different sequence). Eight examples are from Clementi's
Introduction, two of which did not appear in Graupner's first
edition. They are "German Hymn with Variations" by Pleyel,
and "Gavotta in E Major" by Corelli (the last movement of his
Sonata in E Maior, Opus 5, No. 11). Graupner omitted both the
Bach work and the two works by Scarlatti as well as a piece
simply titled "Andante" by an unnamed composer. In place of
the Bach polonaise, the last work in the second edition is a
minuet by Haydn (Hayden) which is a transcription of the third
movement of his Symphony No. 100 in G Major (the "Military"),
a favorite composition of Graupner's.
A New Preceptor for the German Flute
The Boston Public Library's copy of Graupner's A ew
Preceptor for the German Flute (dated in the card catalog as
182?), is actually a reprinting with minor changes by Graupner
of an earlier work by R. Shaw entitled, The Flute Preceptor,
published in Philadelphia in 1802.
R. Shaw has been identified by Wolfe (1980) as Ralph
Shaw, who published in Philadelphia from 1794 to 1798 and
again from 1800 to 1807, with a temporary career in Baltimore
in between those years. In 1807, he briefly set up shop in
Boston where he undoubtedly met Graupner, who was the chief
music publisher in the city at that time. It is most probable
that Graupner bought the printing plates from Shaw whose
business was declining and needed an influx of capital.
Graupner simply made a few changes and additions to the plates
and continued to print them under his own name.
This practice was evidently a common one as the new
business of printing music in America struggled during the
early part of the nineteenth century. Many music publishing
entrepreneurs, unable to support themselves, quickly folded up
shop and sold their stock, including music plates, to other
more successful establishments. According to Wolfe (1980),
some of Graupner's own plates were sold after his death to
Oliver Ditson Company.
In studying other preceptors from this time period, it
became obvious that much of the language used in the Shaw
tutor is strikingly similar to that in an earlier flute
preceptor published by J. Wragg5 in London in 1792. Much of
the introductory paragraphs on music, the merits of the flute,
embouchure, the description of double-tonguing, and several of
the other terms use the same descriptive terminology. The
following serve as examples:
5J. Wragg was an English flutist, composer, and writer
who was active from the 1790s into the beginning of the
nineteenth century in London. His early years of activity
coincide with the time that Graupner was also in London. His
flute preceptor was reproduced in Philadelphia for American
consumption around 1818.