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Excerpt from The University of Pennsylvania Library Chronicle, 1938, Vol. 6 Other libraries sent precious manuscripts or rare books, and the splendid portrait of Hopkinson by Robert E. Pine, lent by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and hung on a pillar overlooking the exhibition cases, was a notable ad dition to the literary and musical items. Hopkinson's claim to be the first American composer, made in his lifetime in the dedication of his Seven Songs, has been amply substantiated in our own time by the eminent musicologist, Oscar G. Sonneck. The musical side of Hopkin son's genius was very thoroughly represented in the exhibition. The place of honor was accorded to the manuscript song-book, lent by the Library Of Congress, a collection of songs and opera arias in Hopkinson's hand, containing six songs of his own composition. All of the songs in this book seem to have been written down in 1759-60, and My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free, to a poem by Thomas Parnell, is generally considered to be the earliest composition by a native Americanmusician. Although the composer published a group of songs some thirty years later, none of those in this early manuscript were included, and this first American song, which possesses considerable charm in addition to its historical importance, had to wait nearly one hundred and fifty years to appear in print. The young composer's excellent musical taste is amply demonstrated by the works he chose to copy into this note book. Of the more than one hundred compositions repre sented, nearly all are the work of eighteenth-century com posers and sixteen are by Handel, the foremost composer living during Hopkinson's youth. (hopkinson's ignorance of Johann Sebastian Bach need occasion no surprise, as the latter was scarcely known during the second half of the eighteenth century.) Other important names which figure among the composers whose work it has been possible to identify are the English composers Purcell, Boyce, and Dr. Arne, and the famous Continental musicians Hasse and Pergolesi. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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