ISSUE 21, April 2007
Editorial
Historic: Philanthropist and scientist: Sir Henry Wellcome
Travel: In Darwin's footsteps
Grand Secretary: Interview with Nigel Brown
Quarterly Communication: Speech by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Faith and Freemasonry: A Salvationist and the Craft
Young Mason: Keep up the tradition
Freemasons' Hall: Refurbishment
Ladies Groups: Cheshire Ladies Circle
   Library and Museum: Masonry and music - the role of the organ
Specialist Lodge: A new Lodge for showmen is consecrated
Serving the community: Two Masons win major rescue awards
Spain: How a Cleveland Mason found his Spanish roots
Wales: Welsh Mason lands national sporting award
Hospices: The Craft's historic links with hospices
Ancient Craft: Herefordshire's ancient boat builder
Education: Forthcoming events and Andrew Prescott and Own free will and accord and First Universities Scheme Initiate
Masonic Charities: Latest from the four main Masonic charities
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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A one-manual chamber organ, circa 1793, which is being refurbished at Freemasons’ Hall, London
Music has always been integral to English Freemasonry from the early years of the 18th century and the inclusion of songs set to music in James Anderson’s first Book of Constitutions (1723) is clear evidence for this. Early Lodge music generally took the form of singing either unaccompanied or with portable instruments, as the Lodges were meeting in the private rooms of inns and taverns which had to be cleared at the end of a meeting.
    During the 19th century dedicated Masonic halls were built and a pipe organ was often installed – mainly a reflection of the Victorian vogue for pipe organs, which by then were installed across England in every ambitious church, chapel and meeting hall.
    The previous century’s tradition of Lodge music, with its echoes of tavern culture, was ill-suited to the new Lodge environment, and so the process of appropriating a new musical repertoire from the unimpeachable sources of church and chapel began.
    Christian hymns and psalms, and new music inspired by them, expressing sentiments thought to validate Freemasonry’s fraternal tenets, began to dominate. A profusion of such material appeared in inexpensive, commercially-produced editions of Lodge music from the middle of the 19th century until the zenith of such publications in the early decades of the 20th.
    The latest exhibition at the Library and Museum of Freemasonry in London called The Freemason’s Liber Musicus explores this development of Masonic music drawing on its unique collection of music which is currently being catalogued. The Freemason’s Liber Musicus is the work of Dr William Spark, a Leeds organist whose own musical and Masonic career illustrates many aspects of this development.
    In the 19th century many provincial English cities established music festivals whose profits were used to provide finance for hospitals and other community facilities. The festivals also enhanced a city’s status.
    As leading citizens were involved with these festivals, it is not surprising that we can find a number of musical Freemasons playing their part. One such case is Dr William Spark at Leeds.
    The growth of banking and trading services to support the wool trade had led to tremendous growth in the population of Leeds in the early 19th century: the population increased by a factor of three between 1800 and 1841.


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