Jesse Aikin

AIKIN, Jesse (Bowman). b. Chester Co., Pennsylvania, 5 March 1808; d. Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania 1900. Tune book compiler and singing school teacher, Aikin was best known for his introduction of the following seven-shape system of ‘figured notes’ or ‘patent notes’ in The Christian Minstrel (Philadelphia, 1846), that became the predominant seven-shape system well into the 21st century by virtue of a dispute settled in 1876 with the Ruebush-Kieffer Company* in Dayton, Virginia. (See Jackson, pp. 352-353, for Aikin’s 18 July 1876 letter to Ruebush and Kieffer).       Aikin resided near Philadelphia, and was a member of the Church of the Brethren, also known as tunkers, dunkers, or dunkards,...

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