HOLDEN, Oliver. b. Shirley, Massachusetts, 18 September 1765; d. Charlestown, Massachusetts, 4 September 1844. Holden had just a few months of musical training in a singing school. He was apprenticed to a carpenter and practised that trade in the Boston area after settling in nearby Charlestown, Massachusetts, in the early 1780s. However, he was drawn to sacred music, which he had studied briefly in singing school (class lessons in musical rudiments and choral singing). Through individual study and application, he became a leading American psalmodist of the generation following that of William Billings* (1746-1800). In addition to carpentry, composing sacred music, and teaching singing...
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