Robert Archibald Smith

SMITH, Robert Archibald. b. Reading, Berkshire, 16 November 1780; d. Edinburgh, 3 January 1829. He was the son of a Scottish silk weaver, who had moved south to find work; Robert himself became a weaver, working in Reading and then in Paisley when the family moved back to Scotland in 1800. In 1803 he felt confident enough in his musical abilities to give up weaving and become a teacher of singing, and in 1807 he was appointed precentor of Paisley Abbey, where he made the choir famous. He published his first psalmody, Devotional Music Original and Selected, arranged mostly in Four Parts, ca. 1807. This included thirteen of his own tunes in a variety of metres. However, he was accused of...

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