Thomas Commuck

COMMUCK, Thomas. b. Charlestown, Rhode Island, 18 January 1804; d. Brothertown, Wisconsin, 25 November 1855. Commuck composed 115 melodies for hymns and three more for anthems or Set-pieces*, all but one harmonized by Thomas Hastings*, under the title Indian Melodies (see Indian Melodies, 1845*). The collection has been described as the earliest published music book by an American Indian. [Note: The terms ‘Indian’ and ‘American Indian’ are used following the nomenclature of Commuck’s era and also in recognition of the preference of many modern-day Indians and tribal websites, rather than ‘Native American’.] The number of melodies composed by Commuck appears to be 118, not, as elsewhere...

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