Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BRADBURY, William Batchelder, musician, born in York, Maine, 6 October, 1816; died in Montclair, New Jersey, 7 January, 1868. He inherited a taste for music from his parents, who were excellent singers, his father being the leader of a choir. Before he was fourteen years old he had become a skillful mechanic, and mastered every instrument that came in his way, but never saw an organ or a piano until 1830, when he removed to Boston. Here he met Dr. Lowell Mason, and in 1834 was known as an organist. In 1840 he began teaching in New York and Brooklyn, where he gained popularity by his free singing-schools, and by his concerts, at which the performers, all children, sometimes numbered 1,000. In 1847 he went to Germany, where he studied harmony, composition, and vocal and instrumental music with the best masters. In 1854 he began in New York City, in connection with his brother, E. G. Bradbury, the manufacture of pianos, in which he was very successful. Mr. Bradbury is best known as a composer and publisher of a series of musical collections for choirs and schools. He was the author and compiler of fifty-nine separate books, besides contributing largely to the periodical musical literature, and writing letters from Europe to the New York "Evangelist." The first of his books was published in 1841, and they continued to appear during nearly thirty years. They include "The Golden Chain" (1861); "The Key-Note" and "Pilgrim Song" (1863) : "Golden Trio" (1864); " The Shawm" (1864); "The Jubilee" (1865); and "Temple Choir" and "Fresh Laurels" (1867). This was his last new book, though "Clarina," a compilation from his works, appeared in his name in October, 1867. In the compilation of some of his books the composer Thomas Hastings assisted him. Among Mr. Bradbury's compositions was a cantata entitled "Esther, or the Beautiful Queen" (New York, 1857). Over 5,009,000 copies of his works have been sold.
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