Smith, Robert Archibald
Talented English composer; born at Reading. At an early age he showed great natural talent for music, was induced to give all of his time to it and eventually became a teacher, and precentor in the Abbey Church at Paisley in 1807. He died at Edinburgh. Smith compiled The Scottish Minstrel, in six volumes, a selection from the vocal melodies of Scotland, ancient and modern, arranged for piano and published in Edinburgh from 1821 to 1824. He also compiled The Irish Minstrel, a selection from the vocal melodies of Ireland, ancient and modern; and Flowers of Scottish Song; and composed much church-music, besides songs and other music. He was reckoned among the best of the Scotch musicians of his day, and up to modern times his songs, duets and psalms have been in constant use in Scotland. He was a talented performer on the viola and cello, and played the former instrument at the Glasgow Musical Festival of 1821.