Blow, John


Noted English organist and composer. Was the teacher of Henry Purcell. Sang in the choir of the Chapel Royal in 1660, under Henry Cook, and studied, after leaving the choir, with John Hingeston and Christopher Gibbons. He began composing while a chorister, and also became so fine an organist that, in 1669, he was appointed organist of Westminster Abbey. This position he held until 1680 when he was replaced by Henry Purcell, but on the latter's death in 1695 he was again appointed. He was appointed one of the King's private musicians and honorary composer to the King, in 1685. In 1699 he was appointed composer to the Chapel Royal, which office he was the first to fill. Although not a graduate of any university the degree of Doctor of Music was conferred on Blow, by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Upon his death, at the age of sixty, Blow was buried in Westminster Abbey. He was a most voluminous composer, his works consisting of about one hundred anthems, fourteen church services, many sacred songs and duets, odes, and catches and also organ pieces Unfortunately only a small number of these have been printed.