Goovaerts, Alphonse Jean Marie Andre


A Flemish musical bibliographer, theorist and composer; born at Antwerp. Was the grandson of a poet of some note, the son of an able amateur musician, and early displayed musical talent. He studied for a time at the Jesuits' College in Antwerp, but financial  reverses forced him into the commercial world in his teens. He kept up his study alone, however, and after his appointment as assistant librarian in Antwerp his motets became known locally. Seven volumes of Flemish songs for school use were published from 1868 on. A mass in four parts with organ accompaniment followed, and in 1869 his Messe Solennelle was successfully produced. In addition to the smaller pieces of church-music, which he continued to compose, he became engaged in the study of church and musical history, which absorbed more and more of his interest, and led to earnest efforts for the reform of church-music. In 1874 he established and trained an amateur choir at the Antwerp Cathedral. His La Musique d'figlise, published in 1876, both in Flemish and French, was a defense of his position as a musical reformer, which had been attacked. He traveled in Holland and Germany in connection with his historical studies, and in 1880 published a History of Music Printing in the Netherlands, for which he was awarded the gold medal of the Belgian Academic. The next year, on the formation of the Gregorian Association, he became one of the foremost members, and his Adoramus was composed for that body. Other literary works followed, including a monograph on Pierre Phalese, one on Netherland Artists, and one on the origin of news periodicals. These appeared originally in French, and the first and last mentioned of this group were translated into Flemish. His lesser composi- tions were chiefly church-music, but include some songs and pieces for violin and piano. In 1887 he was appointed keeper of the royal archives at Brussels.