Oliphant, Thomas



English poet, composer and arranger and writer on musical subjects; born on Christmas Day at Condie, Perthshire. Began life as a merchant, but soon turned to literature and music. For forty years was secretary and in 1871 president of the Madrigal Society of London, which he joined in 1830. In 1834 he wrote A Brief Account of the Madrigal Society, in 1836 A Short Account of Madrigals, and in 1837 La Musa Madrigalesca, a book containing the words of about four hundred madrigals, ballets and roundelays, principally of the Elizabethan Age. He edited copies of two works by Tallis, the Song of Forty Parts, and Service and Responses, and greatly assisted in interesting the public in the Flemish and Italian masters. In 1842 his Catalogue of the Manuscript Music in the British Museum was printed. Under the name of B. Tomasi he wrote a charming madrigal of his own, Stay one Moment, Gentle River. He also published German songs; Swedish part-songs; Ten Favorite Madrigals, with piano accompaniment; various collections of glees, madrigals, catches, and rounds; and Ditties of Olden Times. He wrote an English version of Beethoven's Fidelio, besides translating portions of Lohengrin for the Philharmonic Society and writing words to a number of songs. He died in London.