Taylor, Edward



English musician; born at Norwich. As a child he studied music with John Christmas Beckwith, and flute and oboe with William Fish, but with no thought of becoming a musician. He was sheriff of Norwich in 1819. In 1824 he took an active part in establishing the Norwich Musical Festival and served as manager and conductor. In 1825 he went to London to engage in the business of civil engineering; but in 1827 he entered the musical profession, although he was then fortythree years old. His education in this work had been scanty, but his excellent bass voice brought him success. He sang at the Norwich Festival of 1827 and conducted it in 1839 and 1842. He translated Spohr's Last Judgment, and thus formed a friendship with Spohr who visited him in 1839 and 1847 and whom he went to see at Cassel in 1840. In 1836 he translated and adapted Spohr's Crucifixion and in 1842 his Fall of Babylon. In 1837 he succeeded Richard S. Stevens as professor of music at Gresham College, delivering three inaugural lectures early in 1838. In the following year he  published The Vocal School of Italy in the Sixteenth Century, a collection of representative Italian Madrigals. With James Turle he edited the People's Music Book in 1844, and in 1845 he wrote an article on English Cathedral Service which attracted much attention. He was one of the founders of the Vocal Society and of the Musical Antiquarian Society, translating Purcell's King Arthur for the latter, and he also was active in establishing the Purcell Club. He died at Brentwood, Essex, in 1863. He made a large number of translations, some of the more important ones being Mozart's Requiem Mass; Haydn's Seasons; Schneider's Deluge; Spohr's Vater unser; Graun's Tod Jesu; and a large number of subjects used in his lectures. For years he contributed to The Spectator.