Daniel Belknap

An early American composer and book compiler, Daniel Belknap was one of the first American composers to write secular songs.

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About

Born in Massachusetts, Belknap was a farmer and mechanic by trade, but also attended singing school from the age of 18.

Most of his 85 known compositions were published in tune books. Of particular note is Belknap’s devotion to an American musical idiom devoid of influence that comes from European training. His 1797 The Harmonist’s Companion demonstrates this unique quality, and many of his compilations are devoted solely to American music.

Belknap’s only known instrumental composition, Belknap’s March, was published in 1809 in The Middlesex Songster.

–Christie Finn

Related Information

Recordings

Under an American Sky

(Daniel Belknap, Charles Ives and William Grant Still)

2005

America Sings, Vol. 1: The Founding Years

(Daniel Belknap, William Billings, Francis Hopkinson and Andrew Law)

1975

Books

Daniel Belknap (1771-1815): The Collected Works (Music of the New American Nation: Sacred Music from 1780 to 1820)

By David W. Steel

Sheet Music

IMSLP: Daniel Belknap Sheet Music

Find via IMSLP

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