Hans Gram

An important American writer and composer, as well as organist, Danish-born Hans Gram composed what is considered to be the first orchestral score published in America, "The Death Song of an Indian Chief."

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Born in Copenhagen and a graduate of the University of Copenhagen (Gram earned a Ph.B.), Hans Gram arrived in Massachusetts in 1785. Immediately establishing himself as a music master, Gram began to publish his own music in 1789 in The Massachusetts Magazine, including “The Death Song of an Indian Chief.”

Gram also wrote the music and text for several hymns and anthems, serving as the organist of Brattle Street Church for several years. His introduction to The Massachusetts Compiler (1795), of which he was co-editor, is considered an important treatise in the European “reform” movement of American music.

–Christie Finn

Source: New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians

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