Lowell Mason

American composer; leading figure in American church music

Lowell Mason (January 8, 1792 - August 11, 1872)[1] was an important person in American church music. He composed over 1,600 hymn tunes. Some of them are sung even in the 21st century.[2]

Mason's most well-known tunes include the arrangement of "Joy to the World" and "Bethany". The latter is his setting to the hymn text "Nearer, My God, to Thee".

Mason was responsible for bringing music to American public schools. He is considered to be the first important music educator in the United States.

Mason was born in Medfield, Massachusetts. He died in Orange, New Jersey at age 80.


  1. "A Biography of Lowell Mason: The Father of American Music". Michael Pratt. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  2. "Lowell Mason". All Music. Retrieved December 25, 2018.