Haack [Haacke, Haak, Haake], Friedrich Wilhelm

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Howchyn, Nicholas.

See Huchyn, Nicholas.


English family of organ builders. The most important organ builders of the family, father and son, were both called John Howe, and it is sometimes impossible to distinguish between the two. The elder John Howe was first mentioned in connection with repairs made to the organs at York Minster in 1485, then in London and at Eton College. It was possibly the younger John Howe (d London, 1571) who worked at Winchester College in 1521 and who built a new organ of seven stops at Holy Trinity, Coventry, in 1526 with John Clynmowe. The contract for this instrument survives. On the dissolution of the guild of organ makers in 1531 the younger John Howe became a member of the Skinners' Company. The appearance of the name Howe in almost all the surviving records from churches in the City of London and also in those at Westminster Abbey and elsewhere suggests that father and son were among the leading craftsmen of their day. In some records the younger John Howe is referred to as ‘Father Howe’ (a similar title was conferred on the 17th-century builder Bernard Smith and the 19th-century Henry Willis). There is evidence that the Howes were recusant Catholics and that the younger died in poverty. His son, Thomas Howe, appears to have abandoned organ building early in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.


A. Freeman: ‘Records of British Organ Builders’, The Dictionary of Organs and Organists (London, 2/1921)

S. Bicknell: The History of the English Organ (Cambridge, 1996)


Howe, Elias

(b Framingham, MA, 1820; d Watertown, MA, 6 July 1895). American music publisher and music and instrument dealer. According to several accounts he was a farmhand and fiddler. He compiled a large collection of fiddle tunes popular at local dances and persuaded the Boston publishers Wright & Kidder to publish it as The Musician’s Companion. As a result of his success in selling this collection from door to door, he opened a music shop in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1842, and set up a similar business in Boston in 1843. His books of arrangements and instrument instruction were popular: the Complete Preceptor for the Accordeon (1843) sold over 100,000 copies, and his violin self-mastery volumes sold over 500,000 copies. In 1850 he sold his catalogue to the Boston publisher Oliver Ditson and agreed not to publish music for ten years. During that period he lived on his newly acquired estate in South Framingham, managed the South Reading Ice Company and compiled editions of dance music and dance instruction books.

In 1860 Howe re-entered the publishing business in Boston at 33 Court Street, where he also sold drums, fifes and other instruments needed for Civil War bands. His expanded catalogue included numerous arrangements for band, orchestra, solo instruments and voice. By 1871 he was collecting rare string instruments, and by the late 1880s was one of the largest dealers in rare violins, violas, cellos, viols, violas d’amore, guitars and banjos in the USA. After his death his sons William Hills Howe and Edward Frank Howe carried on the business, specializing in the sale and repair of violins, plucked string instruments and their fittings. When the company was sold in 1931, the music catalogue plates were destroyed and the rare instrument collection was dispersed.


R. Herndon: Boston of To-Day (Boston, 1892), 265–6

C.M. Ayars: Contributions to the Art of Music in America by the Music Industries of Boston, 1640–1936 (New York, 1937/R)


Howe, Mary

(b Richmond, VA, 4 April 1882; d Washington, DC, 14 Sept 1964). American composer and pianist. Her early musical and piano training was under the private tutelage of Herminie Seron. In 1904 she briefly studied the piano with Richard Burmeister in Dresden; subsequently she became a pupil of Ernest Hutcheson and Harold Randolph at the Peabody Conservatory, and studied composition there with Gustav Strube. At the age of 40, married and the mother of three children, she took the diploma in composition at the Peabody Conservatory (1922). In 1933, having already amassed a considerable output, she studied for a short period with Nadia Boulanger in Paris.

During her early mature years, Howe gave solo recitals and appeared as accompanist in the Washington area. Her first professional performances were as a duo-pianist with Anne Hull (1920–35). With her husband and others she helped found the National SO and served on the board of directors. She was also a founder, with Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge and others, of the Chamber Music Society of Washington (from 1928, the Friends of Music in the Library of Congress); and with Amy Beach she helped organize the Society of American Women Composers in 1925.

Howe’s music is conservative in style; its harmonic and melodic material stem from what she called ‘spanning and bridging’, a style of composition reaching from the past through to the contemporary. Three of her best-known pieces are cast as tone poems, and demonstrate her expansive orchestral and instrumental writing: Castellana is based on four Spanish folk tunes remembered from Howe’s childhood; Three Pieces after Emily Dickinson (1941) is a string quartet inspired by the last lines of three of Dickinson’s poems; and Sand is described by Howe as evoking the ‘granular consistency and grittiness and … potential scattering quality’ of sand on the shore. Her settings of Goethe, Rilke, Elinor Wylie, Amy Lowell and others demonstrate a combination of artistic and organizational ability in the interpretation of the text and its underlying feeling.


(selective list)

Catalogue: Mary Howe: Works, ed. C. Howe (MS, 1992)


published unless otherwise stated

Catalina, 1924; Chain Gang Song, 1925; Cavaliers, 1927, unpubd; Laud for Christmas, 1936; Robin Hood’s Heart, 1936, unpubd; Spring Pastoral, 1936; Christmas Song, 1939; Song of Palms, 1939; Song of Ruth, 1939; Williamsburg Sunday, 1940; Prophecy, 1943; A Devotion, 1944; Great Land of Mine, 1953; Poem in Praise, 1955, unpubd; The Pavilion of the Lord, 1957, unpubd; Benedictus es Domine, 1960, unpubd; We Praise thee O God, 1962, unpubd


published unless otherwise stated

Old English Lullaby, 1913; Somewhere in France, 1918; Cossack Cradle Song, 1922; Berceuse, 1925; Chanson Souvenir, 1925; O Mistress Mine, 1925; The Prinkin’ Leddie, 1925; Reach, 1925; Red Fields of France, 1925; Ma douleur, 1929; Ripe Apples, 1929; There has Fallen a Splendid Tear, 1930; Der Einsame, 1931; Liebeslied, 1931; Mailied, 1931; Schlaflied, 1931; Abendlied, 1932, unpubd; Avalon, 1932; The Little Rose, 1932; The Rag Picker, 1932; The Lake Isle of Innisfree, 1933; Fair Annet’s Song, 1934; Herbsttag, 1934

Little Elegy, 1934; Fragment, 1935; Now goes the light, 1935; Velvet Shoes, 1935; Go down Death, 1936; A Strange Story, 1936; Départ, 1938, unpubd; Soit, 1938; Viennese Waltz, 1938; Irish Lullaby, 1939, unpubd; You, 1939; Am Flusse, 1940; Die Götter, 1940; Heute geh’ ich, 1940; Die Jahre, 1940; Ich denke dein, 1940; Trocknet nicht, 1940, unpubd; Zweiful, 1940; The Bird’s Nest, 1941; General Store, 1941; Horses of Magic, 1941; Song at Dusk, 1941

Traveling, 1941, unpubd; Were I to Die, 1941, unpubd; L’amant des roses, 1942; Mein Herz, 1942; Men, 1942; Nicht mit Engeln, 1942; Hymne, 1943; In Tauris, 1944; Look on this horizon, 1944, unpubd; To the Unknown Soldier, 1944; Lullaby for a Forester’s Child, 1945; Rêve, 1945; O Proserpina, 1946; Spring Come not too Soon, 1947; The Christmas Story, 1948; The Bailey and the Bell, 1950; Horses, 1951; Einfaches Lied, 1955, unpubd; My Lady Comes, 1957; Three Hokku, 1958

other works

Orch: Poema, 1922; Stars, 1927 (New York, 1963); Sand, 1928 (New York, 1963); Castellana, 2 pf, orch, 1930; Dirge, 1931; Axiom, 1932; American Piece, 1933; Coulennes, 1936; Potomac River, 1940; Paean, 1941; Agreeable Ov., 1948; Rock, 1954 (New York, 1963); The Holy Baby of the Madonna, 1958

Chbr: Fugue, str qt, 1922; Sonata, D, vn, pf, 1922 (New York, 1962); Ballade fantasque, vc, pf, 1927; 3 Restaurant Pieces, vn, pf, 1927; Little Suite, str qt, 1928; Pf Qnt, 1928; Suite mélancolique, vn, vc, pf, 1931; Patria, vc, pf, 1932; Quatuor, str qt, 1939; 3 Pieces after Emily Dickinson, str qt, 1941; Interlude between 2 Pieces, fl, pf, 1942; Wind Qnt, 1957

Pf (pubd unless otherwise stated): Andante douloureux, 1910; Nocturne, 1913 (New York, 1925); Prelude, 1920; Valse dansante, 2 pf, 1922, unpubd; Berceuse, 1924 (New York, 1925); Estudia brillante, 1925, unpubd; 3 Spanish Folk Tunes, 2 pf, 1925 (New York, 1926); Whimsy, 1931; Stars, 1934; Trifle, 1935, unpubd; Cards, ballet, 2 pf, 1936, unpubd; Le jongleur de Notre Dame, ballet, 2 pf, 1959, unpubd

Org: Elegy, 1939, pubd; For a Wedding, 1940, unpubd

Also transcrs. of works by J.S. Bach for 1 and 2 pf

Principal publishers: Oliver Ditson, Edition Musicus, Carl Fischer, Galaxy, H.W. Gray, Mercury Music, OUP, C.F. Peters, E.C. Schirmer, G. Schirmer


GroveW (D. Indenbaum, C.J. Oja) [incl. further bibliography]

C. Reis: Composers in America: Biographical Sketches (New York, 3/1938 of American Composers, rev. and enlarged 4/1947)

D.N. Allen: The Works of Mary Howe: a Survey of Performance History and Critical Response (diss., George Washington U., 1992)

S.C. McClain: The Solo Vocal Repertoire of Mary Howe with Stylistic and Interpretive Analyses of Selected Works (diss., Teachers College, Columbia U., 1992)

D. Indenbaum: Mary Howe: Composer, Pianist and Music Activist (diss., New York U., 1993)


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