Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 381 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIR FREDERICK ARTHUR GORE OUSELEY (1825-1889), English composer, was the son of Sir Gore Ouseley, ambassador to Persia, and nephew to Sir William Ouseley, the Oriental scholar. He was born on the 12th of August 1825 in London, and manifested an extraordinary precocity in music, composing an opera at the age of eight years. In :844, having succeeded to the baronetcy, he entered at Christ Church, and graduated B.A. in 1846 and M.A. in 1849. He was ordained in the latter year, and, as curate of St Paul's, Knightsbridge, served the parish of St Barnabas, Pimlico, until 1851. In 185o he took the degree of Mus.B. at Oxford, and four years afterwards that of Mus.D., his exercise being the oratorio St Polycarp. In 1855 he succeeded Sir Henry Bishop as professor of music in the University of Oxford, was ordained priest and appointed precentor of Hereford. In 1856 he became vicar of St Michael's, Tenbury, and warden Cinclus mexicanus. of St Michael's College, which under him became an important educational institution both in music and general subjects. His works include a second oratorio, Hagar (Hereford, 1873), a great number of services and anthems, chamber music, songs, &c., and theoretical works of great importance, such as Harmony (1868) and Counterpoint (1869) and Musical Form (1875). One of his most useful works is a series of chapters on English music added to the translation of Emil Naumann's History of Music, the subject having been practically ignored in the German treatise. A profoundly learned musician, and a man of great general culture, Ouseley's influence on younger men was wholly for good, and he helped forward the cause of musical progress in England perhaps more effectually than if he himself had been among the more enthusiastic supporters of " advanced " music. The work by which he is best known, St Polycarp, shows, like most compositions of its date, the strong influence of Mendelssohn, at least in its plan and scope; but if Ouseley had little individuality of expression, his models in other works were the English church writers of the noblest school. He died at Here-ford on the 6th of April 1889.

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