Life of John Hullah

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The composer and music teacher John Pyke Hullah (1812-84) enjoyed considerable success with The Village Coquettes, his 1836 opera with a libretto by Charles Dickens. He is best remembered, however, for his 'singing school for schoolmasters' which he directed at London's Exeter Hall in the 1840s and later at the specially built St Martin's Hall. Although his use of the French fixed sol-fa system was quickly superseded by Curwen's tonic sol-fa approach, his efforts - with the support of Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth - embedded music firmly in the school curriculum. An influence on the rapid growth of British amateur choral societies, he was also appointed the first government inspector of music in training colleges in 1872. First published in 1886, this biography was prepared from Hullah's notes by his second wife, Frances Rosser Hullah (1839-c.1921), a professional sculptor and writer on music for women's periodicals.