Hullah, John Pyke

Composer

b Worcester 1812, d Westminster, London (Middx) 1884. Studying music in London under Wm Horsley (qv), he composed the music for the opera Village Coquettes, the text of which came from the pen of Charles Dickens, the same age as Hullah. After further training in Paris where he learned the techniques of G L Wilhem, he returned to London to teach singing in Battersea (1840) and at Exeter Hall in the Strand from 1841 onwards, where each week he instructed some 400 schoolteachers. His teaching was so much in demand that a new hall, St Martin’s, was opened in 1847 to house his classes; he gave concerts there for some 13 years, and in 1869 taught at the RAM. As well as being the Charterhouse organist he was Prof of Singing at 3 London colleges, taking on further teaching, and in 1872 he became an inspector of music in schools and Training Colls. He composed many songs, contributed to collections such as Psalms and Hymns for Divine Worship (1867), wrote a History of Modern Music, and published textbooks to accompany and illustrate his teaching. This was known as ‘Fixed-doh sight-singing’ or ‘the Wilhem method’, highly successful for a time but eventually superseded by Jn Curwen’s Tonic Sol-Fa. LL.D (Edin) 1876. No.960.

Tunes and arrangements by Hullah, John Pyke

Tune Name
Bentley