John Blow

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John Blow

John Blow (baptized February 23, 1649 in Newark-on-Trent , Nottinghamshire , † October 1, 1708 in Westminster , London ) was an English composer .


John Blow, born in 1648 or 1649, was a choirboy at Chapel Royal , alongside Pelham Humfrey and William Turner . In 1669 he was appointed organist at Westminster Abbey , where he was probably replaced in 1680 by his pupil Henry Purcell . In 1673 he became a gentleman of the Chapel Royal. In September of the same year he married Elizabeth Braddock, who died in childbed ten years later.

In 1687 he took over the direction of the choir of St Paul's Cathedral . After Purcell's death in 1695, he took over the post at Westminster Abbey again. In 1699 he was the first to receive the newly established post of composer at the Chapel Royal.


The best-known work of Blows is the Masque Venus and Adonis from 1683, which is considered the first real English opera and which Purcell's Dido and Aeneas had a significant influence. The main part of his work consists of church music. 110 anthems and fourteen services are from his pen. In addition, Blow composed odes on various occasions such as New Years Day or the Feast of Cecilia .

In 1800, “Dr. John Blow “a collection of secular songs entitled Amphion Anglicus , published by John Playford .

Blow died in his home in Broad Sanctuary in 1708 and was buried in the north apse of Westminster Abbey .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Frederick Noad: The Frederick Noad Guitar Anthology. 4 volumes. Ariel Publications, New York 1974; Reprints (with CD): Amsco Publications, New York / London / Sydney 1992 and 2002, UK ISBN 0-7119-0958-X , US ISBN 0-8256-9950-9 ; here: Volume 2: The Baroque Guitar. New edition: Hal Leonard, Milwaukee, ISBN 978-0-8256-1811-6 , pp. 101-104 ( Fair celia ).