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Baker, Theodore (3rd June 1851-13th October 1934)

He was an author, lexicographer and translator of hymns born in New York, New York.  He moved to Germany to study music at the University of Leipzig in 1874 where he achieved his Doctorate in Music with his dissertation on the Seneca Indians’ music.  This dissertation made him the first student of Native American music.

After completion of his studies he went on to work for the G. Schirmer Music Company as a literary editor in 1892 and stayed with them until 1926.

As an author he wrote the Biographical Dictionary of Musicians and as a translator of hymns he is known for his translation of “How Great Our Joy” which is also known as “While By The Sheep” and “Echo Carol”, which was given that name due to the effective echoing device he incorporated into it. “Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming”, “We Gather Together” and “Carol of the Bagpipers” are others that he has become associated with.

He died in Dresden, Germany in 1934 aged 83.

Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming
Leroy Anderson and His Orchestra
Decca B0003552-02 (CD: A Leroy Anderson Christmas)

While By The Sheep recordings
Leroy Anderson and His Orchestra
Decca B0003552-02 (CD: A Leroy Anderson Christmas)

Here is Mahalia Jackson performing “Lo, ow a Rose E’er Blooming” which Theodore translated into English…

Sources:

  1. http://www.cyberhymnal.org/bio/b/a/k/baker_t.htm
  2. http://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/while_by_the_sheep.htm
  3. http://kokomo.ca/allfaith/prayer_of_thanksgiving.htm
  4. http://www.library.unt.edu/music/classes/mumh4780/Native%20American%20Music_files/frame.htm#slide0010.htm