28 June 2010

This is the week that...

... Walter Carroll was born (4th July 1869).

Walter Carroll's birth certificate (Ref: Add-Carroll/12)

                                    Walter Carroll, aged about 17 (Ref: Carroll/Family/2)              Walter Carroll, taken about 1900 (Ref: Carroll/Family/2)

Walter Carroll, prominent Manchester music educationalist and composer of the still popular music for children, was born 4th July 1869. The sixth child and only son of Richard (b.1829), an upholsterer, and Fanny W. (b. 1832), he worked hard to escape his humble beginnings and was the first person to gain the DMus by examination at the Victoria University of Manchester, taking further degrees at Durham University.

He held several posts at the University of Manchester and at the Royal Manchester College of Music, delivering the first lecture on the opening of the latter institution in 1893. He became the first Professor in the Art and Practice of Teaching at the RNCM, resigning in 1918 to become Manchester's first Music Adviser.

It is his music for children, however, written originally for his daughters Elsa and Ida, which is Carroll's claim to enduring fame. After Scenes at a Farm, published by Forsyth Brothers Ltd in 1912, came all the other sets over a period of forty one years. These included The Countryside (1912), Sea Idylls (1914), Forest Fantasies (1916), Water Sprites (1923), and River and Rainbow (1933). The uniqueness of Carroll's brilliant idea was to fire the child's imagination by uniting what he called the Sister Arts: by simultaneously stimulating the child visually and poetically as well as musically.

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