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American Composers and Musicians from A to Z: B (Part 2 – Bischoff, John W.)

John Bischoff was an American composer and organist who worked at the First Congregational Church in Washington, D.C. from 1874 until his death in 1909. Blind since the age of two, Bischoff attended the Wisconsin School for the Blind and later studied singing and organ before moving to Washington, D.C. His obituary from the May 30, 1909 edition of the Washington Times states that “his annual concerts at the First Congregational Church have always been musical events of great prominence.”  In a later article from the Times, on June 9 of that year, Bischoff was noted as resenting “the idea that this [blindness] was in any way an affliction. He held to the belief that what he had lost in one way was made up for in others.” Bischoff was also an active teacher in the Washington, DC area, having “thousands” of students.

One of the worlds largest organs. Washington, D.C.

One of the worlds largest organs. Washington, D.C.

We have two compositions by Bischoff in the collection, including:

  • “The Summer Wind” for voice and piano, from Lyric Fancies (BRM20573)
  • Fe╠éte Napolitaine: “Tarantelle” for piano (BRM15667)

For those who are looking to learn how to play organ:

  • Method of Organ Playing by Harold Gleason (BRM08548)
  • Ars Organi (Part I, Part II, Part III): Complete Theoretical and Practical Method for Organ Playing by Flor Peeters (BRM20478, BRM20479, BRM20480)
  • Little Organ Book: For Beginners in Organ Playing by Flor Peeters (BRM19545)
  • Plus many more not listed here!

For those who are looking to learn more about organ:

  • The Organ in Sight and Sound by E. Power Biggs (BRM30202)
  • Organ Literature: A Comprehensive Survey by Corliss Richard Arnold (large print – LPM00370)
  • Organ and Reed Family: Articles from the Oxford Companion to Music by Percy Alfred Scholes (BRM11235)
  • The Organ: Its Evolution, Principles of Construction, and Use by William Leslie Sumner (BRM24866)

And for those looking for instruction in popular organ:

Tactile Staff Notation

Today’s post is about the braille books in our collection that explain to blind readers how staff notation (print music) works. In case you are wondering why blind musicians need to know staff notation, two important reasons come to mind. First, music teachers who are visually impaired must be able to help their sighted students […]

American Composers and Musicians from A to Z: B (Part 1 – Beach, Amy)

Have you ever noticed that there are many composers whose last names start with the letter B? Let’s choose one who has an anniversary. This year the music world celebrates Amy Beach’s 150th birthday. Amy Marcy Cheney Beach was born in Henniker, New Hampshire, on September 5, 1867. From her earliest childhood, she showed extraordinary […]

Remembering the Father of the Blues

Today’s blog celebrates the career of W.C. Handy. Born in Florence, Alabama on November 16, 1873, William Christopher Handy became interested in music at an early age. His father, a minister, felt that music was an unwise career choice for him and, indeed, the young Handy experienced years of poverty and homelessness at first. But […]

Veterans Day and Armistice Day – Composers in World War I

This blog takes a look at composers who were affected by World War I and the music that they composed.

Aiming Beyond Graduation: Creating Inclusive College Music Courses for Blind and Visually Impaired Students, Part 2

This blog is a continuation of an interview with Chi Kim, instructor and professor at the assistive music technology (AMT) lab for blind and visually impaired students at Berklee College of Music.

Aiming Beyond Graduation: Creating Inclusive College Music Courses for Blind and Visually Impaired Students, Part 1

Part 1 The end goal for most college music students is to develop and cultivate skills to prepare for a successful musical career after graduation. For some music students with visual impairment (V.I.), just getting through the college degree program can be challenging.  Here are some common reasons: inability to learn a large amount of […]