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Ave Maria   Op. 129 contemplation pour le Piano.

Composer: John William Harmston (1822-1881), 1869


This music is assumed to be public domain in the USA. BEWARE: the modern-day recordings of that music are not!



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I have a score of this song I have a music notation program file of this song  (NWC, Sibelius, etc.) I have a MIDI file of this song. X X John William Harmston 1822 1881 1869 Op. 129 Ave Maria NV piano contemplation pour le Piano.
X X X X X John William Harmston 1822 1881     Op. 167 Ich grüße dich NV piano tonstück für pianoforte

Recording:  not available
Lyrics:  none

My thanks and appreciation to
Paul Harmston
for sending me this score and MIDI.

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Internet references, biography information.
source page
My thanks and appreciation to
Paul Harmston
for making this documentation available
John William Harmston (aka John W Harmston or J W Harmston) is a lesser known English composer of the mid to late 19th century. His major works include two sonatas for cello and piano, Opus 203, Cello Sonata No.1 : for Cello and Piano[22,38,39,40] and Opus 222, Cello Sonata No.2 : for Cello (or Violin) and Piano[22,38,39,40]. His works number in the order of 240, the majority of which fall into the category of drawing room music.

John William Harmston was born in 1822 to William[4,46] and Eleanor Turner Harmston (née Wake) of Lincoln. He was the first born child with three brothers and three sisters. The exact date and place of his birth are unclear. The most likely date of birth is 22 May 1822[51] with a baptism on 21 October 1822[46,51] although dates range from 1821 to 1823[1,12,15,34,35,36]. His birthplace is normally quoted as London[1,12,14,15,34,35,36,19] although no record can be found in parish registers. However, it is more likely that he was born in Lincoln as his parents were married at Eagle, Lincolnshire[4,16] and lived their early life in Lincoln[1,10,25,33]. All his brothers and sisters were born in Lincoln.[1,2,6,7,9,10,29,31,32] In 1841 John William was living with his parents and siblings at Bail Gate, Lincoln[1].

He studied music with Sterndale Bennett[12,34,35,39] before moving in 1848 to Lübeck[11,12,15,34,35,39] ,Germany where he married Johanna Stange,[45,46,51] daughter of Fredrich Bernhard[2,46] and Dorothea Christina Friederica Stange (née Schmidt)[2,48], and had two children, Alma and John William Bernhard[4,46,49,50]. He settled in Lübeck initially as an English teacher then as a photographer[34] before becoming a music teacher[12,15,35,39]. In 1873 he was a teacher living at 309 Holstenstraße, Lübeck[45]. Due to later renumbering in 2009, this address is now 17 Holstenstraße.

By great industry and perseverance he succeeded in teaching himself composition[34] and as a composer he wrote piano music, pieces for violin, cello and songs[12,15,35]. He became an instrumental composer of considerable ability and industry[37]. Many of his pieces enjoyed popularity[37] with his most popular piece being opus 22, the “Song of the Bird”[34]. He was a composer of an immense number of pianoforte pieces[36] which were eagerly sought after by the publishers of North Germany[34] and which were chiefly printed by foreign publishers[36]. Altogether he produced about 240 works, mostly drawing-room pieces[34].

He died in Lübeck[12] on 26th August 1881[15,26,34,35,36,46,47] and is buried in Burgtor-Friedhof cemetery in Lübeck, in plot numbered Grab X 44/2.

1. 1841 Census, St Pauls in the Bail, Lincoln, http://www.ancestry.co.uk
2. International Genealogical Index (IGI),
3. Free births, marriages and deaths,
4. Handwritten family tree of Edward Harmston (1827-1907) of unknown origin passed down through Harmston family via Mary Alice Harmston (1907-1993), held by Paul Harmston
5. Memorial card - Eleanor Turner Harmston, held by Paul Harmston
6. 1881 Census,
7. 1901 census, Public Records Office,
8. Funeral receipt – Edward Harmston, 8 August 1907, held by Paul Harmston
9. Memorial card - Eleanor Brewer Harmston, held by Paul Harmston
10. Birth Certificate - Eleanor Brewer Harmston, copy held by Paul Harmston
11. Single photograph of John William Harmston and Johanna Stange taken by Herm Linde, Johannisstr. 31, Lübeck, held by Paul Harmston
12. Music Encyclopedia, Musical Biographies, John William Harmston,  

13. 1851 census,
14. The Music Sack,
15. Paul Frank & Wilhelm Altmann, Kurzgefasstes Tonkunstler Lexicon - für Musiker und Freunde der Musik, Regensberg:Gustave Bosse, 1936
16. Marriage Registers – Eagle 1588-1837, Lincolnshire Parish Records Vol.4, S&N Genealogy  Supplies 2003
17. Harmston family bible, held by Paul Harmston.
18. Marriage certificate, Edward Harmston and Mary Brown, 25 May 1862, copy held by Paul Harmston.
19. Worldcat,
20. The Faust legend in music, Janet I Wasserman, 2003,
21. J. W. Harmston , La Reine du Cœur, London:Robert Cocks & Co.
22. Klassika, die deutschsprachigen Klassikseiten,
23. Amazon,
24. Shop 4 Author,
25. The Lincoln Commercial Directory and Private Residents Guide, Lincoln:Victor & Baker, 1843
26. Robert Eitner, Totenliste des Jahres 1881 die Musik betreffend, Monatshefte für Musikgeschichte, 1882, p.85.
27. Composer dates, www8.tltc.edu/lgarner/composer%20dates.htm
28. Composer dates, htpp://www.larrykrantz.com/compdate
29. 1861 census,
30. Marriage certificate – John Harmston and Miriam Mason, 11 April 1903, Sheffield, copy held by Paul Harmston
31. 1871 census,
32. 1891 census,
33. Death certificate – William Harmston, 12 April 1864, Ecclesall Bierlow, copy held by Paul Harmston
34. Ernst Pauer, A Dictionary of Pianists and Composers for the Pianoforte, London:Novello, Ewer & Co, 1895.
35. Alfred Remy and Theodore Baker, Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, New York:G.Schirmer, 1919.
36. Stephen Samuel Stratton and James Duff Brown, British Musical Biography – a dictionary of musical artists, authors and composers born in Britain and its colonies,Birmingham:S.S.Stratton, 1897.
37. David Baptie, A Handbook of Musical Biography, London:W.Morley, 1883,
38. Hofmeister Catalogue,
39. Christiane Wiesenfeldt, Zwischen Beethoven und Brahms : die Violoncello – Sonate in 19 Jahrhundert, p316-318, Kassel:Bärenreiter, 2006
40. Franz Pazdírek, Universal-Handbuch der Musikliteratur, Vol V, Wien, 1904-1910, pp 506-509
41. Antiquarian books in Scandinavia, http://
42. The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular, Vol. 14, No. 315 (May 1 1869), p. 83
43. The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular, Vol. 14, No. 317 (Jul 1 1869), p. 150
44. Arndt Schnoor, Hansestadt Lübeck, Stadtbibliothek, list of composition by J. W. Harmston held in the library.
45. Lübeck Adressbuch, 1873,
46. Lübeck Genealogisches Register, Band 6, H, Archiv der Hansestadt Lübeck
47. Marien Register, U19 – d47, Archiv der Hansestadt Lübeck
48. Geboren Register, 1826, Archiv der Hansestadt Lübeck
49. Geboren Register, 1851, Archiv der Hansestadt Lübeck
50. Geboren Register, 1856, Archiv der Hansestadt Lübeck
51. Proklamations Register 1850, Archiv der Hansestadt Lübeck
52. Den Jako Malovaný (CD), 1997, Základní umĕlecká škola Pardubice-Polabiny, Czech Republic
53. Edexecel, AS/A2 Music difficulty levels, Flute,
54. National library of Australia, catalogue,
55. Munich Digitisation Centre,
56. Conservatory of Music “Jesús Guridi” Musika Kontserbatorioa, Entrance exams to professional degrees June 2009,
57. Gettextbooks.ca,
58. Views from Nykarleby, Piano- och orgelrepertoaren vid Nykarleby seminarium 1873-1897,
59 – Paul van Kuik at antiqbook.de,

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Page last modified: October 27, 2011

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