Thomas Tapper

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Thomas Tapper (28 January 1864 24 February 1958) was a musician, composer, lecturer, writer, teacher, and editor, who was born in Canton, Massachusetts, and studied music at the American College of Musicians. He wrote many books on music, mostly for children and young adults. His most famous being Lives of Great Composers picture book series. [1] He also wrote the First Year Series for musical instruction, which included First Year Musical Theory, First Year Counterpoint, First Year Harmony, Second Year harmony, First Year Analysis, and First Year Melody Writing. He was the editor of "The Musician," and promoted rural music and community music. [2] Tapper also promoted rote learning in the rote-note controversy of the late 19th Century music education. [3] His students included Isabel Stewart North [4] and Carrie Burpee Shaw. [5]

Tapper married pianist Bertha Feiring Tapper in 1894.


  1. "Biography of Thomas Tapper". Music Of Yesterday. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  2. Lee, W. L. (2007). A New Look at a Significant Cultural Moment. Journal of Historical Research in Music Education. Link:
  3. Volk, Terese M. (1993). "Factors Influencing Music Educators in the "Rote-Note" Controversy, 1865–1900". The Bulletin of Historical Research in Music Education. 15: 31–43. doi:10.1177/153660069301500103. S2CID   149197842.
  4. "7 Mar 1929, Page 1 - Bradford Evening Star and The Bradford Daily Record at". Retrieved 2021-11-23.
  5. Cohen, Aaron I. (1987). International Encyclopedia of Women Composers. Books & Music (USA). ISBN   978-0-9617485-2-4.

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