Benjamin F. White
Born: 20 September 1800, Union County, South Carolina
Died: 5 December 1879, Atlanta, Georgia
Benjamin Franklin White was a famous American music compiler, composer, arranger, organizer of music societies, and farmer. He married Thurza Golightly in 1825, and afterward moved to Spartanburg, South Carolina, where he was acquainted with William Walker. In 1833 Thurza's sister Amy married Walker. After a dispute over Walker's Southern Harmony (1835), White and his family moved to Harris County, Georgia. He was the senior compiler of The Sacred Harp (1844), for which he contributed or collaborated in writing about twenty tunes, and arranged several more; he supervised revisions of The Sacred Harp in 1850, 1859, and 1869. "On his deathbed he sang 'plainly and distinctly' Justin Morgan's Sounding Joy (page 391 [in The Sacred Harp])" (Extract from Steel and Hulan 2010).
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List of choral works
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- 1844 – The Sacred Harp, a Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes, Odes, and Anthems… (with Elisha J. King). Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: S. C. Collins. 262 pp.
- 1850 – The Sacred Harp, a Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes, Odes, and Anthems … To Which is Added Appendix I., Containing a Variety of Favorite Tunes not Comprised in the Body of the Work. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: S. C. Collins. 366 pp. Appendix edited by a committee: B. F. White, Joel King, Leonard P. Breedlove, A. Ogletree, S. R. Penick, J. R. Turner, R. F. M. Mann, and E. L. King.
- 1859-1860 – The Sacred Harp, a Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes, Odes, and Anthems … To Which is Added Appendix I., Containing a Variety of Favorite Tunes not Comprised in the Body of the Work … Also, Appendix II., Containing 77 Pieces of New Composition by Distinguished Writers Never Before Published. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: S. C. Collins. "New Appendix" edited by B. F. White, E. T. Pound, J. P. Rees, R. F. Ball, A. Ogletree, T. Waller, J. T. Edmunds, and A. S. Webster. 432 pp. Indexes, pp. 430-432.
- 1869-1870 – The Sacred Harp: B. F. White and E. J. King: A collection of tunes, odes, hymns and anthems: Fourth edition, with supplement. Together with over one hundred pieces never before used for this work. Arranged and compiled by J. L. White and others. Atlanta, Georgia: Compiler. 607 pp. Reprinted by J. L. White, Atlanta, in 1911; and by The J. L. White Sacred Harp, Valdosta, Georgia, in 2007.
Steel, David Warren; and Richard H. Hulan. 2010. The Makers of the Sacred Harp. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press. 322 pp.