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Warren, Ambrose

(b c1656; d between Dec 1727 and July 1729). English musical amateur. A teacher at Tenison's School, St Martin-in-the-Fields, he espoused a two-string monochord in his The Tonometer: Explaining and Demonstrating, by an Easie Method, in Numbers and Proportion, all the 32 Distinct and Different Notes, Adjuncts or Supplements Contained in Each of Four Octaves Inclusive, of the Gamut, or Common Scale of Music (London, 1725). He claimed to have invented it, referring to Michael Wise as an early mentor, in order to help performers, practitioners and instrument makers understand what they do by ear.

The set of string lengths given by Warren divides the octave into 32 parts and is based on 1000 units of measurement. In commenting on the practicality of the instrument he said: ‘This is of use as well as for speculation, since hereby a scholar may be seasonably caution’d and inform’d … before he can be able either to perform or speak tolerably like a master … especially if vocal music, or the violin, are his profession or choice’. Warren’s system was discussed by J.A. Scheibe in his Über die musikalische Komposition (1773), 491ff.


Warren, Elinor Remick

(b Los Angeles, 23 Feb 1900; d Los Angeles, 27 April 1991). American composer and pianist. Her parents were accomplished amateur musicians. After local study in Los Angeles and a year at Mills College, she went to New York in 1920 for further work with Frank LaForge and Clarence Dickinson; she also attended masterclasses in Los Angeles with Godowsky and later with Schoenberg, and undertook private study in Paris with Nadia Boulanger (1959). Her early works came to the attention of Cadman and Enescu, who encouraged her. Her first published composition was A Song of June (1919), and by 1922 her compositions were appearing in the catalogues of leading New York music firms. From 1921 to the early 1940s she toured the USA as accompanist and assisting artist with leading singers such as Florence Easton, Lawrence Tibbett, Richard Crooks, Margarete Matzenauer and Lucrezia Bori, who were among the many artists to sing her songs; the baritone Thomas Hampson has championed her music.

The New York première (1936) of The Harp Weaver brought Warren critical attention as a composer in the larger orchestral forms. The première by Albert Coates and the Los Angeles PO of The Legend of King Arthur (1940) established her reputation internationally, and her larger works received performances by important orchestras under such conductors as Pierre Monteux, Barbirolli, Kostelanetz, Pelletier, Wallenstein and Hickox.

The beauty of nature – particularly the West, where Warren lived and worked most of her life – inspired many compositions, among them The Crystal Lake (1946), Singing Earth (1950, revised 1978), Suite for Orchestra (1954, revised 1960), and Along the Western Shore (1954). Mysticism is also a prominent theme, notably in The Harp Weaver (1932), The Legend of King Arthur (1939, revised 1974), The Sleeping Beauty (1941), Requiem (1965) and a large body of smaller works.

A prolific composer, Warren was active into her 90th year; her catalogue contains over 200 compositions, including works for orchestra, chorus and orchestra, chamber ensemble, voice and chorus. She has been described as ‘the only woman among the group of prominent American neo-romanticists that includes Howard Hanson, Samuel Barber and Gian Carlo Menotti’ (Ammer). The English musicologist Lewis Foreman has written that ‘in her chosen neo-romantic idiom, Warren is not a typical American composer of her day … [but] idiom matters far less than what she had to say, and the striking way she said it’.

Following her death, the Elinor Remick Warren Society was established to perpetuate her legacy and to advance her musical ideals through furthering the art song, choral and choral/orchestral repertory in America, and the tonal Romantic idiom in art music throughout the world.


(selective list)


The Harp Weaver (E. St V. Millay), Bar, female vv, orch/(harp, pf), 1932; Merry-go-round (A. MacLeish), male vv, pf, 1934; The Fountain (S. Teasdale), female vv, pf, 1937; The Legend of King Arthur [orig. The Passing of King Arthur] (A. Tennyson), T, Bar, chorus, orch, 1939, rev. 1974; The Sleeping Beauty (Tennyson), S, Bar, B-Bar, chorus, orch, 1941; To my Native Land (H.W. Longfellow), chorus, opt. orch, 1942

Transcontinental (A.M. Sullivan), Bar, chorus, orch/pf, 1958; Abram in Egypt (Dead Sea Scrolls; Bible: Genesis), Bar, chorus, orch, 1959; Our Beloved Land (S. Bonner [Warren]), chorus, orch/pf, 1963; The Night will Never Stay (E. Farjeon), female vv, pf, 1964; Requiem (Lat., Eng. trans. Warren), S, Bar, chorus, orch/chbr orch, 1965 [incl. Sanctus (1965)]; A Joyful Song of Praise (Bible: Isaiah xxv), chorus, org, 1966

My heart is ready (Ps cviii), chorus, org, 1967; Hymn of the City (W.C. Bryant), chorus, org/orch, 1970; Little Choral Suite (R.B. Bennett, L.W. Reese), female vv, pf, 1973; Night Rider (R.L. Stevenson), chorus, pf, 1975; Good Morning, America! (C. Sandburg), nar, chorus, orch, 1976; Songs for Young Voices (Stevenson, C. Rossetti, Teasdale), female vv, pf, 1976

White Iris (B. Carman), female vv, pf, 1979; Praises and Prayers (Bk of Common Prayer, J. Byrom and others), chorus, org, brass insts/unacc. chorus, 1981; Time, you Old Gypsy-Man (R. Hodgson), chorus, pf, 1981; Now Welcome, Summer! (G. Chaucer), chorus, chbr orch/pf, 1984; On the Echoing Green (W. Blake), chorus, chbr orch/pf, 1985; many others


for 1 voice and piano, unless otherwise stated

A Song of June (Carman), 1919; The Heart of a Rose (A. Noyes), 1922; I have seen dawn (J. Masefield), 1924; Dreams (B. Fenner), 1927; Lady Lo-Fu (M.M. Wood), 1v, fl, cl, pf, 1927; Silent Noon (D.G. Rossetti), 1928; Piano (D.H. Lawrence), 1932; White Horses of the Sea (H. Hendry), 1932; By a Fireside (T. Jones jr), 1934; Sweetgrass Range (E.F. Piper), 1934; Wander Shoes (H.C. Crew), 1936; Snow towards Evening (M. Cane), 1937

The Nights Remember (H. Vinal), 1937; Christmas Candle (K.L. Brown), 1v, fl, cl, pf, 1940; If you have forgotten (Teasdale), 1940; King Arthur’s Farewell, Bar, pf/orch, 1941 [from The Legend of King Arthur]; Heather (M. Wilkinson), 1942; We Two (W. Whitman), 1946; Singing Earth (Sandburg), S, orch/pf, 1950, rev. 1978; Sonnets (Millay), S, str orch/str qt, 1954; For You with Love (L. Untermeyer), 1967; Songs from Country Places (M. Widdemer, R. Frost, Sandburg, R. Nathan), 1990; many others


Orch and chbr: Wind Qnt, c1935–6; Scherzo, 1938; The Fountain, 1938; Intermezzo, 1939, rev. 1974 [from The Legend of King Arthur]; The Crystal Lake, 1946; Poem, va, pf, 1948; Along the Western Shore: Dark Hills, Nocturne, Sea Rhapsody, 1954; Suite: Black Cloud Horses, Cloud Peaks, Ballet of the Midsummer Sky, Pageant across the Sky, 1954, rev. 1960; Sym. in 1 Movt, 1970

Pf: Frolic of the Elves, 1924; The Fountain, 1933; Dark Hills, 1946; Poem, 1946; Sea Rhapsody, 1946; The Lake at Evening, 1988

Pf transcrs.: J.S. Bach: Bist du bei mir, 1939; S. Foster: 3 Melodies, 1940

Org: Carillon Theme, 1958; Processional March, 1967


Principal publishers: Ditson, C. Fischer, Flammer, Galaxy, Lawson Gould, H.W. Gray, Masters Music, Presser, E.C. Schirmer, G. Schirmer


GroveW (V. Bortin) [incl. further bibliography]

E. Goodland: ‘Composer Elinor Remick Warren brings Musical Honors to the City of her Birth’, Los Angeles Times (27 Dec 1953)

C. Ammer: Unsung: A History of Women in American Music (Westport, CT, 1980)

J.W. LePage: Women Composers, Conductors, and Musicians of the Twentieth Century, (Metuchen, NJ, 1983), 305–21

S.P. Finger: Women Composers in Los Angeles: 1918–1939 (diss., U. of California, Los Angeles, 1986)

V. Bortin: Elinor Remick Warren: her Life and her Music (Metuchen, NJ, 1987)

V. Bortin: Bio-Bibliographies in Music: Elinor Remick Warren (Westport, CT, 1992)

L. Foreman: ‘The Legend of King Arthur’, Gloucester Three Choirs Festival 1995 [programme book], 189–92


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