Edgar Pettman

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Pettman's arrangement of Gabriel's Message

Edgar Pettman (1866–1943)[1] was an English organist, choral conductor and music editor. Born in Dunkirk, Kent, in 1881 he entered the Royal Academy of Music where he studied under George Alexander Macfarren.[2][3] He was organist at a number of London churches, including St Mary's, Kilburn and St James's Church, Piccadilly until his retirement in 1924.[4][5] Although the composer of a number of anthems and other church music,[6] he is best known for his 1892 book Modern Christmas carols in which he arranged a number of now popular carols such as I Saw a Maiden and Gabriel's Message, both harmonised hymns based on Basque carol melodies.[4] It was Pettman who collected and adapted the 'Normandy folk melody' sung to 'Away in a manger'. He was also an early editor of the works of Thomas Tallis, publishing an edition in 1900.[5]


  1. ^ Hyperion Records
  2. ^ Raymond F. Glover, The hymnal 1982 companion: Service music and biographies, Volume 2, 1994, p.565
  3. ^ Composer biographies, accessed 22 November 2010
  4. ^ a b Edgar Pettman, Modern Christmas carols (Weekes & Co., 1892)
  5. ^ a b Suzanne Cole, Thomas Tallis and his music in Victorian England, Volume 4 of Music in Britain, 1600-1900, (Boydell Press, 2008) ISBN 978-1-84383-380-2 p.160
  6. ^ Musical news: Volume 16, 1899