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Doane, William Howard (03 February 1832–24 December 1915), industrialist, inventor, and composer and editor of gospel hymns, was born in Preston, Connecticut, the son of Joseph Doane and Frances Treat. His father was a partner in the cotton manufacturing firm of Doane and Treat, in nearby Voluntown. As a child, William displayed an early aptitude for music. He attended country singing schools with his brothers and sisters, and by age ten he was playing flute with the local church choir. He next mastered the violin and the double bass. In 1846 he enrolled at Woodstock Academy, a Congregationalist school, to complete his high school education. The teenage William served as choir director at Woodstock and attended Sunday meetings at the nearby Baptist meetinghouse, where in 1847 he made a full conversion, forsaking the Congregationalism of his father for his mother’s religion. In 1848, the year he graduated, William Doane composed his first musical piece, “The Grave beneath the Willow.”...

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Grainger, Percy Aldridge (08 July 1882–20 February 1961), composer, pianist, and musical experimenter, was born George Percy Grainger in Brighton, Australia, the son of John Harry Grainger, an English-born architect, engineer, and amateur painter and musician, and Rosa Annie Aldrich, an amateur musician. His father’s philandering and alcohol abuse and his mother’s harshly domineering manner probably contributed to the emergence of a number of unusual traits in their son as he grew into manhood. These included immature emotional ties to his mother that lasted until her suicide in 1922, masochism, rigid self-discipline that included strenuous exercise, pervasive freneticism, comically bizarre behavior, and virtually uninhibited flights of creative fantasy....