Power, James & William

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Dates Active in Dublin: 



36 Tighe Street, 1797–?
4 Westmoreland Street, 1802–07


James and William Power were brothers.

They were in business together from 1797 to 1807, in which year James moved to London where he was a military instrument maker, music seller and publisher.

William Power continued the business, initially (until 1810) under the name Power & Co. (a name which had been in use since 1803) at 4 Westmoreland Street and then under his own name until 1831.

William Power invited Thomas Moore to cooperate in a projected edition of Irish airs. The first volume Selection of Irish melodies, with symphonies and accompaniments by Sir John Stevenson, Mus. Doc., and characteristic words by Thomas Moore Esq. was published c. 1807/1808. There followed nine additional issues and a supplement, containing a total of 124 airs. As a result of disagreement between William and James, the later numbers were issued by the latter’s firm in London with arrangements by Henry Bishop (Boydell, 'Music, 1700–1850'). An insert into the third edition of Thomas Moore's Lalla Rookh in 1817 stated: 'The Publishers [Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown (Paternoster-Row, London)] beg to inform the Composers of Music and Music Sellers, that Mr. James Power, of the Strand, Music Seller, is the only person authorised by them to publish the Songs or Verses in this Work connected with Music'.

[Details differ according to sources: Teahan gives the dates as 1797 to 1807 but says that the firm was known as 'William Power' in 1803 and he lists William Power on his own in 1810 only.]

Select Product/Work List: 

Produced (as listed in Waterhouse)

  • Bass-horn [Glen collection]
  • Bass-horn (supplied to the Royal Artillery), 1803
  • Published

  • Selection of Irish Melodies, with Symphonies and Accompaniments by Sir John Stevenson, Mus. Doc., and Characteristic Words by Thomas Moore Esq., c. 1807/1808 – ? [several volumes] (Boydell, 'Music, 1700 - 1850')
  • A Selection of Irish Melodies with Symphonies & Accompaniments by Sir John Stevenson, Mus.Doc. and characteristic words by Thomas Moore Esqr., 7th Number (London: Published by J. Power at his Music and Musical Instrument Warehouse, 34 Strand; and by W. Power, 4 Westmoreland-Street, Dublin), 1818: Queen's University Belfast (Crean)
  • Source(s): 

    Dublin Directories

    Teahan, John, 'A List of Irish Instrument Makers', The Galpin Society Journal, 16 (May 1963), 28–32 (p. 31)

    Warner, Thomas E., An Annotated Bibliography of Woodwind Instruction Books, 1600–1830 (Detroit: Information Co-ordinators Inc., 1967), p. 68

    Humphries, Charles and William C. Smith, Music Publishing in the British Isles, from the Beginning until the Middle of the Nineteenth Century; a Dictionary of Engravers, Printers, Publishers, and Music Sellers (London: Oxford University Press, 1970), p. 263

    Boydell, Brian, 'Music, 1700–1850', in Eighteenth-Century Ireland 1691–1800, ed. by T.W. Moody and W.E. Vaughan, A New History of Ireland, IV (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986), pp. 568–627 (p. 605)

    Boydell, Barra, 'The Flageolet in Ireland: Aspects of the Repertoire, the Instrument and its Makers', in Musicology in Ireland, ed. by Gerard Gillen and Harry White, Irish Musical Studies, I (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1990), pp. 151–168 (pp. 158–61)

    Waterhouse, William, The New Langwill Index: a Dictionary of Musical Wind-Instrument Makers and Inventors (London: Tony Bingham, 1993), p. 310

    Crean, Elise, 'Student Study: Volume 7. Moore Collection Cataloguing Project' (unpublished MA project, Queen's University Belfast, 2004), p. 6

    McHale, Maria, 'Music', in The Irish Book in English 1800–1891, ed. by James H. Murphy, The Oxford History of the Irish Book, IV (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. 595–601 (p. 599)

    Boydell, Brian, ‘Power, James & William’, Dublin Music Trade Card Index <http://dublinmusictrade.ie/card-index>

    Last Update: 16-03-2017