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This article is about the American music publisher. For the British spy, see George Blake. The title page of Blake's Collection of Duetts for Two Flutes, Clarinets, or Violins published by Blake in Philadelphia circa 1807. The engraving features one of Benjamin Latrobe's waterworks buildings in Philadelphia's Center Square. George E. Blake (1775 – February 20, 1871) was an American music engraver and publisher. He was born in Yorkshire, England and, according to his obituary in the Philadelphia Evening Telegraph, emigrated to the United States when he was sixteen.[1] Other sources disagree on the exact year he arrived in America.[2] What is clear though is that by 1793, he began teaching the flute and the clarinet in Philadelphia, operating out of a room above the shop of music publisher John Aitken. During this period, the city was being ravaged by an outbreak of yellow fever. Unlike many others, Blake chose to stay instead of fleeing the city.[3] He remained in Philadelphia for the rest of his long life. In 1802, Blake acquired the rights to piano maker John Isaac Hawkins' factory. By the next year, he had published his first piece of music, and by 1810, he was advertising his services by claiming that he had the largest assortment of music in the country. At the height of his career, from about 1810 to 1830, he was considered one of the most prolific music publishers in the United States.[4] He was one of the first to publish full scores of American musical theater, including the popular 1810 musical by John Bray and J.N. Barker, The Indian Princess.[5] One of his greatest early achievements was a complete edition of Thomas Moore's Irish Melodies, which Blake first published in 1808 and continued printing until 1825. During the 1820s and 1830s, he undertook what was then the most ambitious music-publishing project in the United States: the complete vocal works of George Frideric Handel in piano-vocal score over fifteen folio volumes.[6] In around 1830, he published the first American edition of Handel's Messiah. His publications throughout his career were diverse: he printed songs of the Philadelphia theater (based on London theater music), opera librettos, original American compositions, political songs, excerpts from Italian opera, and minstrel music.[4] By the 1850s, Blake stopped publishing music, although he continued operating out of his small store on Fifth Street and selling his earlier publications. Notes ^ Quoted in Bewley. ^ Metcalf (172) states that he arrived in 1793, while Krummel puts the date at "before 1793". ^ Metcalf 172. ^ a b Krummel. ^ Sanjek 51. ^ Bewley. References Bewley, John. Philadelphia Music Publishers: George E. Blake (1775-1871). University of Pennsylvania Library's Department of Special Collections. Retrieved on January 25, 2008. Krummel, Donald W. "Blake, George E.". Grove Music Online (subscription required). ed. L. Macy. Retrieved on January 26, 2008. Metcalf, Frank J. (2007). American Writers and Compilers of Sacred Music. READ BOOKS. ISBN 1406751448. Sanjek, Russell (1988). American Popular Music and Its Business: The First Four Hundred Years. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195043103. External links Works by or about George E. Blake in libraries (WorldCat catalog) Persondata Name Blake, George E. Alternative names Short description Date of birth 1775 Place of birth Date of death February 20, 1871 Place of death