Moir, Frank Lewis (DNB12)
MOIR, FRANK LEWIS (1852–1904), song composer, was born at Market Harborough on 22 April 1852. Early in life he showed musical and other artistic talents, and while still a boy composed a song. After acting as tuner in London and Nottingham, he became an art student at South Kensington. Though he had no musical training, he won a scholarship at the National Training School for Music, where he studied under Prout, Stainer, and Bridge; and while there Boosey & Co. engaged him to compose ballads for four years. He won the Madrigal Society's prize in 1881. Possessing a good baritone voice, he gave recitals and taught singing at a studio in Oxford Street, London. He composed sentimental drawing-room ballads with extraordinary facility; many had very great popularity, especially 'Only once more' (1883) and 'Down the Vale' (1885). He wrote both music and words in many cases, including a comic opera, 'The Royal Watchman.' He tried a higher style in a harvest cantata, a communion service in D, and some elaborate songs, which met with little success. He published a work on 'Natural Voice Production' (1889), and contributed organ solos, of little value, to the collections 'Abbey Voluntaries,' 'Chancel Echoes,' 'Cathedral Voluntaries,' and 'Stark's Select Series.'
The music-pirates, who surreptitiously printed popular songs and sold them in the streets at a penny, ruined Moir. Publishers refused his compositions; he fell into despondency and penury, and after a painful illness died at Deal on 14 July 1904. He had married Eleanor Farnol, a vocalist from Birmingham, and left three children.
[Goodworth's Musicians of All Times; Musical Herald and Musical Times, August 1904 (obit.); Moir's works in Brit. Museum.]