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G.K. Chesterton

That definition is followed here. Of the seventeen extended works in CH , eleven are set largely to Biblical prose, one to non-Biblical prose, and five are a mixture of prose and verse.

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Because Connection seems to have been intended more as a decoration than a score for performance, it is not discussed here among the musical pieces. Its new text, however, qualifies it for admission in an appendix. McKay and Crawford also classify Lewis-Town as a set-piece, although Billings lists it among the strophic pieces in the index.

Lewis-Town is here considered a psalm-tune, because, while the change of mode from major to minor and back might preclude some texts being set, many other hymns of six, nine, or twelve stanzas could have been sung strophically to it. The change of mode does not appear to reflect the meaning of the words, as the text set to Lewis-Town clearly demonstrates.

See note for a further discussion of the set-piece. Of the fifty pieces in the book, only about a dozen of the psalm- and fuging-tunes appear suited for singing-school use. Pieces like St. On the other hand, pieces like Creation, St. Thomas, Lewis-Town, West-Sudbury , and Cross Street , with extended fuges, subtle antiphonal effects, and difficult vocal parts, would seem technically too demanding for inexperienced learners. More often, he merely tonicized a pitch usually the dominant in a major key and then left it immediately.

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He also ends the piece in a different key from which it began. Another may be the presence of choosing notes other than octaves e. In NEPS , choosing notes in thirds and sixths are frequently found in the bass, as well as occasionally fourths and fifths. Despite some changes in scoring and barring, the sections are clearly the same.

Less certain is the section between mm. In the fuging chorus, the first part is complete and performable as a separate piece without the fuge, which is an independent contrapuntal development of the last line or two of the text.

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For a discussion of fuging-tune types, see Kroeger, Worcester Collection , pp. Crawford Core Repertory , pp. The Waterhouse Ms is known to date from and earlier. Both present the tune in tenor and bass parts only. The MHi Ms, although containing different pieces, also appears to come from about The tune is found there in a four-part setting closely resembling the one Billings published.

After having squared his prosody at the onset of the fuge, Billings again creates metrical confusion in the tenor and treble parts by beginning these fugal entries a beat or two late. The accentual conflict is resolved only four measures before the end. Perhaps Billings was experimenting here with cross accents, for in spite of its unorthodox appearance, the piece is not difficult to perform by simply beating half-notes. It suggests that Billings was moving toward a greater integration of his musical material. See Randel, New Harvard Dictionary , sv.

The form of the text, declaimed syllabically, does not entirely determine the form of the piece, as it does in the plain tune. Often, the set-piece precludes the substitution of different words to the music, either through word repetition or word-painting that would not fit other texts. Neither Lewis-Town nor St. Thomas contains any elements, other than length, that would not allow text substitution.

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Thus, any hymn of six or eight stanzas, respectively, with appropriate sentiments, could be sung strophically to these tunes. It was later published in Mann and Mann as Deerfield. It is possible Billings named his tune after Thomaston, Maine.

Thomas and a St. Andrews , perhaps references to the publishers. Sudbury is found as Randolph in Moore , p. By far the greatest number of pieces from CH were printed in Stoughton , which includes Adams p. Later compilers often borrowed from Billings and from the following tunebooks: Jocelin , Jocelin , Read , Benham , and Holden and later editions.

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While not as influential as those listed above, other works that contain important observations on performance practice are: Stickney , Read , Read and later editions, Holyoke , Holyoke , Kimball , Mann , French , Janes , Harmon , and Hartwell Most have included brief introductions providing both historical and technical information on the performance of the music. Most of the music is printed on two staves in close scoring, with the melody in the top voice rather than the tenor.

Fisher consulted and listed over a dozen Billings-era tunebooks to select the music for his anthology. University of Southern California, Engelke dealt only with ornamentation in psalmody, the interpretation of the signs, and their execution in performance. Murray intended his broad survey to be a practical guide for choir directors. Two other works dealing with the performance of psalmody should be mentioned: Allen M. Both are brief summaries of issues dealt with at greater length in the four major studies cited above.

Tunebook compilers regularly copied whole sections from earlier tunebooks, sometimes paraphrasing the text, but often presenting it verbatim. Others go to considerable lengths in describing performing practices.

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Most of the excerpts quoted to support a point were chosen because they state clearly and well a consensus of opinion on that subject. As well as the tune collections themselves, books such as Nathaniel D. Johnson, ; repr. Goodrich, ; repr. New York: Da Capo, have been searched for references to performance. It is noteworthy that efforts to reform American psalmody, which began in the early s and reached a climax about , had little impact on performance-practice advice in the tunebook introductions.

The vast majority of the elements in these introductions of tunebooks remains essentially unchanged throughout the period, so that, for example, the introduction to a late tunebook, like Hartwell , does not differ significantly from that found three decades earlier in Jocelin Aided by such tunebooks as Read , Shumway , Pilsbury , Little , Wyeth , Lewis , and Davisson , they established singing schools and spread the New-England repertory and performance practices.

By mid-century, southern singing masters and tunebook compilers, such as William Walker, William Hauser, B. White, and J. Southern psalmodists added their own tunes to the older New England repertory in a similar style, maintaining links with the tradition that extend into the 20th century. One of the most successful and influential southern tunebooks was B.

White and E. The book was used not only in singing schools and churches, but also in singing conventions of several days length, held regularly in several southern states, where experienced singers got together to sing for spiritual recreation. Just how far the performances of southern shape-note singers may serve as a guide to the performance of the music of Billings and his contemporaries is questionable. In such areas as tempo, dynamics, vocal articulation, and the effect of the text upon the musical setting, they seem to depart significantly from written descriptions of how this music should be performed.

On the other hand, their large, enthusiastic voices, with a straight, slightly nasal quality, and an easy informality and flexibility of execution are characteristics that may well reflect the earlier singing style. Many of our folk and popular singers unconsciously tend to preserve word forms and drama. Frequently their manner is simple. Frequently they break a word off short of its notated time and let it fall or rise in a gliding inflection regardless of the notation.

Billings published only four-part settings. Occasionally, the part below the treble was assigned to a second treble, which often matched the range and difficulty of the first treble, and was to be sung by females. Usually, if a second treble was used, the part was so marked.