Immagini della pagina

slightly different metre ; the Rev. John S. B. Hodges for 499 ; Gen. Horatio C. King for 141; the Rev. Robert Lowry, D. D., for 595 ; Hubert P. Main, Esq., for 618; the Rev. R. DeWitt Mallary for 616; A. H. Messiter, Mus. Doc., for 124; Horatio R. Palmer, Mus. Doc., for 634; the Rev. Edwin P. Parker, D.D., for 626; Frank L. Sealy, Esq., for 601 ; George C. Stebbins, Esq., for 55 ; George F. Root, Mus. Doc., for 399 and 632 ; Richard Storrs Willis, Esq., for 166, 525, and 624; Samuel A. Ward, Esq., for 469; and Henry Stephen Cutler, Mus. Doc., and S. B. Whitney, Esq., for their cordial assent to the use of tunes composed by them but of which the copyright is in other hands.

To the following proprietors of tunes, the Editor is indebted for the free use of copyright material: Messrs. Biglow and Main for the tune “Olive's Brow;" George F. Chickering, Esq., for the tunes of the late John H. Willcox, Mus. Doc.; Mrs. F. G. Ilsley for the tunes of the late F. G. Ilsley, Esq.; the Rev. J. Ireland Tucker, D. D., for the tune “Twilight,” by the late Rev. John Henry Hopkins, S.T. D., D.D., for the Rev. Dr. John Bacchus Dykes' setting to “Rock of Ages,” and for tune 356, by Henry Stephen Cutler, Mus. Doc. ; and the Rt. Rev. John H. Vincent, D.D., for the tune 617, by the late William F. Sherwin, Esq.

For the suggestion of foreign tunes which are comparatively unknown in this country, the Editor is especially indebted to John Burkey, Esq., for the Dutch tune “ Evensong; ” and to the Rev. Howard S. Bliss for the Syrian air which in this volume is somewhat abridged from its original Syrian form and appears under the name “Beyrout.” By special arrangement, permission has been obtained from the Oliver Ditson Co. to publish the tunes “Serenity” and “Omega.” The tunes by Ernest Hamlin Abbott, Esq., John Hyatt Brewer, Esq., George W. Chadwick, Esq., H. M. Dunham, Esq., Arthur Foote, Esq., Miss Ella M. Foster, Ernest Hiler, Esq., H. H. Huss, Esq., W. H. Neidlinger, Esq., Ethelbert Nevin, Esq., Sumner Salter, Esq., Robert Thallon, Esq., and R. Huntington Woodman, Esq., appearing in the Hymnal, have been obtained by purchase from the composers. These tunes,

, together with the tunes of Charles H. Morse, Mus. Bac., are here published for the first time, and with but one exception were written expressly for this book.

Should copyrighted property appear in the Hymnal without due acknowledgment, the fact will be attributed, the Editor trusts, to accident and not to intention, great care having been taken to avoid any questionable liberty in the use of either hymns or tunes.

Historical Introduction

[ocr errors]

20 HE Puritans brought with them from the Old World in 1620

a manual of psalmody known as “ Ainsworth's Version of the Psalms," which was speedily followed by the “Bay Psalm-Book," composed by the clergy of the colonies. These books contained only versions of the Hebrew psalms,

slightly changed in form to adapt them to singing. A single stanza from the Twenty-Third Psalm may suffice to illustrate the literary method :

“ The Lord to me a Shepherd is,

Want therefore shall not 1; 2 He in the folds of tender grass

Doth cause me down to lie.”


Some of the more vigorous Puritans questioned the lawfulness of singing psalms “in Meeter devised by men.” To meet this difficulty, at a little later date a version was prepared without metrical form, the psalter being divided, however, into bars of such length as to make their use with psalmtunes possible, thus:

“Many there be who ever are || saying unto my Soul, | There's no Salvation to be had | for him in God at all."

Grave questions arose in the churches also as to the methods of singing. "Some believed,” says Mr. George Hood, to whose monograph on the

History of Music in New England” we are indebted for these facts, “that Christians should not sing at all, but only praise God with the heart.” Others believed it right to sing, but thought it wrong to sing the psalms of David. Some believed it wrong for any but Christians to sing; and others thought one only should sing, while the assembly should join in silence, and respond " Amen." The people were rarely supplied with the psalm-books. The clerk or a deacon read the psalm one line at a time, and when the congregation had sung that line, the second one was read. Dr. Isaac Watts was one of the leaders in the reformation which, after hot discussion and much opposition, finally resulted in the abandonment of this practice of

"lining-out.” He naïvely complains, in the Introduction to his Hymn-Book, that “ though the author has done what he could to make the sense complete in every line or two, yet inconveniences will always attend this unhappy manner of singing." But it was not finally discarded without some serious church quarrels. Instances are narrated in which the conservative clerk or deacon insisted, despite the vote of the church, in lining out the hymn according to the good old way, and abandoned the practice only when his voice was drowned out by the choir, who refused to wait for the reading of the second line.

For many years the singing was done wholly by rote. Certain tunes became traditions in the churches, and were handed down from generation to generation. The first printing of music in the colonies was done, according to Mr. Hood, in 1690-98. A few tunes were selected for psalms of a certain specified character; thus, Oxford Tune, Litchfield Tune, and Low Dutch Tune were appointed for psalms consolatory; St. David's Tune and Martyr's Tune for psalms of praise and thanksgiving. But it was not until the introduction of choirs had begun to supersede the practice of lining-out, in the latter part of the eighteenth century, that there was any considerable demand for tune-books, which then began to appear in great numbers. With the choir came the singing-school, — which in the New England village became the standard evening recreation, — and with the singing-school a constantly widening circle of men and women who could sing more or less accurately and effectively from note.

Thus very gradually was the way prepared for that sudden accession of musical life in New England, and in all the churches of the Puritan faith and order, due to the influence of Lowell Mason. He may almost be called the first popular musical instructor in America. He was the first to systematize and organize the before spasmodic and accidental singingschools; he called into existence the musical institute; he introduced to Puritan households family singing of glees as well as of psalms and hymns; he made singing a feature of both the public and private schools; he harmonized in simple forms Continental music, and at once created a demand for a new kind of choir book, and supplied the demand which he had created. His “ Handel and Haydn Collection of Church Music," published in 1821, first gave to the American people some of those simpler, but always effective, church tunes which they will never willingly lose. But singing in church was still rendered by a choir ; a few in the congregation timidly added their voices if the tunes were familiar, or yet more timidly

* Even as late as 1869, the Editor heard hymns similarly lined out, a stanza at a time, in the great “ Tabernacle ” of the late Charles H. Spurgeon.

followed the choir if the tunes were new. But in every congregation there was an increasing number who could both read music and sing it as well as the favored members of the choir. That they should be given the music books and encouraged to sing, was inevitably the next step in the evolution of church music. Such books were prepared for the prayer-meeting, in which there was never a choir, or used for revival services, in which the general emotion was too strong and deep to content itself without vocal expression. “Songs of Zion,” “The Christian Lyre,” and “Christian Songs," and probably others less known, were used for this purpose. But they rarely, if ever, got beyond the confines of the prayer-meeting or the revival service.

Such was the musical condition of the congregations in the United States when, in 1847, Henry Ward Beecher came to Brooklyn to accept the pastorate of the recently organized Plymouth Church. The lining-out had long since been abandoned. Every church had its volunteer choir. The singing-school was in its best estate. Musical institutes were held in the winter in the greater part of New England. Lowell Mason and his pupils, eminent among them George F. Root and George James Webb, had by their musical compositions done much to popularize sacred music. The revival spirit, caught from the Methodists, had aroused in the before unemotive churches of the Puritans an emotional life which demanded vent. The people were prepared for the next forward movement, which was introduced by Mr. Beecher. He was no musician, but he loved music; he appreciated its value in harmonizing the congregation, and opening the sympathies to receive the minister's message; and he thoroughly believed in cultivating the emotions, and giving them an opportunity for expression. The conductor of music in Plymouth Church was a Mr. Darius E. Jones, who had a connection with the publishing house of Mason Brothers, sons of Lowell Mason. Mr. Beecher proposed to Mr. Jones to prepare a hymn and tune-book for the use of the congregation in church services, obtained a guarantee for the plates, and secured the co-operation of the publishers. "Temple Melodies" was the result. Though Mr. Beecher was the father of the enterprise, the book did not satisfy his ideal. Its success inspired him with the ambition for a larger undertaking; and he began the preparation of “ Plymouth Collection.” There was, however, so little faith in the possible success of any tune-book for congregational use that no publisher could be found to undertake the venture on his own account. Two members of Plymouth congregation agreed to furnish the money for the book, and on this agreement it was published, in 1855.

Nothing like this collection had up to that time been seen dreamed of. There lingered even then in Puritan churches some remnant



of the superstition which forbade all singing in church except of the psalms of David. “Watts” had, however, very generally taken the place of the old Puritan books, and as a concession to liberalism and progress, an appendix' to Watts had been added, containing selections from Toplady, Newton, Doddridge, Wesley, and a few others. This “ Watts and Select" was the standard hymn-book throughout New England. Only a few years before “ Plymouth Collection” was published, the village church where the Editor's boyhood was spent was threatened with a serious division because it had ventured to supersede" Watts and Select " with the more catholic“ Church Psalmody; " and the strife was only allayed by a compromise, according to which for several years every hymn was announced from both hymn-books, the conservatives singing from the one book, the progressives from the other.

Mr. Beecher, with a catholic courage rare in any minister, disregarded all conventional lines in the preparation of his hymn-book. He laid all poetry under contribution, — not only the Calvinistic Watts and Toplady and the Arminian Wesley, not only the extremely proper, not to say prosaic, Doddridge and the self-abasing Newton, but he brought in contributions from sources which had theretofor usually been regarded as purely secular, - Mrs. Browning, William Cullen Bryant, John G. Whittier; he even went beyond the lines of orthodoxy, and incorporated lyrics from the Unitarians Henry W. Longfellow and John Pierpont; and he set Puritanism at defiance by borrowing from Episcopal and Roman Catholic authors. There is now scarcely a single collection of any value in use in our churches which does not contain contributions from Unitarian and Roman Catholic sources; but though their use in 1855 was not wholly unprecedented, Mr. Beecher was severely criticised for his boldness. Even to-day there is no collection wider in its range or more catholic in its spirit; even to-day it would not be easy to find a better statement of the principles on which both hymns and tunes for congregational singing should be selected, than is to be found in the original Introduction to " Plymouth Collection," written in 1855.

The success which instantly attended the publication of “Plymouth Collection," and the fame of the congregational singing of Plymouth Church, introduced a radical change in the musical services of the Puritan churches, and inspired a number of editors to follow the example which Mr. Beecher had set. In 1855 there were probably not a score of congregations in the land which were supplied with music-books for congregational use; now the great majority of the non-liturgical churches in our cities and towns, and even in our larger villages, are supplied with such books. There is no space here to trace the further development of congregational music; it must suffice to note respecting it two facts, —

« IndietroContinua »