Skip to main content

Full text of "Congregational hymn-singing [microform]"

See other formats




With a Survey of Modern 

Congregational Musical Worship by 

ERIC H. THIM^N, Mus.D., F.R.C.O. 



All rights reserved 

Printed in Great Britain 

by The Temple Press Letchwortb 

J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. 

Aldine House Bedford St. London 

Toronto . Vancouver 

Melbourne . Wellington 

First Published 1933 






p i> r . 



Experientia docet. Indeed, almost the only way to a 
full understanding of congregational singing is such 
life-long experience as has fallen to the writer's lot. 
First, as a boy, he listened Sunday after Sunday to the 
singing of hymns unaccompanied, by a large congrega- 
tion, from an abundant stock of tunes. A few years 
later he was being drilled in medieval plainsong with 
modern accompaniment, under strict injunction not to 
keep any time: a strange contrast to his earlier ex- 
perience. An admirable corrective came later on, in 
the daily opportunity of hearing the best cathedral 
music played or accompanied by one of the finest of 
organists. And again by way of contrast there was 
the rendering of simple hymn tunes on a French 
harmonium before a packed and conservative congre- 
gation. And to fill in the gaps, as it were, there was 
the experience gained in the training of village choirs, 
in singing in choral societies, and in the daily accom- 
panying of hymns on the organ. 

New experience has come by way of books. For 
once when a fresh selection of tunes appeared, the 
writer was one of a group who studied and criticized 
the book, and eventually recommended it. Some 
fifteen years later it was the writer's lot, together with 
four others, to criticize adversely a certain hymnal, 
and to secure its amendment. A whole generation 
later the critic was called upon to share in constructive 
work. It would seem, in fact, that it has fallen to the 
writer's good fortune to experience congregational 
singing from every possible angle. 



And still this question is as urgent as ever it was: 
What are the needs of a congregation, both in words 
and in music ? 

The privilege of helping to prepare a text which may 
foster the devotion of another generation is great. And 
three years' work has brought a realization of the 
service that has been rendered to religion throughout 
the centuries by the singing of hymns. It would seem 
as though popular devotion may be gauged by this 
democratic custom. Religion in her silver slippers 
may listen daintily to chants, anthems, oratorios; in 
her workaday shoes she sings for herself. In her hours 
of ease she reads the psalmody of the past ; in her days 
of activity she expresses her life and feeling in new 

With such thoughts and with such experience, the 
present chapters have been written. But the more 
closely attention is given to the tastes and the needs 
of one denomination, the less is known of feelings and 
usage in wider fields. Therefore it has been pleasant 
to obtain a survey of modern congregational musical 
worship from one who has been trained to appreciate 
it, and is taking no small share in guiding it : Dr. Eric 
H. Thiman. 

W. T. W. 




PREFACE ........ v 



III. ENGLISH SONG TILL 1500 . . . . .31 














SINGING. By Eric H. Thiman, Mus.D., F.R.C.O. 209 

INDEX ......... 233 


To Hephzibah tune, without further apology, 
The last five verses of the third section 
Of the seventeenth hymn of Whitfield's collection, 

To conclude with the doxology. 




Beside the appointed singers who mount the ambo and sing 
from the book, others shall not sing in the church. 

Council of Laodicea, Fourth Century. 

The chancel shall be reserved to the choirs of singing clerics. 
Second Synod of Tours, Sixth Century. 



THE Christian Church sang hymns from the beginning. 
Its first members being Jews, they continued using 
the Psalms, doubtless with their traditional music; 
but the utterances of Mary, Zechariah, Simeon, are 
only the earliest examples of a new wave of song, of 
which other traces are in Ephesiaris 5th, I Timothy, 
Revelation. Round Alexandria Philo knew com- 
munities of Jews who on the eve of Pentecost formed 
a choir of men and a choir of women, who sang hymns 
composed to the praise of God, in many metres, and 
to various melodies, sometimes in unison, sometimes 
with antiphonal harmonies. Something of this kind 
was introduced by Ignatius at Antioch, and was com- 
mended by him to Rome. Within a few years the 
Roman governor Pliny reported to the emperor Trajan 
from Bithynia that the whole congregation used to 
sing responsively a hymn to Christ as God. From 
Rome and Carthage we hear of both congregational and 
solo singing of original hymns in the second century. 
These early customs bring before us the subject to 
be studied here, the Congregational Singing of Hymns. 
There are three strands in this clue, and each is to 
be carefully distinguished from a substitute. Hymns, 
new religious poems, expressing the religious aspirations 
of different ages and communities; not psalms, which 
are but the earliest Jewish hymns. Singing, not mere 
literary writing, nor accompanying of singing by 



musical instruments. Singing by a congregation as a 
whole, not the performance of elaborate music by 
trained choirs. These alternates call for occasional 
mention, for they influenced the Congregational Singing 
of Hymns; but they are not seriously studied here. 
But each of these three strands has influenced the 
other two continuously, and the inter-action deserves 

We may note a few national contributions to the 
development, especially by Jews, Persians, Greeks, 
Romanized barbarians. 

Jewish poetry depended chiefly on balance of 
thought, not on rhyme or metre. As thought is 
independent of language, any version can reproduce 
this feature of balanced thought, and we retain most of 
the beauty of Hebrew poetry in such a translation as 

The heavens declare the glory of God, 
The firmament showeth His handiwork. 

The Jews knew the combination of solo and refrain 
by the multitude, from the days of the Song of Miriam. 
They had popular songs to beguile the pilgrimage 
walks, as Psalm 121 and all the Songs of Ascent. 
They had elaborate anthems for one or two soloists, 
with responsive choirs, as Psalm 118. They had a 
magnificent orchestra at the temple, which got its 
great opportunity in responding to Psalm 150. So 
the Jewish contribution to Christian hymnody was 
abundant and varied. Christians instinctively took 
over much just as it stood; edited more, as the Odes 
of Solomon ; and improvised more, as in 

Manifested in the flesh, justified in the spirit, 

Seen of angels; 
Preached among the nations, believed on in the world, 

Received up into glory. 


On the Euphrates the Jews were peculiarly strong, 
and they influenced the Christian Church which sprang 
up there. This lived for the most part under Persian 
rule, and developed on different lines from that in the 
Roman Empire, which labelled it, most unjustly, 
Nestorian. This Persian Church, which always used 
Syriac as its language, was most prolific in song; but 
its hymnody is hardly known in the West, and very 
few versions have been made; while the great Hymn 
of the Soul, which is available in English, is far too 
long for congregational use. And the naturalness of 
singing is well shown in that in the very early novel 
entitled The Acts of Thomas, the apostle is represented 
as responding to an insult by beginning to sing; and 
his song is given, though it is expressly said that it was 
in the Hebrew tongue, i.e. Aramaic or Syriac. 1 

In Greek religious circles, worship in the form of solo 
and chorus was familiar, so this was readily trans- 
ferred to Christian worship. In the very early novel 
entitled The Acts of John, Jesus is represented as 
' gathering the apostles and standing them with joined 
hands in a ring around Him: He began then to sing a 
hymn and to say, ' Glory be to thee, Father ', and we, 
going about in a ring, answered Him, Amen. 'Glory 
be to thee, Word: Glory be to thee, Grace': Amen. 
'Glory be to thee, Spirit: Glory be to thee, Holy One: 
Glory be to thy Glory': Amen. At the end of the 
long hymn and refrain, the episode closes: Thus, 
my beloved, having danced with us, the Lord went 
forth. 2 Now this novel came from a circle afterwards 
called Gnostic; and all the earliest references to hymns 
belong to this circle. 

1 M. R. James, The Apocryphal New Testament, p. 367. 
8 Ibid., p. 253. 


One or two are quoted by Hippolytus, from which 
here is a stanza : 

But Jesus said: Father, behold, 

A strife of ills across the earth 

Wanders from thy breath of wrath, 

But bitter Chaos seeks to shun, 

And knows not how through it to run. 

O Father, to do this, me send, 

Bearing the seals, I will descend ; 

Through all the ages will I sweep, 

Unravel every mystery deep, 

Unveil to them the gods' abode, 

And secrets of that holy road 

Styled Gnosis, shall to men be showed. 1 

Clement of Alexandria declared that a Christian was 
the true Gnostic, and he boldly appropriated many 
Gnostic customs, and naturalized them in orthodox 
circles. A hymn of his to Christ the Saviour has 
been translated into many tongues; it begins: 

Bridle of colts untamed, 

Over our wills presiding, 
Wing of unwandering birds, 

Our flight securely guiding ; 
Rudder of youth unbending, 

Firm against adverse shock; 
Shepherd, with wisdom tending 

Lambs of the royal flock. 2 

An evening hymn is also preserved by Clement : 
Serene light of the holy Glory. 

Longfellow's paraphrase has been set to music by Sir 
Arthur Sullivan in the Golden Legend: 

O gladsome light of the Father immortal. 
In connection with the Church at Rome, while it still 

Against Heresies, V, 5. 2 Instructor, III, xii. 


used Greek, it is recalled by Eusebius that whatever 
psalms and hymns were written by the brethren from 
the beginning, celebrated Christ the Word of God, 
confessing His divinity. 1 

A bishop of Antioch stopped the psalms that were 
sung in honour of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the late 
compositions of modern men; and further scandalized 
his brethren by preparing women to sing at the great 
festival in the midst of the church, in honour of him- 
self. 2 The solo-and-chorus form established itself in 
regular circles, the bishop of Tyre writing a hymn of 
twenty-four verses which he put into the mouth of 
Thekla, while the rest, standing together in a circle 
after the manner of a chorus, responded to her: 'I 
keep myself pure for Thee, O Bridegroom, and holding 
a lighted torch, I go to meet thee'. 3 

The Western Church was slower to compose hymns, 
but when it began, it made a new contribution, neglect- 
ing the Greek ideals of poetry, and developing some- 
thing more popular, in the direction of rhyme and 

From Palestine, Jerome wrote back with surprise 
to Italy and the West, how the ploughmen, vine-, 
dressers, and mowers went about their work singing. 
The hint was taken, and when a few Greek hymns 
had been translated into Latin, original compositions 
began. Almost at once Christian authors discarded 
the old-fashioned literary forms, the classic poetry 
which was the preserve of a few men of culture, and 
fell back on the popular forms. Thus Augustine of 
Hippo took the hint from Arius, and wrote a psalm 
against the party of Donatus. As he wished it to be 

1 Ecclesiastical History, V, 28. 2 Ibid., VII, 30. 

8 Banquet of the Ten Virgins, XI, 2. 


sung by the populace, he helped the memory by making 
it an acrostic. Dropping the classic dactyls and spon- 
dees, he adopted the steady beat, already tramped out 
by the soldiers on the march: Ecce Caesar nunc 
triumphat qui subegit Gallias. 1 And experimenting 
with rhyme, he produced lines such as: 

quos cum traxissent ad litus, tune coeperunt separate, 
bonos in uasa miserunt, reliquos malos in mare. 

By general consent, Hilary of Poitiers, baptized in 
350, died 368, was the first who flourished in composing 
hymns in verse. He felt his way towards rhyme, 
which always appeals to the masses. He published 
a Book of Hymns, chiefly about the apostles and 
martyrs; but only some half-dozen have survived; 
last century a few were translated into English for 
liturgical churches. 

At Milan, Ambrose popularized congregational song. 
It is well known how during a long contest with the 
civil power, his friends thronged the cathedral for 
some days. To keep up their spirits, they were set to 
singing the Psalms, one group singing one verse, another 
answering with the next. The effect of the responses 
of the psalms, the singing of men, women, maidens, 
and children, said Ambrose, is like the breaking of 
the waves of the sea. This antiphonal method proved 
very popular, and was adopted widely. 

But Ambrose was not content with the old Hebrew 
psalmocy; he wrote new hymns on the lines initiated 
by Hilary, and gathered poems by others. A hundred 
of these he published in a book, and a dozen Lathi 
hymns of his own have been in constant use through 
western Europe, from the days of his friend Augustine, 
who wrote to him : ' How did I weep through thy hymns 

1 Suetonius, Divus Julius, 49. 


and canticles, touched to the quick by the voices of 
thy sweet-attuned church ! ' 

Within the last century most have been repeatedly 
translated into English. Indeed, his early morning 
hymn, Aeterne rerum Conditor, was rendered for English 
Catholics in 1706, perhaps by Dryden, as 

O God, who by alternate sway. 

And its sequel, Splendor paternae gloriae, which was 
in the same Catholic primer, has become generally 
known since 1837 by Chandler's version: 

O Jesu, Lord of heavenly grace. 

Ambrose paid equal attention to the music, for 
already there was a marked tendency to the frivolous, 
against which Chrysostom and Jerome had protested, 
while Augustine acknowledged that the sweetness of 
the song distracted from the meaning of the hymn. 
From the old Greek melodies he chose a set of four 
scales, which became the basis of official church music; 
these 'plain-songs' have been revived for us, but most 
editors add harmonies, which, if used, would alter 
the effect. 

Early in the fifth century, a Spaniard of good family 
and high rank devoted himself to sacred poetry. 
Aurelius Prudentius did not find his way to the new 
style of verse, but discarding the old, he experimented 
in no fewer than seventeen metres. One small hymn- 
book was in praise of martyrs, another was adapted 
to the hours of prayer. These were treated by later 
editors very freely, and passed into wide use. A 
familiar example is that from a long poem, Da puer 
plectrum, a hymn was extracted, Corde natus exparentis. 
In 1854 an English version appeared, fitted with an 


original refrain; after a few revisions it came out in 
the form: 

Of the Father's love begotten, 

which is often further revised by editors. 

Of other writers in this period, it may suffice to 
mention Venantius Fortunatus, an Italian who settled 
at Poitiers. His patron, Queen Rhadegund, obtained 
a fragment of the 'Holy Cross' which was received in 
great state; for this he wrote the processional hymn, 
Vexilla Regis prodeunt, which passed into general use 
for Passion Week. Scores of English versions are in 
use, from an English Catholic hymn of 1687, 'A Broad 
the Regal Banners flie', to Neale's of 1851, 'The royal 
banners forward go '. A poem of his on the Resurrec- 
tion was shortened by many editors, and in 1868 
inspired Ellerton to the paraphrase: 

Welcome, happy morning ! age to age shall say. 

Two points may be noted as to the matters treated 
in these hymns; some tended to be controversial, 
some to be subjective. If Paul of Samosata set the 
example of banishing hymns in honour of Christ, and 
substituting others in honour of himself, the example 
was widely followed. Arius wrote hymns to popularize 
his doctrines about Christ, and his opponents followed 
suit; the intention was as bad as when Toplady and 
Wesley sang at one another. We may say that it 
reflected the Greek spirit of faction which had always 
weakened their politics, and was destined to split 
and wreck the Church in the East. Then again, 
whereas the earliest hymns dealt with objective facts, 
like the earliest confessions, there was a tendency to 
explore the feelings of the soul, and to set them forth 
in verse that could easily become luscious. 


These two tendencies may somewhat account for the 
ecclesiastical regulation of hymn-singing. What could 
be done in the home and the street was beyond control; 
but in church the bishop was supreme. An early 
liturgy, attributed to James the brother of the Lord, 
provides for a Deacon to sing as the Priest bears the 
gospels to the altar, for the Singers to sing the 'Holy 
Holy Holy', for the Singers to sing 'Alleluia', for the 
Singers to sing the song of the Seraphim, for the 
Singers to sing 'O taste and see that the Lord is good'; 
but for the people generally there are only simple re- 
sponses, perhaps said, not sung. 1 And when the State 
.patronized the Church, and gave legal force to the rules 
laid down by the bishops in their synods, it was 
absolutely forbidden to the people to sing in church, 
this being reserved for the choir in the choir-stalls. 
The so-called Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, 
really dating from the end of the fourth century, 
allowed vent to the people at the cemeteries, singing 
for the martyrs, and at funerals. 2 

Ireland saw a different development, with its great 
number of monasteries, and with bishops who had 
no jurisdiction. The musical traditions of Hilary of 
Poitiers were acclimatized before 450. Once rooted, 
alliteration was soon added, as we find in Patrem precor 
potentiae. Rhyme was the next enrichment, and came 
to its climax shortly before the vikings weakened the 
Irish Church in the ninth century. These hymns 
were never incorporated in the liturgy, but seem to 
have been popular in monastic circles, whence they 
may have spread generally. 3 

1 Ante-Nicene Library, N.Y., VII, 538. 

2 Book VI, section vi~ 

3 Catholic Encyclopaedia, VII, 604. See Todd, Book of Hymns of 
the Ancient Church of Ireland, and The Irish Liber Hymnorum. 


A new era opened with Gregory of Rome, at the end 
of the sixth century. This nobleman was successively 
lawyer, mayor, monk, deacon, agent of the Pope at 
court, and Pope; in the last capacity he was able to 
reform the Western Church and its worship, as also to 
dispatch a mission to Britain; it is only his connection 
with hymns and tunes that is to be noted here. In 
standardizing worship, he furthered the tendency to 
associate definite hymns with definite occasions, on 
the principle that leads us to connect ' Hark, the herald 
angels sing ' with Christmas. Thus the Roman service- 
book came to contain different parts of the daily 
service or the ecclesiastical calendar. All these were, 
of course, in the language of Rome, Latin, which was 
still the official language of all western Europe, though 
the invading tribes were retaining their own tongues. 
The hymns were not written in the old classical metres 
of Vergil and Ovid, for Ambrose of Milan had stan- 
dardized what we call Long Metre; and rhyme had 
been adopted. As a result, a Latin hymn does not 
sound uncouth even to those who do not understand 
it, as a few lines by Thomas of Celano in the thirteenth 
century will show: 

Rex tremendae majestatis 

Qui salvandos salvas gratis, 

Salva me, Fons pietatis. 
Recordare, Jesu pie, 

Quod sum causa tuae viae, 

Ne me perdas ilia die. 
Inter oves locum praesta, 

Et ab haedis me sequestra, 

Statuens in parte dextra. 

In the first instance Gregory drew up this book for 
his own city of Rome ; but it will readily be understood 
that a good service-book of such a leading church 


tended to spread more and more, so as to be adopted 
in many places, except where there was strong local 
tradition, as at Milan. 

On the musical side Gregory found two things to 

The great development of monastic life had led to 
the elaboration of choral singing as distinct from con- 
gregational. This had led to a great ornamentation 
of the melody, probably from ordinary secular music. 
Gregory therefore reverted to the Greek tradition, 
with which he had come into contact at Constantinople. 
Ambrose had adopted only four of their scales, he 
added four more, and abolished all embellishments. 
In one or other of the eight scales, he selected a few 
simple melodies, and ordered these to be sung quite 
straightforwardly, with hardly any variation in the 
length of each note. They seldom ranged over more 
than five of our tones. 

For prose psalms the same melodies could be used, 
with a slight variation. The man who set the tune 
led off with two solo notes, enough to let the congrega- 
tion recognize which tune he was pitching; they then 
joined in a recitative on one note for many syllables 
till the end of the line was neared, when the tune was 
proceeded with. These Gregorian chants are still in 
use, and a recent Pope repeated the reform of Gregory, 
ordering a disuse of modern embellishments and a 
larger use of the ancient music. We must remember 
that in our modern books there are usually harmonies 
added for the organ; to get the ancient effect we must 
not even play them, but all sing with an attempt at 
unison, and no particular attempt at time in the 
modern measured sense, but letting the sense of the 
words govern. 


Gregory started singing schools, and often visited 
them to ensure that his plans were being carried out. 
And he took a most important step by inventing a 
notation which, however crude, yet could at least 
recall to the singer what he had learnt by ear. Above 
the words of the hymn he ruled two lines; the position 
of a full-stop above the upper line, on it, between the 
lines, on the lower, below the lower, indicated five 
notes; and on the few occasions when a passing-note 
was wanted, a comma replaced the full-stop. In this 
lay the germ of our developed notation of staff and 
note; the rhythm and rhyme of the words determined 
the pauses, so no indication of time was needed. 

Such was the system of hymns and tunes which 
Gregory's missionaries brought to Britain, where they 
were quickly acclimatized in the monasteries. 

Organs had been invented in Egypt more than two 
centuries before Christ. It is said that hi the temple 
at Jerusalem there was one which had a range of ten 
notes, and had such variety of tone that each note had 
ten pipes. They were familiar enough for Tertullian 
to assume that his readers knew their passages for 
notes, their outlets for sound, the array of their pipes, 
the hydraulic engine that blew them. 1 At Constanti- 
nople before A.D. 393 there was a sculpture showing 
one with eight notes, blown by two men. Jerome a 
generation later mentions a larger one at Jerusalem, 
and by 450 the Spanish churches habitually used them. 

But the introduction of an instrument nominally 
to support the voices, always tends to destroy con- 
gregational singing. The performer desires to magnify 
his office, and desires more and more power, which 
may even drown the voices. Or he may ally himself 

1 De Anima, xiv. 


with the best singers, and develop a choir, which, 
whether amateur or professional, studies music with 
such zest as to introduce compositions which cannot 
be followed by the average congregation. 

On the other hand, the organ may assist in the 
development and the appreciation of the scale. It 
has been observed that purely vocal music rarely 
recognizes more than five notes within an 'octave' 
when plain melody is sung; that when harmony comes 
in, two more intervals establish themselves; and that 
when instruments are added, finer differences disclose 
themselves, the piano standardizing twelve, con- 
noisseurs savouring nineteen. And conversely, the 
disuse of instruments and the disuse of harmony in 
the region of the Appalachian mountains, have allowed 
rich Elizabethan folk-songs to degenerate even to bald 
five-note melodies. 

In the interval between Ambrose and Gregory, 
western Europe had been resettled by Teutonic 
nations. On the Continent they did leave Roman 
culture in the largest 'cities, but in Britain even these 
were all captured and devastated, with the one excep- 
tion of London ; and even London's last British bishop 
fled at the end of the sixth century. Thus whatever 
tradition of Roman music remained was quite divorced 
from the life of the new population. It remained at 
best only in the continental monasteries ; in the churches 
where the ordinary folk assembled, synods of clergy 
deliberately limited song to their own order. The 
reforms of Gregory emphasized this, and whatever he 
did for deepening culture, he narrowed it, and really 
extinguished the song of the congregation. This 
system, of the clerks singing psalms in Latin, he com- 
mended to his missionaries and their converts, probably 


not guessing that the language of these Angles was 
destined to persist and out-rival his own. Thus the 
Church in Britain for nine centuries had no hymns 
in the tongue of the people. Whatever the monks 
accomplished in the field by clearing wastes and 
improving agriculture, in their cloisters by copying 
books, in their own churches by their plain-chant and 
their organs, yet they left the musical taste of the 
people severely alone, nor taught them to praise God 
in their own poetry. 



Daniel agrees to obey the said Prior and Convent; to instruct, 
train, and teach the said number eight of boys of the chapel of 
the said monastery in plain-song and harmony, and especially 
in the masses of the Blessed Mary the Virgin, of the name of 
Jesus, of the principal feasts, both in those services and in 
singing vespers, and in the established and ordinary antiphons 
to be observed daily, and in like manner during the time of 
Lent. Provided always that if any of the boys belonging to 
the staff of the aforesaid chapel should desire instruction in 
the chant called Descant, both how to sing it and how to play 
it upon the organ, that then such boy or pupil, being on the 
said staff for instruction in the said art, shall give to the said 
Daniel every quarter twelve pence for his pains and diligence 
in teaching that art. 

Contract with the Organist of Worcester Cathedral* 1522. 

The mass-priests, although they are compelled to give up 
the Latin idiom, yet most diligently observe the same tone and 
chants, to which they were accustomed. 

HOOPER, to Bullinger, 1549. 



THE cohesion of all western Europe was possible on 
one condition, community of language. The price 
paid for restricting the language of worship, was the 
limitation of intelligent worship to those who learned 
Latin. This could be either among the cathedral 
clergy, or among the monks, who in England were 
nearly all ordained. In then 1 community life, music 
could develop. 

A pleasant music floats across the mere 
From Monks in Ely chanting service high, 
While-as Canute the king is rowing by. 

When song was thus practised several times a day, 
experiments were inevitable, to escape monotony. 
One notable discovery was that the air could be sung 
an octave above, and that the effect was fair; a further 
discovery was that another line of song could be added, 
a fifth above the original air; and in England, per- 
haps under Welsh influence, the interval of the third 
was also found pleasant. Then the third below being 
sung an octave higher was the origin of the later 
fauxbourdon. And thus a musical scale was gradually 
elaborated. To indicate this in writing necessitated 
the adding of two more lines to the stave ; as they were 
innovations, one was red, the other yellow. As this 
was complicated, Guido of Arezzo, a French teacher 
of music early in the eleventh century, broke right 


away from Gregory's notation which appealed to the 
eye, and invented a syllabic system. A well-known 
hymn to John the Baptist had been fitted with a 
melody such that the six lines began with the six notes 
then recognized in the scale: 

Ux queant laxis RE-sonare fibris 

Mi-ra gestorum FA-muli tuorum 

SoL-ve polluti LA-bii reatum. 

To teach new melodies, Guido referred to these six 
syllables to give the appropriate note; it was an easy 
step to name the six notes by the six syllables of the 
hymn. Thus the sol-fa system came into being, UT 
being the point of departure, the keynote. 

The early seventeenth century recognized that one 
more note was needed in the scale, and from the 
ascription in the same hymn, Sancte lohannes, took 
the seventh syllable si. With the change of UT into 
DOH we have the notation still. 1 

Now it may readily be seen that elaborations of 
notation and of tune betokened that music was 
ceasing to be popular, and was becoming confined to 
monks and cathedral canons. 

An illustration may be given of a custom so wide- 
spread that it is often attributed in its origin to the 
days of Gregory himself, and the school of music at 
Rome. Eight days before Christmas, in the vesper 
service, the singing of the Magnificat was embellished 
with a series of prayers to Christ suggested by the 
verses of the original. The precise working out of 
the idea varied at different times and in different 

1 These syllables are now said to be of Arabian origin, adapted by 
Guido. See various works by H. G. Farmer. 


places. At Worcester Cathedral towards the end of 
the Middle Ages, the Lord Prior sang the first : 

O sapientia quae ex ore Altissimi prodisti attingens a fine 
usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia; Veni 
ad docendum nos viam prudentiae. 

Other prayers were assigned to the precentor, the 
kitchener-gardener, the cellarer, the sacristan, the 
clerk of the works, the chamberlain, the pittancer. 1 

A study of the 'Antiphons', or of these 'Great OV 
in especial, would show the constant struggle between 
the professional singers who wished to consecrate the 
highest form of art to God, and the lay worshippers 
who wished to take some direct part in worship for 
themselves. These opposite tendencies were shown as 
early as Athanasius, who mentions the Antiphon as 
one solution by which both could be combined. 2 In 
the western world, the device was simpler, to suit 
barbarian people, and they simply took the last syllable 
of the ecclesiastical chant, especially the Alleluia, and 
sang it to a new melody of their own, without words. 
Thus Augustine said: 

Qui jubilat non verba dicit, sed sonus quidam est laetitiae 
sine verbo. 

The idea may have come from the Hebrew Selah, or 
it may have been the irrepressible spontaneous claim 
of the populace. These congregational effects in turn 
were laid hold of by the professionals, who wrote down 
the 'Tropes' and fitted words to the melodies. In 
this change, Notker of St. Gall took the lead, on a 
hint from Jumieges; and soon monastic 'Sequences' 
started a long course of development. For instance, at 

1 S. G. Hamilton, Compotus Rolls of the Priory of Worcester, viii. 
a Catholic Encyclopaedia, I, 576. 


Canterbury after the murder of archbishop Thomas, 
a poem was written for his festal day, which began: 

Solemne canticum hodie resonet in terra, 

Ad pahnam Martyris exultet superum caterva. 1 

In after days, these sequences have yielded popular 
hymns, though at the time they ousted the populace. 
The singular lack of metre is well reflected in the 
modern version of Notker's most famous sequence : 
The strain upraise of joy and praise, Alleluia. 

The most beautiful of all sequences is, however, three 
centuries after his time, though curiously linked with 
his memory. One of his successors was visiting Rome 
and talking with Pope Innocent III about him. The 
Pope had written Veni sancte Spiritus, and a copy was 
taken back to St. Gall and inserted into the service- 
books there, whence it spread gradually, soon rendered 
into English, but now used by Catholics in a version 
of 1668 ; an Anglican rendering of 1849 has become very 
popular, while Ray Palmer's translation in the Andover 
Sabbath Hymn-Book of 1858 is that usually reprinted 
in America and Britain : 

Come Holy Ghost! in love. 

Of other medieval hymns, it may suffice to mention 
some modern translations, which may show the wealth 
of devotion in western Europe. 

Draw nigh and take the body of the Lord 

represents the piety of the Scottish monks from Ireland 
in the seventh century; while the more advanced 
architecture of the Continent then is reflected in the 
dedication hymn, 

Christ is our corner-stone. 
1 Neale, Sequentiae, XLI. 


A hundred years later, Worcester was singing 
Sing Hallelujah forth in duteous praise; 

while Bede was writing hymns, only a few of which 
remain, and in his De Arte Metrica was teaching the 
principles of accent. When English religion was 
fructifying the mainland, Theodulf of Orleans wrote 

All glory, laud and honour; 

then at Chartres the great teacher Fulbert attained 
such fame that English scholars went to him, and 
King Canute subscribed for the rebuilding of his church. 
A poem on the nightingale was to be sung to lyre, 
monochord, and organ. Among his twenty -seven 
hymns is the original of 

Ye choirs of new Jerusalem. 

France took the lead with the twelfth century; the 
very hymn-book that Abelard sent to Heloise in her 
convent may be seen; but for popular devotion we 
turn to his great rival, Bernard of Clairvaux, a master 
of rhyme, well represented in modern versions : 

Jesus, Thou joy of loving hearts, 
Jesus, the very thought of Thee, 

O Jesus, king most wonderful, 

O sacred head, once wounded. 

Frenchmen made other experiments with music, 
and while the main body of voices held on with the 
melody, one or two would break away and improvise 
another melody, often rather higher; thus to the 
cantus primus was added a descant. The increasing 


elaboration of the monastic music may be seen in an 
early thirteenth-century book, nearly the only specimen 
surviving of the English medieval antiphonars. 1 The 
service on Palm Sunday at Worcester arranged that 
after the palms were blessed, they were distributed to 
the monks while two anthems were sung: 'The children 
of the Hebrews', etc. A grand procession left by the 
south door and went eastward, singing four anthems 
as it went round the cathedral and reached the belfry: 
there a smaller procession out of the north door met 
it, and all sang a seventh anthem. Four chanters 
gave the Osanna', all sang an eighth anthem, the 
bishop intoned three Aves, and the convent responded. 
All marched to the north door and sat down while 
the precentor sang a solo, four chanters gave a versicle, 
all stood for one response, and a picked choir on top 
of the porch closed with the Gloria. Magnificent as 
this might be, there is not any hint that any of the 
public could join or do anything but watch. It 
illustrates the verdict, from a very exceptional monk 
of the sixteenth century: 'We have introduced into 
the churches an elaborate theatrical species of music, 
accompanied with a tumultuous diversity of voices: 
all is full of trumpets, cornets, pipes, fiddles, and 
singing; we come to church as to a playhouse. And 
for this purpose ample salaries are expended on 
organists and societies of boys, whose whole time is 
wasted in learning to sing; not to mention the great 
revenues which the Church squanders on the stipends 
of singing men'. 2 

With the thirteenth century, Italy broke again into 

1 Transactions of the Worcestershire Arch&ological Society, 1925, 
p. 79. 

2 Erasmus, quoted by Fosbroke in British Monachism, p. 52. 


song. Aquinas of the ancient Benedictines gave the 

Now, my tongue, the mystery telling; 

while from the Franciscan friars came such different 
strains as: 

At the cross her station keeping, 

Day of wrath, O day of mourning. 

In the Netherlands, as the dawn of a new day drew 
on, someone of the school of Thomas a Kempis 

Light's abode, celestial Salem. 

Now the Flemings greatly developed the art of music, 
and in Italy produced new effects. First, they drew 
on new sources for their melodies, instead of limiting 
themselves to the Gregorian tones; especially they 
pressed the songs of the people into the service of the 
Church. Dufay was successful with this innovation 
at Rome as the fifteenth century began. Next, other 
parts were sung at the same time, not moving mechani- 
cally up or down along with the main melody: the first 
step towards this was canon, when the same melody 
was sung, but beginning a few words later, in the style 
of Three Blind Mice. After that, experiments were 
tried in combining melodies, or in letting other voices 
sing notes which by themselves would not be melodious 
in sequence, but in harmony with the main melody 
sounded well. Thus gradually some effects in counter- 
point were worked out. 

Latin hymnody, however, fell upon evil days when 
the Humanists arose. They deliberately revived the 
models of the Augustan age, in prose and in poetry. 
That Erasmus translated the New Testament into 


Ciceronian Latin is half forgotten, because he inci- 
dentally added the original Greek as a voucher for his 
version; his real point was that Jerome's version was 
not only Vulgata, but vulgar. The same contempt was 
meted out to accent and rhyme, because they were not 
Vergilian; and hymnody dried up. 

The invention of type-printing was as important for 
music as for literature. It was adapted to music by 
Fossombrone, and from that moment the way was 
open to popularize tunes harmonized simply, and to 
restore congregational singing. The step was quickly 
taken by the Hussites, who used both the ecclesiastical 
Gregorian tones and popular airs. The first printed 
hymn-book of the Bohemian Brethren was issued in 
1505; by 1531 the Brethren issued a German version 
of their hymns, set to music ; and, in a shortened form, 
one of their chorales is in use with us, Ravenshaw. 
Two of their hymns are in Lyra Germanica, the famous 
Easter hymn: 

Christ the Lord is risen again; 
and a morning hymn in time of persecution: 
Once more the daylight shines abroad. 

Meantime the English had taken up with gusto the 
building of organs. Before 950, Bishop Alphege had 
installed at Winchester a very powerful instrument, 
whose organist needed two assistants, and between 
them they controlled forty tongues. These gave not 
only the usual seven differences of joyous sounds, 
but also the lyric semitone. Each performer, 'of 
concordant spirit ', managed his own alphabet instead 
of playing in unison. To each note there were ten 
pipes, but there was no device for using any of 


them separately. So there were twenty-six bellows, 
worked by seventy strong men, and a monk proudly 
recorded: 'To such an extent does it resound, echoing 
in every direction, that every one stops his gaping ears 
with his hand, being quite unable to draw near and 
bear the sound; the music is heard all over the town'. 
This was, of course, an exceptional instrument, and the 
usual range was only ten notes, while with a single 
set of pipes a pair of hand-bellows could be blown by 
the player himself, who was able to carry the instru- 
ment in procession. But as the fame of the Winchester 
organ flew abroad over the whole country, the impulse 
was given to build mammoth instruments which quite 
cast choristers into the shade ; and England won some 
fame from the custom of gilding the pipes. Mechanical 
invention was applied in many direction; slides to open 
the wind supply were replaced by levers, and these 
were diminished in size to near our modern keys; 
semitones were introduced between the main tones 
of the scale; pipes were arranged in sets, and means 
found to 'stop' off one or more sets; pipes of large 
size were added to be worked by feet as well as hands ; 
the range of notes was increased little by little from the 
old ten, until when All Hallows Barking contracted 
for an organ in 1519, there were 'xxvij playne keyes', 
and the compass was 'double Ce-fa-ut' , which is 
interpreted as from CC up to C in alt. 

This extension of mechanical music was at all times 
opposed from religious motives. The Eastern Church 
has steadily forbidden organs of any description; 
reforming orders like the Cistercians did not adopt 
them; Gilbert of Sempringham went further and 
banned all music whatever: 'They shall say the Psalms 
in monotone, in the spirit of humility, rather than 


pervert the minds of the weak, like the daughter of 
Herodias'. Many other clergy were suspicious of 
organs; Thomas Aquinas objecting to the way they 
took attention off the meaning of the words. 

It almost seems as if the great patrons of these 
instruments were the monks wearied with their 
monotonous and frequent services, and rich burghers 
proud of their churches and anxious to enrich them. 
Thus in the thirteenth century the church at Hey- 
bridge had a little pair of organs, and the church at 
Kirkby one pair. 1 Two hundred years later, Sir 
John Sturgeon, Lord Mayor of London, not only 
brought a mercer to sing in the choir at Hitchin, and 
maintained two singing children, and provided in his 
will for these and for two singing priests, but he also 
bequeathed forty shillings for ' a cunnyng man playing 
organns in the church'. And a fellow-townsman in 
1530 willed four pounds 'unto the mending of the organs 
of the White Friars. 2 In the same decade organs are 
mentioned at Martock, portatives standing in the 
chancel of Norton Fitzwarren, and new organs instead 
of old at Windsor; legacies by laymen and purchases 
by churchwardens. 3 

The demand for simplicity, both as to organs and as 
to singing, was voiced often ; and remarkably enough, 
by the secular clergy. Thus in 1536, Convocation 
styled 'the playing at the organyes a foolish vanity', 
a sentiment echoed in 1563. Cranmer reported to 
the king as to the new English liturgy that 'the song 
made therunto should not be so full of notes, but as 
near as may be for every syllable a note, that it may 

1 Visitation of Churches belonging to St. Paul's Cathedral (Camden 
Society) . 

2 R. L. Hine, History of Hitchin, I, 93. 

3 Notes and Queries, clxii, 67. 


be sung distinctly and devoutly'. That is, plain-song, 
in contrast to 'the quavering, operose music which 
is called figured*. Elizabeth partly agreed, and in 
1559, while she continued the endowments for singing 
men and boys to preserve the laudable science of music, 
she enjoined a modest and distinct song in all parts of 
the common prayer, so that this might 'be as plainly 
understanded as if read without singing, and yet for 
the comforting of such as delight in musick'. She 
was hardly obeyed in this; and in 1586 she was 
petitioned 'that all cathedral churches may be put 
down where the service of God is grievously abused 
by piping with organs, singing, ringing and trowling 
of psalms from one side of the choir to another'. 
Monks were obsolete, but their style survived. 

There can be no doubt that the steady elaboration 
of musical service completely prevented any popular 
congregational singing, even in Latin. Song there 
was, but it was no longer used in official worship. 
Of what nature it was, is our next concern. The 
contrast is well illustrated in a morality play, the 
Interlude of the Four Elements'. 

Humanity. Pryk song may not be dispysed, 

For therewith God is well plesyd, 

Honowred, praysyd, and servyd 

In the Church oft tymes among. 
Ygnoraunce. Is God well pleasyd, trowst thou, therby ? 

Nay, nay, for there is no reason why: 

For is it not as good to say playnly 
'Give me a spade', 

' Gyf me a spa, ve, va, ve, va, va-de ' ? 

But yf thou wylt have a song that is gode, 

I have one of Robin Hode 

The best that ever was made. 1 

1 The Interlude of the Four Elements, cited in Coulton, Social 
Life, p. 265. 



In their musical concerts the Welsh do not sing in unison 
like the inhabitants of other countries, but in many different 
parts; so that in a company of singers, which one very often 
meets with in Wales, you will hear as many different parts 
and voices as there are performers. On the borders of York- 
shire the inhabitants make use of the same kind of symphonious 
harmony. . . . The children, even from their infancy, sing 
in the same manner. ... I believe that the natives contracted 
their mode of singing from the Danes and Norwegians. 




THE English were a musical race; we hear constantly 
of the gleemen with their harps, and of the custom in 
a thegn's hall of passing round the instrument that any 
one might improvise a song. The sagas were memorized 
and sung by the more professional singers, and Long- 
fellow has caught the spirit of them in his story how 
Christianity was forced upon the Norsemen. 

The tale is well known how in the abbey at Whitby, 
the serving-men were whiling away a long evening 
with song, and Csedmon slipped out, being unable to 
improvise; how in the cattle byre he dreamed, and next 
night reached for the harp, to sing a paraphrase of the 
Creation story. From his lips came thereafter many 
songs on Old Testament themes, some on the New, and 
many on the harrowing of hell. The north of England 
produced many poets, who were often inspired by the 
Bible story to sing paraphrases, and occasionally to 
launch out more originally. Their language is hardly 
intelligible to us, and the West Saxon of Alfred's glee- 
men is only to be recognized in Somerset or Dorset. 
He lamented at the time that when he began to reign, 
education was so poor south of the Humber, no one 
could follow the Latin service, nor translate into 
English a letter written in Latin. It seems a pity 
that he did not go further, and bring about a reform 
so that the service should be in English. 

Though this was never attempted, and though he 
and others were content to translate the Bible into 
D 33 


English for the more educated to read, yet the wander- 
ing gleemen kept alive the spirit of poetry, and if they 
often sang of fights and love-making, yet they occa- 
sionally had a religious poem. Bridges has well said of 
the priests, that ' grudging to the heathen what might 
serve the Church, they took thought to divert it, and 
engaged the bards to make like stirring balladry of 
the Bible tales'. 1 It was much as now; in a massive 
American collection of songs for the home, there will 
be something for every taste: ragtime dances, negro 
melodies, tried old ballads, ephemeral novelties, 
standard hymns, sacred songs, military marches. 

This early English poetry was seldom written, but 
was generally picked up by ear. Yet we have many 
fragments which after much modernizing in the process 
of transmission may yet be founded on the words of 
Caedmon. We have part of the Poetic Calendar edited 
by Alfred, four songs by Cynewulf, who lived about 
800, two being on the Ascension and the fates of the 

The principles of this poetry were two: accent and 
alliteration; rhyme was rare; syllables were grouped in 
fives. Rough rules might be thus versified: 

Let the same letters link all the line; 
Pause after two beats pick up tunably; 
Match each consonant making a counterpart; 
Interchange vowels each is versatile. 

Free imitation of the style may be taken from two 
poems of the tenth century: 

Here died Eadgar ruler of the Angles 
Joy of West-Saxons protector of Mercians 
Kings him widely honoured afar 
Bowed to the king as he deserved. 

1 Testament of Beauty, III, 50. 


And the song of the battle at Maldon: 

Brihtnoth spoke his shield he grasped 

Shook he the slender ash and spoke with words 

Angry and resolute returned to him the answer. 

It will be seen that from this style of poetry little has 
survived except the pause in the middle and the 
flexibility of each foot. 

Of the music we know singularly little: there was 
no notation to write down a melody, and tune was 
therefore transmitted wholly by ear. Musical instru- 
ments abounded, but, apart from the organ, only those 
with strings were ever used for devotional song. 1 
The Psalter taught how this could be supported and 
enriched by an orchestra; and Bede, when commenting 
on Psalm 52, wrote that 'as a skilful harper, when 
tightening the strings of his instrument, tunes them to 
such pitches that the higher may agree with the 
lower, so the omnipotent God, holding in His hand 
like a well-strung harp all men predestined to the 
harmony of heavenly life, raises some to the high 
pitch of a contemplative life, and lowers others to the 
gravity of active life'. A copy of the Gospels, written 
in his age, was illustrated with an angel playing on 
a citole, an instrument imported from Italy, a little, 
flat-backed lute. Other instruments were devised, 
till a 'whole consort' might add to these a gittern, 
lute, psaltery, and viol. Then from the church the 
use passed back into the home or the hostel, for solo 
singing as well as congregational. Chaucer tells of a 
poor scholar: 

For al above ther lay a gay sawtrye, 
On which he made, a-nyhtes, melodye 
So swetely, that al the chambre rong, 
And Angelus ad Virginem he song. 
1 Old Instruments of Music, Essex Archseol. Soc., XX, 17-32. 


In churches, an ingenious combination of strings, set 
in vibration by a rosined wheel, with 'tangents' 
stopping off various lengths, gave a new instrument 
obviously indebted to the wind-organ, and therefore 
called the organistrum: this was often used to sup- 
port the plain-song. Fifty years ago, London streets 
showed its degenerate descendant, the hurdy-gurdy, 
and also a modernized portative organ generally 
supported on a wooden leg. 

There is, however, one element often overlooked, 
despite the clear guidance of Gerald in the twelfth 
century: the music of the Danes and Northmen, who 
formed such an important element in the population, 
from the eastern coast of Ireland, the Isle of Man, and 
all the shores around, the Hebrides and Orkneys, and 
all the eastern side of Britain, where the Danelagh 
testified to their importance. They had a style in 
music which was all their own; its speciality was that 
the soloist was accompanied by a second man, singing 
what was approximately the same melody in a different 
key a crude harmony. It can be traced to-day in 
widely different fields, Wales and Iceland. The 
Welsh second part is nearly always a third below. 
The Icelandic is either a fifth above, or, when that 
would go too high, it drops an octave and becomes a 
fourth below. Against the church use of this duet, 
'twisongur', the missionaries set a stern face; but it 
has persisted. And what the people wished to do, 
and did, in contrast to what the ecclesiastics wished, 
is exactly our theme. 

The Norman conquest submerged Welsh, English, 
and Danes ; the old languages soon ceased to be written, 
and English verse was handed down only by oral 
tradition. Even in popular song, the gleeman was at 


least balanced, and presently superseded by the trouba- 
dour. And this continental songster brought in a 
new element which altered and enriched the country- 
man's music; so out of the Breton balade arose the 
British ballad. This was a combination of solo, dance, 
chorus, such as indeed obtains in many parts of the 
world; With the dancing we are not concerned; only 
with the new form of poetry that became popular. 
Ballads sprang up anonymously, grew naturally, were 
passed on by the ear, and were not written. There 
was variety of metre, which may be seen in a collec- 
tion of Political Poems and Ballads. Our long metre 
is heard in 

Sir Jon the Comyn had thai hid 

In haly kirk thai did him qwell; 
And tharefore many a Skottis brid 

With dole er dight that thai most dwell. 

This was elaborated on a remarkable scheme of rhyme, 
found in many ballads of the fifteenth century : 

The kaies er golden him of the gate 

Let him now kepe tham if he kan , 
To Calais cum thai all to late, 
Sir Philip and Sir Jon his sun : 
All were ful ferd that thare ware fun, 
Thaire leders may thai barely ban. 
All on this wise was Calais won : 
God save tham that it so gat wan. 

Another popular song, against the friars, is in stanzas 
of twelve lines, schemed 8886.8886.8686. A favourite 
metre is 886.886, with frequent liberties: 

Now God, that es of mightes maste, 
Graunte him grace of the Haly Gaste, 

His heritage to win ! 
And Mary moder, of mercy fre, 
Save oure king and his menie 

Fro sorow & schame & syn. 


But more than half the popular ballads are cast in 
one metre, illustrated by a Scots story about an 
incident of A.D. 1281 : 

Make haste, make haste, my merry-men all, our ship shall sail 

the morn. 

Now ever-alack, my master dear, I fear a deadly storm : 
I saw the new moon late yestreen, wi' the auld moon in her 


And I fear, I fear, my master dear, that we shall come to 

Here we have a line of seven beats ; usually each beat 
has one syllable accented, preceded by one unaccented ; 
but occasionally by two unaccented. Each line has a 
pause after the fourth beat. And two lines are coupled 
by rhyme at the end. Next from the cycle about 
Robin Hood: 

I never hurt the husbandmen that use to till the ground ; 
Nor spill their blood that range the wood to follow hawk or 

hound : 
My chiefest spite to clergy is who-in these days bear a-great 


With friars and monks with their fine sprunks I make my 
chiefest prey. 

Here we have rather more unaccented syllables 
crowded in, and there is more internal rhyme in the 
first half of the second lines, but the essential form is 
the same. The ballad of Chevy Chace, in its later 
forms, shows liberties taken in another way, by varying 
the place of the accent : 

Ere thus I will out-braved be, one-of-us two shall die. 

I know thee well, an earl thou art, Lord Percy, so am I. 
But trust me, Percy, pity-it were, and great offence to kill 

Any-of these our guiltless men, for they have done no ill. 

These ballads show the typical metre of the English 


commonalty. It has been classified with dreadful 
accuracy as iambic heptameter; a more genial pro- 
fessor calls it the fourteener; but it was called English 
metre in the days of Queen Elizabeth. The artifici- 
ality of Pope is evident when he criticized Chapman's 
Elizabethan version of the Iliad as 'an immeasurable 
length of verse ', for it is simply this standard English 
ballad metre : 

A dreadfull flash burnt through the aire, that savoured 

Which down before the chariot the dazled horse did strike. 

It is the double common metre of our modern hymns. 

It is perfectly easy to sing these ballads when 
learned by ear, though when committed to writing 
the page may seem disfigured with hyphens and 
apostrophes, and the pedant may complain about 
telescoped syllables. The irrepressible free spirit of 
song still shows itself in ballads quite easy to sing, 
though the number of syllables varies. From the 
gleemen to the street-singer in our day, ballads were 
made for singing and not for reading. It is exactly 
that feature which makes them so important as leading 
up to congregational hymn-singing. 

About the middle of the fifteenth century, John 
Shirley collected much verse, and one of his volumes 
is called: 'A boke cleped the abstracte brevyaire, 
compyled of diverse balades, roundels, etc.' Some of 
the tunes also have survived, but while it is conceivable 
that they were used on the greensward or in the hall, 
there is no evidence that such words or music formed 
part of any official worship. Friars, however, were 
quick to enlist such popular customs in the cause of 
religion. Of this we have instances in various fifteenth- 


century collections; they contain many Christmas 
carols, and a song of eight stanzas which was written 
about 1365: 

Thynk man querof thou art wrout, 
Powre and naked thou were heder browt. 
Thynk how Cryst thi sowle hath bowt, 
And fond to servyn hym to pay. 1 

Another feature in the popular ballad that was 
destined to pass on into hymns is the burden, refrain, 
or chorus. As an example, we may take that earliest 
of songs, still intelligible as written down in the 
thirteenth century: 

Sumer is ycumen in, 

Lhude sing cuccu ; 
Groweth sed, and bloweth med, 
And springth the wode nu, 

Sing cuccu ! 

Awe bleateth after tomb, 
Lhouth after calve cu ; 
Bulluc sterteth, bucke verteth, 

Murie sing cuccu ! 

Cuccu, cuccu, well singes thu cuccu, 
Ne swik thu naver nu. 
Sing cuccu, nu, sing cuccu, 

Sing cuccu, sing cuccu, nu ! a 

This was set to music, not all hi unison, but for six 
voices; four of which take an old church litany, so 
modified that it is taken up at different points, the one 
tune thus providing its own harmony; it is the earliest 
specimen known of the 'round'. The other two 
voices provide an accompaniment. Here then we find 
a combination of the Anglo-Saxon short line, the Norse 

1 Julian, Did. Hymn., p. 208. 
* Grove, Diet. MMS., Ill, 866. 


harmony, the Breton burden, the Latin rhyme, the 
ecclesiastical notation. Separate streams have blended 
into one rich flow. 

Printers brought to light, two centuries later, the 
characteristic harmony of ordinary song outside church 
circles. The first book of music from movable types 
was issued at Venice in 1501; it gave secular songs, 
harmonized for several voices, by many writers, a 
clear evidence of a wide knowledge of music outside 
ecclesiastical circles. Now the English tradition of 
harmony had been kept up by John of Dunstable and 
others, while music had come to be honoured with 
academic degrees. When Prince Henry was destined 
for the see of Canterbury, he studied on these lines: 
when he was deflected to the throne, his fondness for 
part-singing, and even for 'setting of songs and makyng 
of ballettes', made this pastime at last quite fashion- 
able. So in 1529 a collection of part-songs was issued 
at Westminster. To be able to join in these was soon 
reckoned a matter of course, and this induced leading 
composers, such as Tallys, Tye, Shepherde, Byrd, to 
develop this side of then 1 art. It appears quite 
detached from church usage in 1571, when Thomas 
Whythorne published for three, four, and five voices. 
He deliberately catered for those who were not musi- 
cians, offering them both hard and easy, some solemn 
and some merry. 

The old style of church music had been shattered, 
and its books destroyed. English was at last adopted 
as the tongue for public worship, and on the prose side 
a Book of Common Prayer was produced which has 
won affection and has voiced devotion, in many lands, 
for centuries. But little was offered to match it in 
poetry or in music, and for these the first impulse 


came most distinctly from the Continent. But we may 
note another result of the invention of printing, which 
at first followed slavishly the current methods of 
writing. Among other consequences it settled the way 
in which hymns should be printed. The story of this 
is so curious that it may be traced hastily, for it shows 
the intense conservatism that has always reigned in 
ecclesiastical circles. 

When the early Christians wanted copies of the 
scriptures, they soon had recourse to professional 
scribes. These derived their methods largely from 
Egypt, where on a roll of papyrus the writing was in 
a narrow column, so that the reader could hold the 
portion of the roll already read, and re-rolled, in his 
left hand, the unread portion still rolled in his right 
hand, with three or four inches open in between. The 
reason for the narrow column was just manual con- 
venience to begin with; and it also suited the scribes, 
who could easily cast up the letters or syllables, to 
compute then- charge for copying. 

When a different style was adopted, of flat leaves 
folded once into two pages, the old style of narrow 
column writing was transferred to these pages, though 
they were broader. This resulted in two or three or 
even four columns on the page, as may be seen in many 
early copies of the gospels. In the Middle Ages, the 
copyists of the West settled down to two columns ; and 
there are beautiful copies of the whole Bible in a hand 
so minute and legible that they are no more bulky 
than modern printed editions. 

Printers imitated the format of the written copies, 
and Bibles in double columns were usual. It was 
natural to adopt double column for other religious 
works, and thus hymns had to be got into narrow 


width. This is awkward for many Latin hymns, such 
as the hymn to Bridget : 

Christus, in nostra insula quae vocatur Hibernia. 

But at least the English metre of fourteen syllables did 
have a regular pause after the eighth: this suited the 
printer well, and he turned every line at the pause, 
so converting the real lines, each of which rhymed 

O Lord, thou God of Israel, to Thee I make my mone ; 
In my distress and miserye, I praye Thee helpe me sone. 

into half-lines of which only the alternate halves 

rhyme : 

For why, my hart is so oppreste 

With sorowe and wyth payne, 
So that except Thou helpe me nowe 

I shall not long remayn. 

And thus the habits of Egyptian copyists two thousand 
years ago have not only caused our Bibles to be printed 
in a fashion unlike any ordinary book, but have caused 
our English metre to assume a form to the eye which 
was discordant with its form to the ear. For a long 
time opinion wavered as to which was the standard, 
four lines of fourteen syllables, printed as, 
or four lines, each has been called common 
metre. A curious illustration of this wavering nomen- 
clature is in the pages of Walter Scott, himself a 
collector of old poetry. In his Old Mortality, telling 
of the Covenanters singing at Drumclog, on the same 
page he calls eight such half-lines 'the two first verses', 
or 'a stanza'; and calls the next eight half-lines 'the 
second verse'. 

However characteristic this metre had become, 
there were survivals or revivals of the antique Anglo- 
Saxon measure. A little sixteenth-century girl who 


lived in a nunnery, and so was familiar with sol-fa, 
plain-song, and its notation, had a pet bird which died: 
she was cheered in her sorrow by Thomas Skelton, 
who wrote a dirge for it : 

Pla ce bo 

Who is there who ? 

Di le xi 

Dame Margery. 

Fa re my my 

Wherefore and why why ? 

For the soul of Phillip Sparrow, 

That was late slain at Carowe. 

The robin redbreast 
He shall be priest 

The mavis with her whistle 
Shall read there the epistle, 
But with a large and long 
To keep just plain song. 1 

The priest with his slow plain-song, entailing a long 
note of four semi-breves, and even a large note of eight 
semi-breves, certainly did need a dirge. The common 
man was being prompted from abroad to bring his 
part-song and his ballad measure as his own offering. 

1 English Literature for Boys and Girls, p. 211. 




God doth bless this realme for the receyving of straungers 
being persecuted for the Gospell, although some do repine 

If England will take heede, 
as cause ther is indeede, 

Then let them look about, 

and wede abuses out. 
For if they renge, the state will change 

from weal to wo, no doubt. 

Thou shalt not be the worse, 
o england, if thou nourse 

Theise exiles comn of late 

(what so theise papistes prate?) 
Who, to retaine their christ, are faine 

to choose this banisht state. 

And eke if thou repent 

thy synne and tyme mispent, 

And lyve as god doth will 

in his apointed still, 
Then god, in love, that raignes above 

shall thee defend from ill. 

Ballad of 1570. 




IT is seldom recognized how the Anabaptists pioneered 
in hymn singing. In one sense they represent the old 
evangelical medieval tradition, which we noted among 
the Flagellants and the Hussites. But they revived 
the early Christian tradition in that many of their 
hymns celebrate then- martyrs. Their great Book of 
.Martyrs abounds in references to their hymns, in every 
district: Leeuwarden, Rotterdam, Middelburg, Over- 
dam, Veere, Ghent, Antwerp, Lier, Nymwegen, West- 
phalia, Aachen, Cologne, up the Rhine, Bavaria, 
Salzburg, Vienna. We hear of psalms, of new hymns 
composed in prison, of hymns sung on the way to the 
stake, of men having to be gagged to prevent them 
singing, of a count who fancied himself insulted in a 
hymn of Thomas, of another noble who jeered at an 
Anabaptist corpse and demanded that it should sing 
him a hymn now. The Mennonite literature includes 
many hymn-books, and a few modern versions in 
Underbill's translation may illustrate. 1 A Beguin 
sister at Leeuwarden, Elizabeth by name, who was 
tortured and drowned in 1549, wrote a long hymn 
describing her cloister life ; the refrain was : 

In thanks to God will I delight, 

And love and praise with all my might, 

Honour and fear Him, day and night. 

1 E. B. Underbill, A Martyrology, etc., I, 298, 374, 423, 428, 429; 
IJ > 4> 94, 201. 



Jeronimus Segerson, imprisoned at Antwerp two years 
later, began a letter to his wife with the quatrain : 

In lonesome cell, guarded and strong, I lie 
Bound by Christ's love, His truth to testify. 
Though walls be thick, the door no hand unclose, 
God is my strength, my solace, and repose. 

A letter to a fellow-prisoner tells him that he is cheered 
by his singing aloud. His wife sang to her visitors, 
and when monks came to debate with her, sang to 
them. On her last night before she was drowned, she 
came to the window and sang to the people in the 
street the hymn: 

Behold, what poor sheep are we. 

When Adrian Cornelison was imprisoned at Leyden, 
he at once struck up the hymn: 

O truth, how art thou now despised ; 

and soon composed a new one. When Gerrit Hase- 
poot was fastened to the stake, he sang right through 
the hymn: 

Farewell, ye saints, farewell, 

What if I meet this end ? 
Ere long the Lord shall come, 

Our only leader, friend. 
Joyous I wait the glorious day 
To walk with you in white array. 

Jaques d'Auchy was betrayed at Leeuwarden by a 
false friend; Jaques wrote a hymn describing the whole 
incident, and the whole city took it up, singing it 
outside the traitor's house till he fled: 

' I have found thee,' the traitor said, 
' Now from mine oath I 'm free ; 

Cheerful in easy bonds be led, 
Go to the court with me.' 


Is truth or right or justice done, 

In sight of God and men ? 
Will not the day most surely come 

To judge this deed again ? 

Of the South German and Swiss Anabaptists, there 
were many singers. Nearly every one martyred in 
1527-9 was a songster. While many used familiar 
metres, Schlaffer was more free. Hetzer of Zurich 
and Constanz was most prolific. One of his may be 
illustrated, in modernized spelling: 

Merk auf, O Welt, mit deiner Pracht 

Kehr ab von deinem Leben, 
Bedenk den Tod und Gottes Macht, 

Schau, was er dir will geben. 
Thust du die Huss 

Folgst Christus Fuss 

Er wird dich nicht verdammen; 
Das ewig Reich 
Wirst haben gleich 

Mit Jesu Christo : Amen. 

These hymns were gathered into the Ausbund in 1571, 
and have been repeatedly republished. A large 
number of these southern Anabaptists migrated to 
America, where twelve more editions have been pub- 
lished, all in German. To the present day they sing 
their ancient hymns to the original tunes handed on 
by ear, for they have never been noted down. They 
are distinctly the oldest of Reformation hymns and 
tunes, undiluted by more modern strains. 1 
O^ow these Anabaptists fled from the cruelties of their 
rulers, and many found refuge in England, as the 
records of the ports testify; Henry VIII again and 
again put forth proclamations against them. They 
never won many English converts, but always 

1 See the Mennonitisches Lexicon, 1914-25. 


remained pure aliens; yet their habits of congregational 
singing, their facility in writing verse, their hymn- 
books, must have been known to Englishmen and have 
prepared the way for a corresponding writing and 
singing of, English hvmnsy 

Perhaps through Joan Bocher, their influence 
reached Anne Askewe, who was repeatedly in trouble 
as a heretic. When she was hi Newgate Prison, she 
wrote a hymn. From its seven stanzas, one will 
illustrate at once its kinship to the Dutch hymns, 
and also a certain novelty in metre : 

I now rejoice in harte, and hope bides me do so; 

For Christ will take my part, and ease me of my wo. 
Thou sayst, Lord, Whoso knocke, to them wilt Thou attende : 

Undo, therefore, the locke, and Thy stronge power sende. 1 

Robert Southwell, exactly fifty years later, another 
prisoner for religion, but now as a Roman Catholic, 
showed a vein of true poetry: 

As I in hoary winter's night stood shivering in the snow, 
Surprised I was with sudden heat which made my heart to 

And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near, 
A pretty Babe all burning bright did in the air appear. 

But in neither case were these verses intended for 
congregational song, and it is not clear that they were 
ever adapted to that end. The immediate impulse in 
England came through other continental channels. 

The first direct influence was that of Luther. As 
a lad he had earned his bread by singing in the streets; 
as an undergraduate he was so skilful on the lute that 
his fellow-students dubbed him the musician. After 

1 Inglis, Gleanings from the English Poets, -p. 32. 


his experiences as a friar, as a university professor, 
as a reformer, he became acquainted through Paul 
Speratus with the Hussite hymns and tunes. He at 
once saw their value for propaganda work, used them, 
and set to work to get hymns written, and to collect 
or invent good tunes. 

His earliest essay in German verse links him curi- 
ously with the Anabaptists, through martyrdom. Two 
young Augustinian friars of Antwerp were burned in 
1523. This fate of two of his own order caused him 
to write 'A new song of the two martyrs for Christ, 
burnt at Brussels by the sophists of Louvain'. Like 
the Anabaptist martyr ballads, it became very popular 
at the time, but dropped out of use. When D'Aubigne's 
History of the Reformation was published at Phila- 
delphia in 1843, a paraphrase of part of this ballad was 
appended, and that same year was included in the 
American Baptist Psalmist as 

Flung to the heedless winds. 

Other translations soon appeared, but only the first is 
in American hymnals. 

The original appeared in 1524 in a little handbook 
which contains twenty-five German hymns, of which 
Luther himself wrote eighteen. For half a century 
new hymns and hymn-books were in constant demand, 
and Luther showed the way to many sources: psalms 
and other scriptures, old Latin hymns, the Latin service 
books, old German verse, and passing events. He 
found a Latin hymn ascribed to John Huss, which he 
'improved' and translated as Jesus Christus unser 
Heiland, whence it passed into English Moravian 
hymn-books of the eighteenth century. 

From the Latin hymns he translated six; Coelius 


Sedulius had written a Christmas hymn which had been 
cut into two for church purposes ; Luther rendered the 
first in 1524, the second in 1541 ; through the Moravians 
an English version was made current, and newer 
versions of 1854 gi ve us the two hymns 

Now praise we Christ the Holy One; 
Why, Herod, unrelenting foe ! 

By the seventh century an antiphon had taken shape 
from Kings, Chronicles, and a psalm, which had been 
translated into English by 1410. Luther translated 
the Latin into German, and versified it by 1529, when 
it passed into use after sermons. But it never came 
into use as an English hymn, having been adopted 
for the evening service of prayer, in prose. Another 
ancient hymn, Media vita in morte sumus, used during 
Lent, had become popular with an army about to fight, 
and had been rendered into German. Luther revised 
it, wrote two more verses, and published in 1524 as 
Mitten wir in Leben sind. It quickly attained new 
popularity as a hymn of triumph over the grave, death, 
and hell, so that Coverdale made an English version 
in 1539, 'In the myddest of our lyvynge'. 

Another of Luther's hymns was revised from an old 
German litany, Gott der Voter uns bei, and this also 
was translated into English by Coverdale, 'God the 
Father, dwell us by'; again a dozen translations have 
appeared, beginning in 1721 with Jacobi, keeper of 
the royal German chapel at St. James's, instituted 
for Queen Anne's consort, Prince George of Denmark. 
The same translator gave also a second version of 
Luther's most famous hymn, Ein feste Burg ist unser 
Gott, written when the German princes at Speyer made 


their famous protest against attempted coercion, and 
so gave rise to the name Protestant; it had of course 
been rendered by Coverdale, and has found threescore 
translators since, Carlyle beginning the modern series 

with his 

A safe stronghold our God is still. 

Luther prefixed a reference to Psalm 46, but it is not 
a version, though he did versify half a dozen psalms. 
The Lord's Prayer again inspired a hymn which was 
rendered soon into English, passing into the English 
psalter of 1562, and the Scottish by 1595. The Nunc 
dimittis prompted another hymn, which was rendered 
into the Gude and Godly Ballates by 1568 as 'Lord, let 
thy servant now depart ', and has been often translated 
since 1838. Besides other hymns based on scripture, 
Luther wrote much that was original; and he quite 
realized the power of teaching definite doctrine in 
verse, as is evinced by his baptismal hymn, Christ unser 
Herr- zum Jordan kam, which speedily passed into the 
Gude and Godly Ballates, and was retranslated by the 
Moravians. Precisely because it sets forth Luther's 
doctrine, it has never become popular in English circles, 
though the Lutherans of Ohio have adopted a literary 
version by a Cheshire rector. 

One of Luther's collaborators was Johann Walther, 
who was in the orchestra of the Elector of Saxony. 
He wrote a few hymns, notably 'A beautiful spiritual 
and Christian new miner's song of the last day and 
eternal life', parts of which have been versified in 
English, as in Laudes Domini at New York, 1854. 
But Walther was a musician, and Luther induced him 
not only to adapt the traditional church music for 
German services, but to note down fresh melodies 
that Luther improvised on the flute, for the gospels 


and epistles. More important are his services to con- 
gregational singing, and in the very first hymn-book, 
that of 1524, there were five tunes, not melody alone 
but harmonized for five parts. This was an innova- 
tion, for Luther in his Encomium on Music speaks of 
one voice singing aloud a proper tune, beside which 
three, four, or five other voices likewise played round 
about, as it were with shouting. 1 The straightforward 
four-part chorale established itself by degrees, the 
melody being transferred to the treble before the 
century ran out. The hymn-book would never have 
made its way but for the pains Luther bestowed on 
finding appropriate popular music. This interaction 
of tune and verse is too often forgotten. The early 
book of 1524 had an ancient plain-song, harmonized, 
known in England as Soldau. Another of like origin 
has been reharmonized by Mendelssohn, and is in 
Allon's Congregational Psalmist as Coburg. Others of 
the later Middle Ages are Dettingen and Augustine, a 
plain-song of Abelard's, printed by Weisse in 1531. 
The famous hymn 'A sure stronghold' was set by 
1530 to the tune so well named Worms. Luther 
himself wrote this, as also a tune often called after 
him. Halle dates from 1504. Luther adapted other 
old medieval melodies, such as Antioch. The Hussites 
appear to have been laid under contribution for 
Bohemia, which exceptionally ends in a key different 
from that signed to it. Luther would always stop 
when he heard a taking melody being sung in a village, 
and learn it. He laid all emphasis on vocal song, 
and while he did perform on instruments at home, he 
never commended the use of organs in congregational 

1 Schaff-Herzog, Religious Encyclopedia, X, 159. 


The early reformers, in England naturally drank 
deep at Luther's well, and Miles Coverdale tried to 
introduce popular song into worship, domestic if not 
ecclesiastical. Coverdale first called attention to a 
possible religious use, entitling his translation of the 
Song of Solomon, Salomons balettes called, Cantica 
Canticorum. Then he turned some of the German 
hymns into English rhyme, printing them with the 
German melodies, Worms and Spire included, in his 
Goostly Psalms and Spirituall Songs. His preface by 
no means states their origin, but does urge carters, 
ploughmen, women at their cradles and spinning- 
wheels, to use them rather than 'Hey nonny npnny', 
'Hey troly troly', common ballads, or foul and corrupt 
ballads. But though the book was printed with the 
king's leave in 1531, it was expressly prohibited seven 
years later, and again in later injunctions of the king. 
And so this first attempt to introduce modern hymns 
for popular use, was balked by royal authority. In 
England the idea was still so strange that the word 
'hymn' was used in the Greek sense of a festal ode. 
Thus Spenser wrote long 'Hymns' to Love, Beauty, 
Heavenly Love, Heavenly Beauty. Not always were 
such hymns intended to be sung, though when the 
singer was his own accompanist with the lute, he would 
probably be able to vamp to any peculiar grouping of 
syllables and lines. Only, in such cases, it is distinctly 
solo-singing that is contemplated. And so though 
Donne, Jonson, Quarles, Herbert, and others wrote on 
sacred themes, and may conceivably have sung their 
compositions in their own homes, there is nothing here 
intended for congregational song. Indeed, none could 
be so used to-day as originally written, though the 
verses of Quarles and Herbert have been freely edited 


for the purpose. It is worth seeing what is the 
original of one of the best known: 


Teach me, my God and King, In all things thee to see, 

And what I do in anything, To do it as for thee: 
Not rudely, as a beast, To runne into an action; 

But still to make thee prepossest, And give it his perfection. 
A man that looks on glasse, On it may stay his eye; 

Or if he pleaseth, through it passe, And then the heav'n espie. 
All may of thee partake: Nothing can be so mean, 

Which with his tincture (for thy sake) Will not grow bright and clean. 
A servant with this clause Makes drudgerie divine: 

Who sweeps a room, as for thy laws, Makes that and th' action fine, 
This is the famous stone That turneth all to gold: 

For that which God doth touch and own Cannot for lesse be told. 

Herbert did not write hymns for his own congrega- 
tion, though he could write in private praise of church 
music: even his Antiphon appears meant for reading, 
not really for public song, unless perhaps by a trained 
body in choirs and places where they sing: 

Chorus. Let all the world in ev'ry corner sing 

Verse. The heav'ns are not too high. 

His praise may thither flie; 
The earth is not too low, 

His praises there may grow, 
Chorus. Let all the world in ev'ry corner sing 

Verse. The church with psalms must shout, 

No doore can keep them out: 
But above all, the heart 

Must bear the longest part. 
Chorus. Let all the world in ev'ry corner sing 


This antiphon, however, testifies that something 
congregational had rooted itself: the people shouted 
psalms in church, despite an endeavour to stop it. 
And to this half-way step towards hymn-singing we 
must turn. 


John Calvin, after his first stay in Geneva, went on 
to Strasburg, where he heard the German hymns, and 
was so struck with a splendid chorale that he brought 
back the tune when recalled to Geneva. Here he set 
himself to develop congregational song, but showed a 
strong objection to hymns of 'human composures'. 
In practice he rarely allowed anything but versions 
of the Hebrew psalms. These were translated into 
French metre, he himself versifying four or five in the 
Strasburg book of 1539. Finding that Marot's ver- 
sions were very popular, he substituted these for his 
own, and on Marot's death, asked Beza to complete 
the book. After many editions, some finality was 
attained with a complete set in Paris in 1565. Thus 
while Germany preferred hymns, Calvin's influence was 
for the psalms only. 

Another important development took place at 
Geneva, as to the music. Calvin invited Louis Bour- 
geois to edit the psalm-book, which at first had but 
three tunes. 1 He threw over the Gregorians, and 
adapted popular song-tunes, writing others in the same 
style, till there was a collection of more than eighty. 
Calvin feared that the four-part singing might detract 
from solemnity, and committed himself to the state- 
ment that songs of four parts cannot fail greatly to 
displease God; but though he had his way so far 
that many printed books gave only the melody, yet 
singing-schools were instituted, and four-part harmony 
became the practice. It was well established at Paris 
by I 555. an d soon after was transplanted thence to 
Scotland. The work of Bourgeois was continued by 
Goudimel, whose edition of 1565 gave what proved to 
be the final form of the French words. An edition 

1 A. Mitchell Hunter, The Teaching of Calvin, p. 278. 


two years later gave not only the staff-notation for the 
music, but also the sol-fa initials; but this system 
ceased to be reprinted at Geneva with 1597. 

Goudimel introduced another important change. 
Hitherto the melody of every tune had been assigned 
to men; thus, of five versions of Luther's tune to Ein 
feste Burg, two gave the melody to the tenor, three to 
the bass. This was evidently a relic of the old choir 
services in monasteries. But now that whole con- 
gregations were singing, and sacred song was acclima- 
tized in homes, women became at least as important. 
Goudimel met the altered circumstances by assigning 
the melody to the soprano. 

Like most religious reformers, Calvin relied on song 
by the people, and discouraged musical instruments, 
which he compared to the childish toys which ought 
to be put away in manhood. So deeply did his 
teaching sink into the Genevans, that three years after 
his death they melted down the pipes of the organ in 
his church, to form flagons for the communion. And 
his principles were adopted widely in Britain. 

In Scotland the influence of Luther was felt in the 
same way. David Lindsay began writing political 
verse in 1529, his Complaynt being in our long metre. 
Two years later, James V sent him, as Lyon King-of- 
Arms, on an embassy to the Emperor Charles V, so 
that he had close contact with the Lutheran movement. 
Of this there is a clear echo in his drama, A ne Satyre of 
the Three Estaits : 

My potent pardons ye may see, 
Come frae the Cham of Tartary, 
Weel sealed with oyster-shells : 
Though ye have no discretion, 
Ye shall have full remission, 

With help of books and bells. 1 
1 R. Inglis, Cleanings from the Poets, p. 27. 


This is a metre which has quite established itself in 
our hymnody. But if Lindsay became 'the poet of 
the Scottish Reformation', its hymn-writers were 
the Wedderburn brothers. James, with experience 
as a merchant in Normandy, returned and wrote 
dramas satirizing the Romanists; then Robert and 
John, chaplains, led him towards the ballad, and from 
Dundee there came forth popular appeals. When 
the realm became too hot for them, they fled to France 
and Wittenberg. And there they gathered up their 
broadsides, publishing by 1546 'Ane compendious 
Buik of godlie psalmes and spiritual! sangs> collectit 
furth of sundrie parts of Scripture, with diveris uther 
Ballates changeit out of prophane sanges, etc.' This 
is a remarkable blend of paraphrases and carols from 
the German, of psalms on the Genevan model, and 
original ballads. The book was most popular in 
Scottish homes for at least eighty years; but it does 
not seem to have made its way into the worship of 
the kirk. 

On the literary side, there was an English movement 
to correspond. 1 Christopher Tye, chorister of King's 
College, then gentleman of the Chapel Royal to 
Henry VIII, and organist at Ely, not only wrote in 
1545 music for the new English canticles in cathedrals, 
but for congregations was versifying the Acts of the 
Apostles, and publishing with notes to sing, with 
lute accompaniment. The music is repeatedly re- 
published, and still rendered by the Madrigal Society. 
It contains a full harmony of a new tune which at 
once became popular, and was called by Andro Hart, 
Dundie, but by R.avenscroft, Windsor or Eaton, as he 
was using the name Dundee for Hart's French. Tye 

1 J. T. Lightwood, Hymn Tunes and Their Story, p. 39. 


managed a new effect by rhymes at the middle of the 
long lines: 

A certayne man who was named Ananias trulye, 
With Sapphira hys wife framed Unto the Lord a lye. 
It chanced in Iconium As they oft tymes dyd use 
Together they into dyd cum The sinagogue of Jues. 

And this has become the standard pattern for our 
common metre, though we now cut each verse in two, 
calling the ballad or Tudor stanza double common; 
whereas it is evident that what was really common 
then was the four-line of fourteen syllables, which we 
print as eight lines of 8.6. 

While Tye was at work on the Acts, many others 
were at work on the Psalms. 1 The first version of all 
the Psalter, with the hymns from Luke, was pub- 
lished by Robert Crowley, an Oxford scholar and 
London printer. It is dated 20th September 1549, 
and shows many points of interest. The same regular 
ballad measure is adopted: 

That man is happy and blessed, that hath not gone astray : 
In the counsell of wycked men, nor stode in synners' way. 

Then a ditty that is printed with the same is based 
on an old church mode, assigned as usual to the tenor, 
but fitted with three other parts in harmony. A third 
point is of great interest, that the first nine syllables 
are all to the same chord, and in the second line the 
first five syllables return again to the same four notes. 
That is to say, we have here a double chant. 

Just about the same time appeared nineteen psalms 
versified by Thomas Sternhold, groom of the robes to 
Edward; in 1549 he died, and a second edition gave 

1 Grove, Diet. Mus., IV, 753 ; Hunter, The Teaching of Calvin, 
p. 281. 


thirty-seven by him with a supplement of seven by 
J. Hopkins. No music was given with either, or with 
the third edition in 1553, to which Whittingham added 
seven more versions. Francis Seagar, the same year, 
put out nineteen psalms, with two original musical 
settings in four parts. But the accession of Mary 
that year brought an end to experiments in England. 

By this time the nation was not simply musical, 
but it had brought its music into popular religious 
use. It struck even a compatriot of Calvin, Estienne 
Perlin, who wrote in his Description d'Angleterre, 1558, 
that all the English were joyous and loved music 
greatly, that there was no church so small but that the 
people sang there. Nor did the congregations depend 
entirely on printed books. When John a Lasco, 
pastor of the Strangers' Church in the old Austin 
Friars, took ship at Gravesend, his people bade him 
farewell by singing his favourite psalm, the second. 
This shows how these Frenchmen had learned the 
new metrical version; they needed no book. In the 
next century we have similar evidence of natives 
knowing the Psalms in English; both Cromwell's 
troopers at Dunbar, and conventiclers at Drumclog. 
How this familiarity came about, we can readily trace. 

Many English took refuge from Mary Tudor at 
Geneva, and becoming thoroughly imbued with 
Calvin's views, in 1556 they issued One and Fiftie 
Psalms of David in English Metre, where Whittingham 
edited freely the work of Sternhold and Hopkins, 
adding seven new versions by himself; the title shows 
that they had come into contact with other metres 
and were thinking. They wedded to them as many 
melodies, some of which were destined to become 
famous as the 'Church Tunes', though they were 


chiefly French and German, with a few perhaps by the 
refugees in the same style. 

Under Elizabeth, experiments became possible again 
in England, with the concession by the ecclesiastical 
authorities in the Injunctions of 1559 that hymns 
might be sung by the congregation before or after 
Common Prayer. So the Sternhold-Hopkins Psalter 
of 1560 had a supplement of fifteen hymns, adapted 
to the round of church service, somewhat in the style 
of the old Latin hymns in the Catholic breviaries. 
Next year versions of twenty-five more psalms were 
added by William Kethe, then in Geneva; in his 
Hundredth Psalm the second verse began: 

The Lord ye know is God in dede, 
With out our aide, He did us make : 
We are His folck, . . . 1 

This metre was apparently chosen to match the 1551 
tune of Bourgeois for Psalm 134. With 1562 an 
edition gave versions of all the one hundred and 
fifty psalms, including four by a Scottish Dominican 
friar, who took the book to Holyrood. 2 The fifteen 
hymns were now put in front of the psalms, not after 
them. In later editions eight more hymns from Ger- 
man sources were appended, modern and experimental. 
Thus to what became the Allowed Psalter, usually 
bound up with the Prayer Book, there were not only 
paraphrases prefixed, but hymns affixed. 

Foreign influence was to be seen in two things, the 
metre and the tunes, and both of these bear directly 
on our theme of hymns as distinct from psalms. 

The earlier versions were all in English metre, the 

1 Respelt 'folke' in 1561, misspelt 'flock' in 1585. 
* Hunter, The Teaching of Calvin, p. 28. 


fourteen-syllable line; and in the final edition no fewer 
than one hundred and nine psalms were of this measure. 
But at Geneva others had been met, and adopted, 
so that forty-one of the later versions showed variety; 
English conservatism dubbed some of the more lively, 
'Geneva jiggs'; a good specimen is that well known 
to us as I48th: 

The Lord of heaven confess. 

The old Latin measures which had dominated the 
clergy had scarcely any influence on the popular taste, 
which diversified the traditional folk-song with the 
livelier continental metres. 

The music deserves more careful analysis through 
the four early editions of 1556, 1560, 1561, and the 
Aldersgate edition of 1564. They are all alike in 
printing the melodies to the psalms, or in giving 
references back to a previous melody, which may be 
used for this psalm as well; and they are all alike 
in having no harmony indicated. An edition of 1563 
differed much hi these respects, showing native in- 
fluence again predominant; it therefore will be 
considered separately. 

Whittingham's Genevan edition of 1556 had fifty- 
one tunes to the fifty-one psalms; of these twenty-six 
were never reprinted, and only fourteen held on to the 
fourth edition. 1 They form the nucleus of what long 
figured as the 'Church Tunes', and in a classified index 
of 1621 they are described as 'English tunes imitating 
the High Dutch, Italian, French, and Netherlandish 
tunes'. . 

The edition of 1560 provided new tunes for the 
fifteen liturgical hymns, apparently all by English 

1 Grove, Diet. Mus., IV, 754. 


composers, except that the Commandments were trans- 
lated into long measure in order that the existing 
French tune might be taken over; it is still in use, 
appropriately named Commandments. Psalm 120 took 
over the French tune to 107; Psalms 121, 124, 130, 
took over the French tunes to the same psalms, of 
which Goudimel's air for the I24th was afterwards 
named, with recollection of the Huguenot sufferings 
in the galleys, Toulon. The third and sixty-eighth 
psalms had an air based on the French I34th, which 
led to better things. 

The edition of 1561 not only had eighty-seven 
psalms, but it had sixty-three tunes, of which sixteen 
were new, and nine came from the French. The 
French I34th was now fitted, by repetition, as it was 
only half the length, to our looth; and it struck root as 
the Old Hundredth. Psalms 50, 104, 145, 148, took 
over the corresponding French tunes; 113 took over 
36 French, which was the one tune Calvin had brought 
from Strasburg in 1539, a twelve-line eights ; 122 took 
over 3 French; 125 took over 21 French; 126 took over 
90 French; 132 is of unknown origin, but is well known 
to us as St. Flavian. 

It is not clear when Goudimel's 140 passed into 
English use ; Allon called it Ely, and this tune must be 
discriminated from a modern tune of that name com- 
posed by Thomas Turton, bishop of that diocese, which 
leads off with the same phrase, and is in the same 

The edition of 1564 contained one hundred and five 
tunes, the melody being printed at the head of the 
psalm to which it was allotted, so that these became 
known as the 'proper tunes'; though each of the forty- 
five psalms without a tune had a note referring to that 


tune which was suitable for it. 1 About half the tunes 
are minor, a sign of the infancy of congregational 
song. In this edition Psalm 34 had another Huguenot 
melody now known as St. Michael. A most interest- 
ing novelty was a translation by Robert Wisdome of a 
German hymn, running: 

Preserve us Lord by thy dear word 
From Turk and Pope defend us Lord ; 
Both which would thrust Out of his throne 
Our Lord Christ Jesus Thy dear Son. 

This was set to a tune by Luther, which became as 
popular here as in its home; it was long known as 
Pope and Turk, but is now rechristened Luther's Hymn. 
But a marked feature of this 1564 edition was the 
thirty-one new tunes by Englishmen. For with the 
accession of Elizabeth the proud Tudor feeling of 
English sufficiency regained power, and the influences 
from abroad came to a speedy end. We may, however, 
recognize three ideas which were now lodged inthe 
national mind, destined to fructify in due time. \From 
the Anabaptists, English Separatists and Dissenters 
were destined to inherit the love of new original hymns, 
expressing their own feelings and their own interpre- 
tation of Bible truth. From the Lutherans was learned 
the possibility of utilizing the melodies of the people 
in the service of God. From Geneva came not only 
experiments in new metres, but the determination of 
the congregation at large to take a part in the public 
service of praise. For it must be remembered that 
the only singing contemplated by the official Book of 
Common Prayer, was by the chanter or minister leading 
the devotions, or by the trained choir which made 
response, and at one point was allowed to render an 

1 W. Cowan, Scottish Reformation Psalmody, p. 43. 


_anthemj It is the popular revolt against this system 
which is our theme. 

The development of musical instruments was re- 
markable. When an organ was built for Ely in 1407, 
it had simply twelve notes. As the century ran on, 
more notes were introduced, the size of the keys was 
reduced, and the compass of the instrument rose to 
four octaves. Then the same style of keyboard was 
applied to a stringed instrument, the spinet as it was 
styled on the Continent, but in England the virginals, 
since it was suitable for maidens to play at home. 
This was known from the time of Henry VII, and 
specimens of a century later yet survive, and Pepys 
implies that one London family in three owned an 
instrument in 1665, so many did he see crowded 
into the wherries saving goods from the Great Fire. 
While flute and recorder could give melody alone, 
keyed instruments could give harmony; and now 
that the keys were as small as our modern keys, it 
was possible to play music essentially the same as 
ours. Thus the progress of mechanical invention 
furthered the development of domestic part-song with 
instrumental accompaniment, and also of elaborate 
cathedral music. But popular feeling was educated 
to popular religious song, and church organs were 
resented more and more. Under Henry VIII elaborate 
music and organs were enumerated among the eighty- 
four 'faults and abuses of religion'; and his suppression 
of the monasteries dispersed hundreds of communities 
of singers, destroyed hundreds of organs. 

Congregational singing was much promoted by the 
use of printed books. And the influence of printers, 
inventing and standardizing notation, deserves atten- 
tion. In England they popularized three things: 


the five-line stave, sol-fa notation, the bar. As early 
as 1495, Wynken de Worde set up with metal type a 
stave of eight lines with notes ; all printed with letter- 
press by one impression. Four lines were still used for 
cathedral song, six lines for organ and virginals. After 
some experimentation, Elizabeth granted monopolies 
for music-printing, and one monopolist settled on the 
five-line stave, already somewhat usual for vocal 
music. Next, in 1578, John Daye issued, Cum Privi- 
legio Regiae Majestatis, 'The whole Booke of Psalmes, 
collected into Englishe Metre . . . with apt Notes to 
sing them withall, Set forth and allowed to be song in 
all Churches, of all the people together before and after 
Morning and Evening prayer, etc.' Many points 
deserve attention here; that the fourteen-syllable is 
the regular English metre, and that the double column 
has obliged the printer to break each line into 8 and 6; 
that the melody is indicated for every hymn, canticle, 
and psalm; that there was a popular demand, granted 
at last by the queen, for congregational singing in 
church: but our immediate point is the notation. A 
page is given to explain that Daye was catering for 
those who used stave-notation and those who used 
sol-fa; he had planned and cast new type, giving a 
letter joined to every note, so that 'thou mayest the 
more easily by the viewing of these letters, come to 
the knowledge of perfect Solefayng. . . . The letters 
be these, V for Vt, R for Re, M for My, F for Fa, S for 
Sol, L for La'. As his double column gave barely 
two inches of stave, a sign like the mathematician's 
square root was placed at the end to warn that the 
sense ran on, till the melody was complete, and then 
came two vertical lines. It has been said that this 
sign was the origin of our bar, but Daye's use of it was 


quite different. The bar came from Germany, where 
Agricola, cantor at Magdeburg, published in 1529 a 
full vocal score; to show all the parts he needed a ten- 
line stave; to keep the singers together he drew a 
vertical line down the stave. This device was copied 
by Morley in 1597; but it was unnecessary when only 
the melody was shown. Ravenscroft in 1621 used it 
for a rather different purpose; he placed a bar at the 
end of each fourteen notes, to show where the line of 
poetry ended. When Henry Lawes, in 1653, was 
publishing a three-part score, with the voices at differ- 
ent speeds, he placed a bar to show where each accent 
fell: and though in congregational singing all was 
sedate and regular, Lawes's notation soon became 
standard, and the modern bar had arrived. 



Observe this organ : Marke but how it goes : 
'Tis not the hand of him alone, that blowes 
The unseene Bellowes : nor the Hand that playes 
Vpon th' apparent note-dividing Kayes, 
That makes these wel-composed Ayres appeare 
Before the high Tribunall of thine eare : 
They both' concurre : Ech acts his severall part : 
Th' one gives it Breath', the other lends it Art. 
Man is this organ : To whose every action 
Heav'n gives a Breath (a Breath without Coactiori) 
Without which Blast we cannot act at all; 
Without which Breath, the Vniverse must fall 
To the first Nothing it was made of; seeing 
In Him we live, we move, we have our Being: 
Thus filled with his Diviner Breath, and back't 
With his first powre we touch the Kayes and act: 
He blowes the Bellowes : As we thrive in skill, 
Our Actions prove like Musicke, Good or III. 




QUEEN ELIZABETH was musical, and in the splendid 
outburst of energy that marked her reign, poetry and 
song flourished greatly. The age which boasted of 
Raleigh, Spenser, Lyly, Sidney, Marlowe, Jonson, 
would be illustrious in itself, had Shakespeare never 
appeared. Yet the more we admire their talents, 
the more we wonder that none were dedicated to the 
cause of religion. We still sing the duet of Sidney, 
' My true love hath my heart ' ; but we miss any allusion 
to David and Jonathan, and are tempted to wonder 
whether the enforced changes in outward worship 
repelled men from devotional song. It left them true 
at heart, as we know from such verses as Raleigh wrote 
in his Bible: 

Even such is Time, that takes in trust 
Our youth, our joys, our all we have, 

And pays us but with earth and dust; 
Who in the dark and silent grave, 

When we have wandered all our ways, 

Shuts up the story of our days ; 

But from this earth, this grave, this dust, 

My God shall raise me up, I trust. 

Yet we might almost guess that Shakespeare recoiled 
from the innovations in religion, and it is obvious that 
none of these giants did anything to enrich Christian 

Elizabeth, however, did maintain a fine choir for 


her Chapel Royal, and at many cathedrals the tradition 
of anthems and musical services was maintained. 1 
John Merbecke of Windsor had already published his 
Boke of Common Prayer Noted, showing the melody 
for chanter and responses; and nearly to the end of 
her reign he was 'singing merrily and playing on the 
organs', while cathedral after cathedral adopted his 
music. The Litany set to harmony 'according to the 
notes used in the Kynge's ChappelT had been pub- 
lished as early as 1544. Now the royal choir included 
such musicians as Thomas Tallys, Christopher Tye, 
Richard Farrant, Thomas Causton, and others who 
enriched the liturgical side of worship. 

From this we turn to the popular side, and it is 
interesting to read how Elizabeth spent a Sunday 
at Kenilworth away from cathedrals. 'The fore- 
noon occupied, as for the Sabbath day, in quiet and 
vacation from work, and in divine service and preach- 
ing at the parish church. The afternoon in excellent 
music of sundry sweet instruments and in dancing of 
lords and ladies/ There is no suggestion of instru- 
ments in the worship, and yet the narrator was dis- 
tinctly musical. 'Sometimes I foot it with dancing, 
now with my gittern, and else with cittern, then at the 
virginals ye know nothing comes amiss to me then 
carol I up a song withal, that by and bye they come 
flocking about me like bees to honey.' 2 It is remark- 
able that the line was still drawn; harmonized singing 
of psalms within the church, solo or unison singing of 
carols outside. 

The same distinction seems to have obtained north 
of the Tweed. Mary Stuart was serenaded in 1561 

1 John S. Bumpus, English Cathedral Music, p. 4. 
z England under the Tudor s, pp. 79, 81. 


by citizens singing psalms outside Holyrood. 1 When 
her grandson Prince Henry was baptized at Stirling, 
a psalm was sung at the service; but at the banquet 
afterwards there was a harmonized psalm, accompanied 
with musical instruments. 

The Earl of Murray ordered, and the vicar of St. 
Andrews carried through, the setting of the Psalms in 
four-part harmony by the best musicians in Scotland. 2 
The instructions were precise, that intricate work was 
not to be introduced, but harmonies simple enough 
for the congregation. And Melville testifies that 
when he was a student at the college, he learned 
the gamut, plain-song, and the trebles of the Psalms. 
It is the progress of harmony that we follow at 

John Day was a hearty adherent of the Reformation, 
and under Edward had obtained a licence to print the 
works of Ponet and Becon. He turned his attention 
under Elizabeth to the printing of music, and with the 
aid of English musicians he issued in 1560 'Certain 
notes set forth in foure and three parts to be sung at 
the Morning, Communion, and Evening Prayer. ' While 
this was for ecclesiastical use, the introduction of 
harmony is to be noted. Two years later, Grindal 
authorized some Christmas carols, and these were 
followed up by doctrinal hymns, carols exhorting men 
to put their trust in Christ alone. Meantime Day 
published a tune-book for 'The whole psalms in foure 
partes, which may be song to al musicall instrumentes, 
set forth for the increase of vertue, and abolishyng of 
other vayne and triflyng ballades'. This was not a 
combined psalm-and-tune book, but a tune-book with 

1 W. Cowan, Scottish Reformation Psalmody, p. 45. 
2 Ibid., p. 42. 


one verse of a psalm to each tune. The Genevan 
editors had provided sixty-five melodies; these were 
now harmonized by W. Parsons and four others, who 
occasionally contributed different settings of the same, 
Parsons treating Old isyth to three sets of harmonies; 
so that there were now a hundred and eleven tunes 
provided from the old stock. And in addition they 
wrote thirty entirely new four-part tunes. At the end 
of this great collection were a few miscellaneous pieces, 
in both verse and prose, to which Tallys contributed a 
couple. These seem to foreshadow hymns and anthems 
for the congregation, as distinct from the professional 

Next Archbishop Parker commissioned Day to print 
a complete version of the Psalms by himself, copy- 
righted for ten years, and supplied with music in parts. 
'The tenor of these partes be for the people when they 
will synge alone ; the other parts, put for greater queers, 
or such as will syng or play them privative/ The 
volume was apparently intended as part of the official 
provision for church worship. Thomas Tallys of the 
royal chapel took the eight church modes and wrote 
fine new tunes with original harmonies, together with 
a ninth in mode XIII set to the version of Veni Creator, 
used in the ordination service; this we therefore call 
Tallis's Ordinal. One of the others was a canon in 
which the tenor led, and the soprano began four 
syllables later; we reverse the order, and call it Tallis's 
Canon. Tallys was fond of this device, and an earlier 
specimen shows how he and the monks used to enliven 
their odd hours. They wrote The Black Sanctus or 
Monks' Hymn to Saint Satan] he set it to a canon in 
three parts, and King Henry was wont in pleasant 
mood to take a part. When Tallys died in 1585, a 


brass was set up in Greenwich Parish Church which 
commented dryly on his remarkable conformity: 

He served long tyme in chappel with grete prayse, 
Power sovereignes reygnes (a thing not often seen), 

I mean Kyng Henry and Prynce Edward's dayes, 
Quene Mary, and Elizabeth our Quene. 

For some reason, Parker never published his book; 
perhaps he distrusted congregational song. Whatever 
the cause, the excellent music of Tallys scarcely 
became known, and the way was left open for others 
to complete the Psalter in the style of Sternhold, to 
the loss of poetry. 

It soon became evident that the words of Sternhold 
as completed by 1562 were to form the standard 
Psalter. And the sixty-five tunes bade fair to obtain 
an equally exceptional position. This came about by 
the conduct of William Damon, one of the queen's 
musicians. On his visits to John Bull, a goldsmith in 
the City, he harmonized simply all but two of these 
tunes, besides giving his friend fourteen new ones, 
including four in only half-length, like the Huguenot 
melodies. He seems to have doubted their reception, 
and allowed Bull to copyright them in 1579. On the 
whole, Damon's settings did not win favour, except 
that his new half-tunes established themselves rapidly; 
they were afterwards named Cambridge, Canterbury, 
Southwell, Oxford. He therefore tried again, dropping 
ten more tunes, and only adding one, reharmonized 
from Tye's Acts. He set them in both styles, melody 
for the tenor, melody for the treble. 

Meantimes William Hunnis, another of the gentle- 
men of the Chapel Royal, was at work with both music 
and poetry. 1 He composed seven new tunes in the 

1 J. T. Lightwood, Hymn Tunes and their Story, p. 42. 


full ballad measure, four lines of fourteen syllables, 
and to a 1583 edition of the seven Penitential Psalms 
in that measure, he annexed 'his handful of honi- 
suckles', being several original hymns, some of them 
in the new half-measure. These also turn to new 
account two familiar devices. Some are prayers, and 
to them he adds the response, Amen. Others were 
perhaps meant for his choir of the boys in the Chapel 
Royal to sing; and so he provides for the congregation 
a 'burden' of the old ballad type, only with a meaning 
of its own: 

So shall my soul rejoice, rejoice, 

And still for mercy cry 
Peccavi, Peccavi, 

Miserere mei. 

Hunnis was both poet and musician. His book 
has several new tunes, and they are designed for 
congregational use, as we may see by another feature. 
The early versions of the Psalms are in very rude 
verse : to our ears they do not scan properly. Therefore 
when singing them to music, strict time was impossible ; 
there had to be constant give and take, such as was 
usual in ballads, and is esteemed by some literary men 
the glory of English verse, when used in moderation. 

Hunnis brought to his work that training in poetry 
and music that is to be expected from a gentleman in 
the royal chapel: and the result is that his tunes are 
nearly the first that have regular accent, or in our 
modern notation could have bars drawn. Yet none 
of his work is in use to-day, and the same is true of 
his older contemporary John Mardley, whose hymn of 
1562 is in Roundell Palmer's Book of Praise, as 
modernized by Reginald Heber. 

A true poet should also be mentioned, Thomas 


Campion, who about 1610 published 'Two Boqkes of 
Ayres', the first containing ' divine and morall songs to 
be sung to the lute and viols, in two, three, and four 
parts; or by one voyce to an instrument'. Among 
these was a version of a psalm, 'By Babylon's streams', 
the tune to which was published by Allon in 1858 
with the title Babylon. 

Richard Farrant, another of the queen's musicians, 
is known chiefly by anthems and services; a tune which 
bears his name is adapted by a modern editor from one 
of his anthems. 

Thomas East, or Este (perhaps of Huguenot descent, 
like Vautrollier), had meantime engaged ten leading 
composers of madrigals to set the familiar Church 
Tunes. He added 'other short tunes usually song in 
London', including three by Damon appropriated 
without acknowledgment, and five new single common 
metre. One of these was a setting of Tye's old tune 
by Kirby, which still holds its own as Winchester Old, 
though the name was not yet bestowed. Names now 
appear for the first time, all geographical, Glassenburie, 
Kentish, Chesshire. And some composers put their 
names, perhaps knowing Este's sharp practices. 

One of the contributors to this edition of Este was 
Richard Allison, who issued another Psalter in 1599, 
where all the harmonies were his own, 'arranged for 
flute, orpharyon, citterne, or base violl, the singing 
part to be either tenor or treble; or for four voyces'. 
This is another sign that the old ecclesiastical custom of 
male-voice song to an organ was at least balanced by 
the domestic custom of family part-singing to stringed 
instruments, with or without keys. In our own day 
the victory of the women in capturing the melody is so 
complete that we should be surprised to see how as late 


as 1787 Chatham's Psalmody still offered it to the tenor, 
and after fifty years the editor of the Psalmist had to 
claim it for the soprano; while at Dover, in New 
Hampshire, twenty years later, the female voices were 
ignored, and parts were printed for tenor and bass only. 

It is to be regretted that the great musical and 
lyrical abilities of the Elizabethan age were rarely 
turned to popular religious account. Either the words 
were Latin, and the music for stately cathedral choirs, 
or they were secular and designed for family and social 

William Byrd, a pupil of Tallys, on the one hand 
wrote music to many Roman Catholic services, and on 
the other published twenty-nine madrigals in the 1588 
Psalms, Sonnets and Songs of Sadnes and Pietie, made 
into music of five parts, etc. In this work he upheld a 
fine standard, saying that the better the music was, 
the sweeter it was to honour and serve God with. 
His admiring scholar, Thomas Morley, organist of 
St. Paul's, five years later began issuing books of 
canzonets, madrigals, ballets, consort lessons, and airs, 
both original and selected. 1 

With the accession of James VI of Scotland, the two 
realms had more mutual influence; and as the creative 
period ended, the existing material was only edited 
afresh. Barley's edition proves that the editing could 
be very careless, so that six fine tunes by John Bennet, 
Giles Farnaby, and Thomas Morley are entombed 
here. Perhaps it was well that the Stationers' Com- 
pany now acquired the copyright of Sternhold and of 
the Church Tunes. 

Meanwhile a number of poets had been producing 
verses for chamber music, or, as usual, for mere reading. 

1 John S. Bumpus, English Cathedral Music, pp. 68, 71. 


In many cases they were intensely individualistic, 
not intending their productions for common use: 
though such a personal note had not hindered many 
psalms and hymns being taken up by whole congrega- 
tions. George Gascoigne deserves mention; not that 
he had been 'a common Rymer and a deviser of 
slaunderous Pasquelles', and that he reformed; not 
only that among his great output of drama and verse, 
he included in 1575 some posies; but that he prefixed 
'Certayne Notes of Instruction concerning the making 
of verse or ryme in English'. This essay did for 
English poetry what Bede had done for Latin, and some 
flowers have been culled from the posy into modern 
hymnals. Ben Jonson's hymn to the Holy Trinity 
was in a metre that was not too strange : 

Among Thy saints elected to abide, 
And with Thy angels placed, side by side, 
But in Thy presence tally glorified, 
Shall I there rest. 

The old Latin hymns occasionally prompted some 
authors. Thomas Browne, of whom it is told that his 
father used to open his breast when he was asleep and 
kiss it in prayers over him, that the Holy Spirit might 
take possession there, fulfilled his father's hopes. After 
study at Oxford, Montpellier, Padua, he settled about 
1635 near Halifax, and slowly composed his Religio 
Medici. Towards the end he recorded his evening 
hymn of thirty lines, from which some sixteen have 
been edited into modern use, omitting such lines as: 

Let no dreams my head infest, 
But such as Jacob's temples blest. 
While I do rest, my soul advance, 
Make my sleep a holy trance, 


That I may, my rest being wrought, 
Awake into some holy thought; 
And with as active vigour run 
My course as doth the nimble sun. 

But the paraphrase by Bishop Ken, forty years later, 
was both intended for general use, and established itself 
first at Winchester school, then more widely. 

Another old Latin hymn was translated by F. B. P. 
some twenty years earlier, and published in Scotland 
by David Dickson ; and extracts are now in general use : 
Jerusalem, my happy home. 

But just at the same time Andro Hart struck out a 
new line in psalmody. Hitherto a hundred and five 
psalms had had their proper tunes; he issued an 
edition prefixing twelve common tunes to which all 
psalms in the ballad metre might be sung, indifferently. 
Most of his tunes seem Scottish, and we still use 
Abbaye, Dukes, Dunfermline, Martyrs: from Geneva he 
borrowed French, which Ravenscroft afterwards re- 
christened Dundee (quite distinct from Hart's Dundie] : 
Stilt was reset by John Milton senior, and is known to 
us as York. 

Although the old versions of the Psalms were 
unmusical and uncouth, yet publishers found there 
was a better sale for them than for newer and more 
poetical renderings. Dignitaries like King James and 
Chancellor Bacon, poets like Wither, Fletcher, Dray- 
ton, musicians like Lawes and Hunnis, theologians 
like Henry Ainsworth and Joseph Hall, with others 
like Montgomery, Alleyn, Alexander, Sandys, Barton, 
issued new versions. But scarcely any of them ever 
displaced the older versions, though Milton's version 
of the I36th shows what a lad of fourteen could do. 

1 W. Cowan, Scottish Reformation Psalmody, p. 40. 


This work of Milton's was contributed, with a ten- 
syllable paraphrase of Psalm 114, to a Psalter edited 
by Thomas Ravenscroft, another precocious genius, 
who had taken his Mus. Bac. at Cambridge when only 
fourteen, and who now in 1621 challenged the great 
collection of Day with a very pretentious volume. 
It contained thirty -eight settings from previous 
editions, others from various sources, and forty new 
tunes, mostly single common metre; one, however, 
survives to us in io.ii, and is named after him. The 
names given to these, such as Bristol, Durham, 
Gloucester, St. David, Salisbury, suggest that he had 
gathered them from cathedrals, and from certain 
districts of England, Wales, and Scotland, though he 
names also Germany, Italy, France, and the Nether- 
lands. He had them arranged into four parts, and he 
adapted the bar to mark the close of each line of the 
hymn. The copyright of this was acquired by the 
Stationers, and they therefore successfully opposed the 
new Psalter of George Sandys set by Henry Lawes to 
music completely new in melody and in style. Lawes 
could write in the old style, as we may still see in 
King's College. 

Similarly nothing resulted from the efforts of John 
Amner, organist of Ely, who in 1615 put forth Sacred 
Hymns of 3, 4, 5, and 6 parts for voices and viols. A 
second John Bull, from Somerset, was appointed the 
first professor of music at Gresham College with a 
special dispensation to lecture in English, but he 
achieved nothing. In 1617 he avowed himself Roman 
Catholic, and became organist at Antwerp. From 
that period date his Flemish Chorale, and his organ 
fantasias on Vexilla Regis* 

1 John S. Bumpus, English Cathedral Music, pp. 74, 97. 


A few by-products of cathedral organists enriched 
congregational song. Orlando Gibbons of King's 
College and Westminster has given his name to one 
tune in sevens, and wrote also several tunes for George 
Wither's Hymns and Songs of the Church; one of these, 
a duet for a paraphrase of the song of the angels at 
Christ's birth, is well known as Angel's Song. His 
younger contemporary, Thomas Tomkins, when 
organist of the Chapel Royal in 1622, published a 
collection of songs, including madrigals both sacred 
and secular; but they were for domestic use. He had 
greatly aided at Worcester the musical services in the 
cathedral, and besides setting the liturgy many times, 
he enriched congregational singing in the nave on 
Sunday afternoons, when the metrical psalms were 
sung by great crowds, second only to those at St. 
Paul's. For these he wrote original tunes, of which 
Worcester has recently been revived; and he reset 
Dunfermlme, Martyrs, St. David, Windsor, York. 
Some of these appeared in Ravenscroft's Psalter of 
1621, most only in his posthumous Mmica Deo Sacra 
of I668. 1 

While, however, elaborate editions were available, 
the ordinary editions gave only the first few notes 
of the melody. It often happened, as it does now, 
that people who fancied themselves musical extem- 
porized their own harmonies; and it also happened 
that different editors harmonized the same melody 
differently. As the effect was (and is) very painful, 
Edward Miller in 1635 published at Edinburgh a 
popular edition in which full harmony was printed for 
every common tune and also for every proper tune. 

1 Ivor Atkins, The Early Occupants of the Office of Organist at 
Worcester, pp. 57, 71. 


Unhappily it had not time to establish itself as standard, 
but it did set a fine example of what was needed for 
good congregational singing, which was much preferred 
to the professional performances in cathedrals. 1 

In May 1644 Parliament ordered all organs to be 
removed from churches and chapels, and the new 
Directory for Worship enjoined the general singing of 
the metrical psalms. This objection to instrumental 
worship must not be confounded with any objection 
to instrumental music in the home: a list of musical 
instruments of most use in England as they were used 
in 1656 enumerates cornet, shalme, sackbut, flutes, 
recorders, bagpipes, harp, lute, theorbo, viol, violin, 
virginals, harpsicalls, orpharion, psittern, gittern, 
apoprey. England was musical, but religious enough 
to decide that its vocal worship should not be swamped 
by orchestra or machine. 

While we see the development of psalmody towards 
hymnody in the Reformation period, we must re- 
member one great factor, always present, generally 
ignored from the ecclesiastical side. England had her 
ballads, her ballad-music, rough poetry of and for the 
multitude, to music simple enough to be picked up in 
a few minutes by the unlearned. Rhyme and melody 
were rarely printed, but were passed on by constant 
song, sometimes by one, sometimes by many. The 
professional student of poetry and of music is generally 
silent about these popular ballads. It is largely the 
antiquarian who searches out, takes them down from 
the lips of old women, and produces a Border Minstrelsy 
and English Folk-Song Book. They may suggest the 
catchy words and music written last century for music- 
halls, which, if they won popular favour, might even 

1 W. Cowan, Scottish Reformation Psalmody, p. 43. 


be printed roughly. But these rarely lasted a year, 
and thus dated themselves; few found their way into 
any book of poetry, any more than the lyrics of musical 
comedy. They were copyright, did not spring spon- 
taneously from the populace, seldom dealt with any- 
thing of permanent interest ; they differed deeply from 
the old ballads. 

A few of these were printed as broadsides, and 
occasionally a little collection would be written out. 
Two such, belonging to the middle of Elizabeth's reign 
and the middle of James's, have been edited for 
modern readers, who may thus read scores of ballads, 
of which some were political and miscellaneous, while 
thrice as many were religious, dealing with martyrs 
for both faith, and even the inner life of the soul. 1 

From the point of form, it may be noted that a third 
of all were in the common metre, four lines of four- 
teen syllables, so popular that Shakespeare had made 
Bottom sing in it, and Chapman had adopted it for 
his version of the Iliad; almost another third in the 
long, four lines of sixteen. Half a dozen were in the 
fine swinging metre of 11.10 anapaest: 

God graunte them acknowledge the truth as it is, 
As well toward God, the Queene, and the Realme, 

That due prayse and glory all only may be his 

Who to save them and vs suffered death most extreame. 

Thirteen other metres are represented, with many 
varieties of rhyme. 

This collection of ballads preserves also the names of 
older tunes to which the ballads were adapted. Most 
of them seem traditional and of uncertain age. Of the 
common metre we find Diana and her darlings dear, 
The Merchant, A man in desperation, though the latter 

1 Hyder E. Rollins, Old English Ballads, p. 68. 


would suggest a line of thirteen syllables, like Awake, 
awake, O England. Hobby Noble and John a Side, 'one 
of the best ballads in the world', was a seven-liner 
of eight syllables. Lusty gallant was a two-liner of 
fifteen, Aim not too high a four-liner of ten. A rich 
merchant man, and John come kiss me now, were others 
in popular use, while Dainty, come thou to me, a four- 
liner of twelve syllables, was evidently most current. 1 
Two new tunes can be traced to this time. One called 
Wilson's New Tune sprang into favour with 1586; it 
may perhaps be assigned to the minstrel whose son 
was christened at St. Giles's the year before. The 
death in 1556 of John Careless, a Coventry weaver, 
popularized his ballad, which Coverdale printed hi 1564, 
and a tune known as John Careless was utilized for many 
godly ballads. The original was intensely personal: 

Indeed, sometymes I doe repent and pardon doe obtayne; 
But yet, alas! incontinent I fall to synne againe. 2 

But the tune was used for a savage account of a 
Unitarian's death: 

And do not as this Devill did, though shape of man he bare; 
Denying Christ, did silence keepe at death, devoyde of care. 

An attempt was made towards the end of Elizabeth's 
reign to bring together the two styles of music, the 
ecclesiastical and the popular. In 1595 Barnabe 
Barnes published a Divine Centurie of Spiritual Sonnets, 
which was promptly depreciated by Thomas Nash: 
'such another device it is as the godly ballet of John 
Carelesse, or the song of Greene sleeves moralized'. 3 
And Shakespeare puts into the mouth of Mrs. Ford a 
gibe at a curious custom. 4 Two distinct melodies can 

1 Grove, Diet. Mus., IV, 462. 

2 Hvder E. Rollins, Old English Ballads, pp. 49, 56. 
8 Hyder E. Rollins, Old English Ballads, p. 47. 

4 Merry Wives, II, i, 65. 


be woven together, to different words, to produce some 
sort of harmony, as many operas attest to-day. But 
some bold musician wedded together the stately 
Genevan Old Hundredth with the English folk-song of 
Greene sleeves. Evidently popular taste disapproved this 
innovation, and the method was left to the Italians, 
who practised it freely till the ecclesiastical authorities 
sternly forbade. In England there does not seem to 
have been any attempt to introduce it into church, 
but manifestly the church use of psalms was balanced 
by the domestic singing of religious ballads, the pre- 
cursors of popular hymns. 

There was indeed one deliberate attempt to introduce 
hymns. George Wither, a miscellaneous poet, pro- 
duced in 1622 some Hymns and Songs of the Church, 
already mentioned for their music. Even here there 
are many that are intensely personal; an average 
congregation is not in need of a Hymn for a Widower, 
nor even for his Author's Hymn, however beautiful 
the thought: 

Therefore as Thy blessed psalmist, 
When he saw his wars had end, 

And his days were at their calmest, 
Psalms and hymns of praises penn'd ; 

So my rest by Thee enjoy 'd, 

To Thy praise I have employ 'd. 

But apart from the intrinsic fitness of these hymns, 
he took a dangerous step and obtained from the king 
a patent that a copy was to be bound up with every 
copy of the Metrical Psalms. This greatly prejudiced 
the book, the Stationers' Company opposed the 
patent. He pleaded that the Psalms were not Christian 
and that definitely Christian sentiment ought to be 
sung in church. And his work was so far good that 


the rising generation bought his book, and used it at 
home. But a lawsuit resulted in disallowing the forced 
sale, and no change was made in the church service. 
In 1641 Wither tried again with a new book, Heleluiah* 
which he dedicated this tune to Parliament. He 
emphasized again his originality, and wrote for special 
classes or occasions. While he had variety of metre, 
he did not neglect the good old standard, as may be 
seen in a verse to be sung at sea: 

Take Thou, O Lord, the reins in hand, assume our master's 

Vouchsafe Thou at our helm to stand, and pilot to become : 
Trim Thou the sails, and let good speed accompany our haste : 

Sound Thou the channels at our need, and anchor for us cast. 

But Puritans would not accept hymns for church use 
even from one of their captains. So long as there was 
official regulation of church worship, anthems in the 
service, psalms before and after, maintained their 

Two other experiments deserve notice. The 1592 
Separatist Church, which migrated to Amsterdam, had 
a scholar in Henry Ainsworth, who in 1612 published 
a metrical Psalter direct from the Hebrew, with notes: 
but it was hardly used outside that single company. 
Eight years later, a sister church took farewell of some 
of its members in the large house of the pastor at 
Leyden, where, says Edward Winslow, 'we refreshed 
ourselves, after our tears, with singing of Psalms, 
making joyful melody in our hearts as well as with 
the voice, there being many of the Congregation very 
expert in music'. But when the final parting took 
place on the boat at Delfshaven, there is no word of 
singing, as when a Lasco had embarked: perhaps the 
English could not sing without book. A few years 


later, Winslow promoted a great emigration to Massa- 
chusetts Bay, and there in 1640 was published the 
Bay Psalm Book. Uncouth as it is, its importance for 
our theme is considerable: for the 1647 edition added 
a few spiritual songs, and Dunster, the editor of the 
third issue, much augmented the hymns. It is the 
parallel and simultaneous development of hymns, 
distinct from psalms, in England, which is now to 
receive attention. 



While others Thee and their own Souls abuse, 
Debase their Love, and prostitute their Muse : 
O Thou to whom all Love and Praise belongs ! 
To Thee I give my Heart, to Thee my Songs. 

Waters will rise as high as whence they flow; 

So Minds that came from Heav'n, to Heaven should go ; 

With Holy Fervor to their Author move, 

Who gave 'em Pow'r to think and Pow'r to Love. 




THE Civil War naturally freed men from many shackles, 
and notably in everything relating to public worship. 
There was an amusing competition between two new 
versifiers of the Psalter, to obtain a parliamentary 
monopoly. Both failed in England, which continued 
to put up with Sternhold and Hopkins as gradually 
modified. But in Scotland, the work of Francis 
Rous, English, M.P. for Truro, was taken as the basis 
for a revised Psalter which to some extent is still used 
by all Presbyterian churches. We may in passing 
compare two versions of the I36th Psalm, remembering 
Milton's contemporary rendering, with which the first 
challenges comparison, having a burden in alternate 

Give thanks to God, for good is He: 

For mercy hath He ever. 
Thanks to the God of gods give ye : 

For His grace faileth never. 

The second version is to the familiar metre of the 
I48th Psalm, where the rhymes deserve attention: 

Praise God, for He is kind : 

His mercy lasts for aye. 
Give thanks with heart and mind 
To God of gods alway : 
For certainly 
His mercies dure 
Most firm and sure 



But we attend rather to the revival of original 
hymns, the more radical reform. An interesting 
transition is due to William Habington, who as a good 
Roman Catholic took a text from the Vulgate, then 
paraphrased the opening thought of the psalm, and 
then developed the idea at length, with an apparent 
hit at Cromwell. Two verses will illustrate his metre : 

When I survey the bright 

Celestial sphere, 
So rich with jewels hung, that Night 

Doth like an Ethiop bride appear, 

My soul her wings doth spread, 

And heavenward flies, 
The Almighty's mysteries to read 

In the large volume of the skies. 1 

The revival of the propagandist hymn is apparent in 
1649, when a new world seemed opening, and as an 
earthly monarch had been displaced, the way appeared 
open for the Fifth Monarchy to be established. John 
Goodwin, Vavasour Powell, Thomas Lamb, Appletree, 
and others, composed hymns deliberately to embody 
their doctrines. These were given out from the pulpit, 
usually after the sermon which they summarized, 
and were sung two lines at a time. Some of them 
found their way into print, but they were essentially 
for singing, not for reading. This is a point that has 
not always been noticed, yet it gives the key to this 
new departure, the re -invention of the homiletical 
hymn. The Anglican liturgy did give the congrega- 
tion a real part, a series of responsive prayers; now it 
was abolished, this group of preachers provided hymns 
to respond to the sermon. The novelty was quickly 

1 George Beaumont, A Book of English Poetry, p. 163. 

THE REVIVAL OF HYMNS, 1650-1703 93 

taken up> especially by the preachers with novel 
doctrines; Feake, Powell, Anna Trapnel, even ventured 
into print to propagate their views outside their own 

The possibilities of the new idea were seen by their 
opponents, and Jeremy Taylor, a sequestered incum- 
bent, also put out hymns of a very different cast. It 
is remarkable to see how one of his, written in the 
midst of the Fifth Monarchy movement, catches up its 
imagery for quite other ends: 

Lord! come away; 
Why dost Thou stay? * 

Canon Thomas Washbourne also found, in his straitened 
circumstances when his prebend was cancelled, a 
similar incentive to write. Other hymns came from 
Justice Hale, Wotton, Anne Collins, and Henry 
Vaughan, the doctor of Newton-by-Usk. One of his 
odes again shows how the Coming of the Bridegroom 
fascinated men of all types; but the poem best suited 
for song begins : 

They are all gone into the world of light ! 

And I alone sit ling'ring here; 
Their very memory is fair and bright, 

And my sad thoughts doth clear. 2 

The measure of this, however, as well as its personal 
tone, militated against its congregational use. 

Yet when after 1660 the Anglicans regained power, 
the only use they made of the opportunity to revise 
the liturgy musically, was to introduce a single version 
of an ancient hymn into the ordination service. Hymns 
seem to be more congenial to the persecuted and 

1 Roundell Palmer, Book of Praise, p. 191. 
2 George Beaumont, A Book of English Poetry, p. 208. . 


unpopular, who can express their feelings in original 

So we find in 1663 a book of hymns by Katherine 
Sutton recommended by Hanserd Knollys. And it 
is noteworthy that this is associated with Holland, the 
home of the persecuted Mennonites. Next year a 
young tailor of Aylesbury, Benjamin Reach, issued a 
Child's Instructor with hymns; but the whole edition 
was seized and destroyed, and he was condemned to 
the pillory for writing it. Also in 1664, Samuel 
Grossman, ejected from Little Henny, followed suit; 
the two hymns quoted by Roundell Palmer testify to 
the great popularity of the I48th metre already 
exemplified, and of the burden. After he conformed 
in 1667 and became canon and dean, the vein of 
poetry seems to have been abandoned. Katherine 
Philips, however, entered the succession that year, 
and was followed in 1668 by John Austin, a Roman 
Catholic, four of whose hymns are in the Book of Praise. 

That age of persecution and uniformity, however, 
hardly permitted hymn-singing to flourish. William 
Barton, M.A. had versified some of the Psalms by 1644, 
and had obtained the commendation of the House 
of Lords; Baillie admitted that his paraphrase was 
poetical, and was preferred by the London ministers, 
but intrigued against it. The happy result was that 
Barton turned his attention to hymns, and in April 
1648 obtained leave from the Lords to annex his 
hymns to the psalms of his rival, Rous. In 1659 
he published independently a hundred hymns, when 
he was incumbent of Martin's at Leicester, and 
followed at intervals with others, till in 1670 he 
gathered together and republished his Centuries of 
Select Hymns, with a recommendatory preface by 

THE REVIVAL OF HYMNS, 1650-1703 95 

Baxter. There is no probability that they were ever 
used by public congregations. 

Next year John Playford, clerk at the Temple, and 
for a quarter of a century the leading music-publisher, 
brought out an edition of Psalms and Hymns, where 
the two were intermixed, and hymns were not merely 
appended to the Psalms. Though he was somewhat 
in advance of his time, yet he found followers. He 
took over a tune popularized in Wales by Archdeacon 
Prys in 1621, which holds its own as St. Mary. That 
same year we find Broadmead Church ostentatiously 
and defiantly singing at worship in Bristol, claiming 
that the Conventicle Act did not forbid, and testing 
the point at law. With 1672 the persecution collapsed, 
and Vavasour Powell's collected hymns found a 
market. Next year Abraham Cheare's poems of ten 
years' composition appeared. 

From Chear's writings it has been well pointed out 
that not only modern congregational hymns, but 
hymns for children, began with Baptists, and that this 
particular book is both sympathetic with the little 
ones, and evinces desire to lead them to Christ. The 
opening stanza on 'Remember now thy Creator' is 
worth quoting: 

Sweet children, Wisdom you invites 

To hearken to her voice, 
She offers to you rare delights 

Most worthy of your choice. 
Eternal blessings in her wayes 

You shall be sure to find; 
Oh! therefore in your youthful dayes 

Your great Creator mind. 

Reach rewrote his primer from memory, and issued 
edition after edition. Moreover, being now pastor 


of an important London church, he introduced there 
regular singing of hymns after the Lord's Supper, 
then at Thanksgiving, and in 1676 published a hymn- 
book, no longer like Barton as a literary effort, but 
as a real provision of hymns to be sung in congrega- 
tional worship. The example was quickly followed in 
Baptist circles. 

The demand for better tunes was met in turn by 
Playford, who next year issued his Whole Book of 
Psalms, more in accordance with popular taste than his 
former edition. 1 Several tunes still in use are to be 
found here, some for the first time. 

Hymns, like ballads, were often prompted by 
definite occasions. The Bristol Separatists, who in 
October 1678 lost their pastor, were invited on 5th 
November by Edward Terrill to sing a hymn inspired 
by the discovery of a new Popish plot. It was per- 
haps the first time that they wandered from the 
standard Psalms. Terrill adopted the familiar ballad 
measure, with enrichments of rhyme; two of its ten 
verses illustrate its grammar and free rhythm: 

As Papist still, doe seeke to kill, 
the Governours of our Land : 
The Lord of might, doth bring to light, 
the Plotts they take in hand. 

Therefore lett we, give praise to he 
that still doth show his love : 
And lett us live, and allways give, 
the glory to God above. 

The movement towards hymns had nothing local; 
we have seen Aylesbury, Leicester, Plymouth, Bristol, 
London, spontaneously breaking into song. And the 

1 John S. Bumpus, English Cathedral Music, p. 193. 

THE REVIVAL OF HYMNS, 1650-1703 97 

more the linnets were caged, the better did they sing. 
The best known of them was at Bedford, no longer 
able to ring the bells or follow the trumpet; but 
Bunyan quite agreed with Lovelace that stone walls 
did not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage. As early 
as 1664 he had published Serious Meditations upon the 
Four Last Things in verse; also Ebal and Gerizim and 
Prison Meditations. Pilgrim's Progress shows Christian 
and Hopeful beguiling the way with song. A side 
note, "A Christian can sing tho alone, when God doth 
give him the joy of his heart", shows that the custom 
was to sing together. From the second part, published 
1684, the song of Mercy was often adopted in 
Baptist churches to sing at the welcome of a new 

Let the Most Blessed be my guide. 

These led up to his imitating Keach and Cheare, 
when in 1686 he put out A Book for Boys and Girls, 
or Country Rhymes for Children, in Verse, on Seventy- 
four Things. Also he seems to have written some 
'scriptural poems', on Ruth, Samson, Christ, the 
Sermon on the Mount, Jonah, Joseph, and the Epistle 
of James; but these were only published in 1701, 
after his death. In his life-time his own church at 
Bedford did not sing at worship ; only in 1690 was the 
singing of psalms introduced cautiously. 

In London things moved more rapidly. Hercules 
Collins introduced hymn-singing at Wapping, and 
when in 1687 Devonshire Square Meeting was restored 
to the Baptists, they celebrated the occasion by 
singing on ist March. So when in 1689 the Baptist 
Assemblies met, both of them were agitated over the 
novelty. The General Baptists recorded their opinion 


that united singing, according to the sol-fa system, was 
of necessity artificial and could not possibly reflect 
the action of the spirit. The Particular Baptists, 
after some discussion, decided that no principle was 
at stake, and that each congregation must settle for 
itself. Thereupon Reach published yet another hymn- 
book, Spiritual Melody. 

It is extremely necessary to say that, by ignorance 
of the course of events, Baptists have been depicted 
as the opponents of singing, whereas the fact is that 
they were the English pioneers of hymn-singing. At 
this time no other congregation can be shown which 
sang anything but psalms and paraphrases. Ains- 
worth started the Congregationalists with these at 
Amsterdam, though Canne in that same church 
forbade their use at funerals. In New England there 
was the Bay Psalm Book, but as late as 1739 Ebenezer 
Turrel objected to ministers introducing hymns of 
human composition into great and mixed assemblies, 
or to their being sung on the streets and in ferry-boats, 
and to singing at home in the evenings. 1 Most Baptists 
had dropped the Psalms, and were lustily singing hymns 
long before that; if here and there silent congregations 
were still to be found, they were commented on with 
surprise as the exceptions proving that the rule was 
the other way. No Pedobaptist congregation has yet 
been produced which adopted the singing of hymns 
before Reach showed the way. A few books indeed 
were published, as by Flatman (1674), Speed and 
Williams (1677), Vincent, Wadsworth, Mason, Reeve, 
Grenfield, Simson, Rawlet. But publishing is a mere 
individual landmark in literature; singing congrega- 
tionally is quite another thing. And that Reach 

1 John Waddington, Cong. Hist., Ill, 305. 

THE REVIVAL OF HYMNS, 1650-1703 99 

fostered a fashion for this may be seen in that W. 
Rogers published in 1685/6 A New and Easy Method 
to learn to sing by Book. 

Three Anglican authors of this period deserve 
notice. John Mason, rector of Water Stratford, was 
somewhat of a Fifth-Monarchy man. He published 
in 1683 a volume of Spiritual Songs, which ran to 
twenty editions, though it is not clear that the songs 
did actually pass into congregational use. Since the 
reprint in 1859 some are found in modern hymn-books, 
such as: 

Thou wast, O God, and Thou wast blest. 

Thomas Ken drew up a Manual of Prayers for 
Winchester scholars, incorporating the extremely long 
hymns he had written in 1674 for them at evening, 
at midnight, and at morning; from these, shortened 
morning and evening hymns have passed into general 
use now. John Patrick of the Charterhouse confined 
himself to the Psalms, but treated them far more freely 
than his predecessors. He frankly recognized the 
unchristian tone of many; so abridged, paraphrased, 
Christianized them, in a way that set a new model, 
to be followed a generation later by an illustrious 

Throughout the reign of William, the composition 
and singing of hymns made steady progress among 
Dissenters. Baxter's versatile genius was not limited 
to prose, and we still sing his 

Lord, it belongs not to my care 
Whether I die or live. 

Another Presbyterian was Joseph Boyse of Dublin, 
who issued first Sacramental Hymns in 1693, then 
Family Hymns in 1701, which were promptly followed 


next year by a corresponding volume by Matthew 
Henry. For the Independents, Davis of Rothwell 
published a volume, which in its second edition of 
1694 contained a hundred and sixty-eight hymns. 
In 1696 the Irishman Nahum Tate included in his 
Miscellanea Sacra a version of the old Latin Dies 
Irae by the Earl of Roscommon; this has established 
itself in many circles. In the same year Tate col- 
laborated with a compatriot, Nicholas Brady, in a new 
version of the Psalms, which might be an improve- 
ment on the antiquated Sternhold and Hopkins. 
They profited by the freedom which Patrick had used, 
and their paraphrase of Psalm 34 is therefore still on 
our lips : 

Through all the changing scenes of life, 
In trouble and in joy. 

This led to a pitched battle in Baptist circles, which 
lasted for four years, as to the acceptability of hymns 
as distinct from psalms. The objections raised were 
over (i) the uninspired character of hymns met by 
an appeal to the free paraphrasing of psalms; (2) the 
unreality of a whole congregation singing songs of 
experience, which could hardly be their own met by 
an appeal to the practice of singing experimental 
psalms, to the liberty to remain silent, and the fact 
that Baptists did not invite outsiders to their worship. 
Elias Reach seconded his father in supporting hymns, 
while Stennett recalled that at and after the supper 
in the upper room, the Lord and the disciples sang 
together; he therefore published in 1697 a volume of 
hymns for the Lord's Supper, and followed it with 
another for baptisms. His versification of Solomon's 
Song led to his being asked to revise the metrical 

THE REVIVAL OF HYMNS, 1650-1703 101 

psalms of the Church of England, with the approval 
of the Archbishop of York; but the work was never 
completed. Many other writers emerged, and in 1700 
Keach issued a new edition of his hymn-book 'as now 
practic'd in several congregations'. 1 

The popularity of ballads at this time is strikingly 
evinced in political affairs. Fletcher of Saltoun, in- 
deed, cited a man who would challenge the maker of 
laws, if he might make the ballads of a nation : but the 
real point is, whether the ballad-maker catches the 
popular feeling. This was done happily by Thomas 
Wharton in his jingle about the Earl of Tyrconnel, 
with its refrain ' Lilliburllero bullen a la', written to 
an Irish nursery tune picked up by the soldiers for 

Music was all-important; but the mass of people 
wanted the old tunes, and did not respond to new 
airs; only trained choirs would learn these. Benjamin 
Rogers, organist at Magdalen College, Oxford, set a 
Eucharistic hymn by Nathaniel Ingelo, himself no 
mean performer; every May Day it is sung at the top 
of the college tower. Outside Court circles, where 
Charles patronized and Pepys appreciated, there was 
not much encouragement for composers. Henry 
Purcell left in manuscript songs, hymns, canons, hymn- 
tunes, chants; but complained that there was no 
demand for printed editions. While his magnificent 
anthems and church services kept his fame alive, 
yet in popular circles he was unknown till Novello's 
enterprise in 1828. Henry Playford, son of the great 
publisher John, issued in 1701 the Divine Companion, 
with many new tunes, often reprinted. John intro- 
duced a style of printing which has been universally 

1 H. Sweetser Burrage, Baptist Hymn-writers, p. 34. 


followed, making the shapes of the notes round or oval 
instead of square or lozenge. And Cross the engraver 
about this time applied his craft to music, using at 
first copper plates; others engraved on pewter, and 
soon the new style put England in the front rank for 
music-printing. But it is much to be doubted whether 
the average congregational worshipper used a tune- 
book in meeting-house; the melody learned by ear 
probably sufficed. 

The melodies of the seventeenth century have 
established themselves, forty being still in use which 
appeared between 1615 and 1645, fifty more which 
came out after 1650. The names of most of these 
show that they came from Germany, the land of song ; 
but others testify to British origin: Asaph, Bedford, 
Burford (attributed to Purcell), St. James, St. Madocs, 
Southminster, Walsall, Winchester New. Especially is 
John Bishop of King's College and Winchester 
Cathedral to be thanked, that in 1700 he complemented 
Tate and Brady's new version by a Sett of New Psalm 
Tunes in Four. Parts. 

His setting of the Hundredth Psalm is still in use, 
under the alternative titles of Bishop, Ilsley, Win- 
chester College. It may be noted that the tune Win- 
chester was so named only in 1750 by Thomas Moore 
of Manchester; he borrowed it from the Foundery 
tune-book of 1742, whither Wesley brought it from 
Freylinghausen's 1704 book at Halle, which took it 
from the 1690 Hamburg Musikalisches Handbuch. 
Names can easily mislead unless we track the history. 

In 1703 appeared a supplement to Tate and Brady's 
version of the Psalter, containing their versions of the 
usual hymns, and the tune we call St. Luke. The 
whole collection then received authorization from the 

THE REVIVAL OF HYMNS, 1650-1703 103 

Queen in Council, so that it might be used in parish 
churches. To them we owe 

While shepherds watched their flocks by night 

in the standard old common metre. Their work made 
its way in London, where the charity schools were 
trained to lead the singing. Also in the religious 
societies, which enlisted the most earnest men of the 
time, singing was allowed in the quaint direction: 
'Then a psalm may be sung: all standing up in this 
exalted part of divine Worship'. Outside the cities, 
in the country, too often Sternhold and Hopkins were 
endeared by long use, and as the cultured could barely 
tolerate their version, the parish clerk was too often 
left to drone by himself, unless some fine lady from 
London saw fit to show off her trills. 

Meantime organs were coming in again, and equip- 
ping palaces, colleges, cathedrals, though Christopher 
Wren objected to the 'confounded box of whistles' 
at new St. Paul's. The ordinary parish church was 
slow to acquire one, though after the Great Fire, an 
organ was placed in St. Peter's on Cornhill as early 
as 1682. Of course, Dissenters never dreamed of such 
instruments in their meeting-houses. 

On the other hand, the Roman Catholics had no 
attachment to metrical psalms, and much to the old 
Latin hymns. This, however, was modified in two 
stages, Latin and English. We have already noticed 
that primers by 1500 contained a few English versions : 
before Henry VIII broke with Rome, more than a 
hundred editions appeared in print, besides a separate 
Jesus Psalter. But Leo X started a new Latin move- 
ment, harking back from the Latin of his own day, 
or even that of Jerome's day, to that of Cicero and 


Vergil: this involved the abandonment of the splendid 
rhymed hymns of the Middle Ages. There were 
revisions of the Roman Breviary in 1525, 1527, 1555, 
1602, till some finality was attained in 1635. This 
edition contained a very few of the time-honoured 
hymns, drastically recast, and many which were quite 
new. Then a Paris Breviary came out in 1680, on 
the same principles. 

English Roman Catholics were educated at Rome, 
Rouen, St. Omer, Douai, Rheims, and imbibed these 
new fashions. They were for long very reluctant to 
use English, but against their inclinations felt obliged 
to offer first a Testament, then a Bible, then primers. 
Fortunately they drew on hymns ancient as well as 
modern, and in the later stages they had the great 
help of Dryden in translating. Thus from the seventh 
century he produced: 

Creator Spirit, by whose aid 

The world's foundations first were laid. 

A Spanish sonnet, attributed to Saint Teresa, had 
inspired Francis Xavier to a fine new hymn, which 
by 1686 was put into German. There it caught the 
attention of the Moravians and found its way into 
Protestant circles. Into English it has been rendered 
often, at second- and third-hand; the version now in 
general use is due to an English Catholic direct from 
the Latin: 

My God, I love Thee, not because 
I hope for heaven thereby. 

Thus, by 1706, English Roman Catholics had versions 
of all the new Breviary hymns. 

In music, they shared the general reforms of their 
Church: there was a return, guided by Palestrina in 

THE REVIVAL OF HYMNS, 1650-1703 105 

1565, to the old Gregorian plain-song, with harmonies 
permitted; folk-song was deliberately eschewed. And 
though there have been innovations, yet in this century 
Rome has again ordered a limitation to Palestrinized 
Gregorian. But Philip Neri at his Oratory developed 
the old mystery plays and set them to music: if these 
were somewhat frowned upon, they were transplanted 
to concert halls, and shorn of the acting; but they 
retained the name oratorio. In this shape, however, 
they were not by any means congregational; only 
choirs and musical amateurs could spare time to 
practise. Catholic music, flowing thus in special 
channels, hardly enriched ordinary English worship 
till about 1850. 



On the fair Banks of gentle Thames 
I tun'd my Harp ; nor did celestial Themes 
Refuse to dance upon my Strings : 
There beneath the Evening Sky 
I sung my Cares asleep, and rais'd my Wishes high 
To everlasting Things. 

Now be my Harp for ever dumb : 
My Muse attempt no more. 'Twas long ago 
I bid adieu to mortal Things, 
To Grecian Tales, and Wars of Rome ; 
'Twas long ago I broke all but th' immortal Strings. 

ISAAC WATTS, igth July, 1706. 



ISAAC WATTS was born in 1674 at Southampton, 
whither he returned in 1694, after studying at Stoke 
Newington. He found the hymns of Barton used in 
the Independent congregation so poor, after his London 
experience, that he declared he could do better himself; 
his father, himself a poetaster, encouraged him to try, 
and the Southampton church was the first to use any 
of his work. In 1698 he became co-pastor of a London 
congregation, and thus he obtained a position which 
gave opportunity for the practical use of his hymns. 
Putting together all writers of English hymns 
before 1707, however few and obsolete, not two hundred 
were known to Daniel Sedgwick, the first British 
hymnologist. And among the Congregationalists, only 
three authors were in general use, Barton, Mason, 
Shepherd, though Davis of Rothwell put out a second 
edition in 1694. A new era opened for them when 
Isaac Watts published his Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 
with an essay prefixed. In this he stated clearly 
what kind of poem he believed to be needed, and 
was supplying. It must be evangelical, must not be 
trammelled by Hebrew thoughts or models, and must 
be the response of the worshipper to God. The Bible 
Psalms were not to be disused, but were to be treated 
like other parts of the Bible, and read as God's word 
to man. 



It is probable that Watts, in Thomas Rowe's 
Academy at Stoke Newington, had studied the 
principles of rhetoric laid down by Thomas Sprat, 
and fathered by him on the new Royal Society. 1 
Objecting to high-flown style, he says that the Fellows 
ami as 'a close, naked, natural way of speaking . . . 
preferring the language of artisans, countrymen, and 
merchants before that of wits and scholars'. If to 
an F.R.S. this was a discipline, it was natural to Watts 
and his circle; and he quite deliberately carried it 
into his verse. It affected also his metre, and turning 
away from the Continental variety found in the popular 
psalm-book, he limited himself almost entirely to the 
common metre, with its two varieties of short and long. 
That he could do better is to be seen in the poems, 
odes, elegies, in his Home Lyricae', but these were not 
meant for congregational use: 

How fair is the rose ! what a beautiful flower ! 

The glory of April and May ! 
But the leaves are beginning to fade in an hour, 

And they wither and die in a day. 

Fortunately, when the issue of his hymns met with 
an immediate welcome and the establishment of a 
lecture at the King's Weigh-House on 'How to Sing', 
he was encouraged to go further. His final edition 
of 1709 gave 355 hymns, with doxologies, and was 
reprinted scores of times. In 1715 he took a leaf 
out of the Baptist book, and issued Divine Songs for 
the Use of Children, which assumed permanent form 
in 1720. The year before that, he copied Patrick, and 
published a volume of hymns called frankly The Psalms 
of David Imitated in the language of the New Testament, 
and applied to the Christian state and worship. This 
1 G. Saintsbury, Short History of English Literature, p. 512. 


he announced as completing his 'Sufficient Provision 
for Psalmody'. The Divine and Moral Songs usually 
circulated separately, and were used chiefly in the 
home. But after his death in 1748, the Hymns and 
Psalms Imitated were usually bound together. Among 
the Congregationalists they had all but a monopoly. 
By 1784 George Burder produced a supplement to 
Watts, gathered from many writers, and once the ice 
was broken, other collections came into favour with 

His influence was great in Presbyterian circles; 
though two assistants at the Presbyterian church in 
Silver Street, Thomas Gibbons and Joseph Grigg, 
published homiletical hymns of the Baptist type, of 
which a few remain in use. By 1757 Presbyterians 
produced collections of their own; and with 1795 their 
printers and editors frankly reproduced the custom 
of their congregations, toning down the Christology 
and omitting the doxologies. 

Baptists used Watts, but without the slavish 
adherence of the Independents or the liberties taken 
by the Presbyterians. And as they had an older 
tradition, that the hymn was summary of a doctrinal 
sermon, they were by no means silenced. Their 
original work must be estimated separately. 

In Scotland, Watts slowly wakened echoes, and 
before his death there was a demand for paraphrases. 
The official reply was very gradual: a draft of 1750 was 
revised in 1775 and authorized for public use only 
in 1781, when five or six hymns were added. The 
Church of Scotland had had in this period the example 
of the Glassite book of 1749. 

The effect of Watts was first to break down the 
monopoly of psalm-singing in the Free Churches, 


even though the Congregationalists riveted his own 
yoke on their necks instead. Secondly, he enunciated 
a new theory of what should be sung: and herein he 
utterly opposed the ecclesiastical type, where Bible 
words were used almost entirely. He pleaded for a real 
experimental response ; Christians to sing what they felt. 
His principles were adopted by few authors, though they 
won Addison and Doddridge; but the average Congrega- 
tianal church was well satisfied with his work. Some of 
this was so good that even the editor of yesterday who 
wished for a worthy Anglo-Catholic Hymnal, where 
every hymn should be the production of a Catholic, 
regretfully acknowledged that the uninstructed taste 
of the English public in 1889 necessitated the inclusion 
in Hymns Ancient and Modern of three versions 
and six hymns by an Independent minister. Every 
Christian presumably wishes to survey the wondrous 
cross, to rise on the wings of faith into the land of 
pure delight, where he may join his cheerful songs with 
angels round the throne. 

The apathy of the Church of England in the matter 
of congregational song was remarkable. All the 
musical strength was concentrated at the cathedrals 
and other places where a choir of professional musicians 
was maintained. Anthems were written, the canticles 
were set, chants were composed for the prose psalms, 
but rarely were new tunes published for the metrical 
psalms. Worthy of mention, therefore, is William 
Croft of the Chapel Royal and Westminster Abbey, 
to whom may be due St. Anne's, and who certainly 
contributed to the sixth edition of Tate and Brady's 
Supplement in 1708, St. Matthew, and a new tune to 
the I49th Psalm of the New Version, and the iO4th 
Psalm of the Old, which under the newer name, 


Hanover, is perennial. 1 He sent several tunes to 
Playford's Harmonia Sacra in 1714, and in 1722 to the 
Divine Companion, which contained another by his 
colleague, Jeremiah Clark, since called St. Magnus. 

Croft is sometimes remembered because next year 
he issued a collection of anthems with all the parts 
engraved, a new thing, explaining that thus every 
singer could have the full score, and understand the 
relation his own part bore to the others. Of his 
tunes, the best known to-day are London, Northampton, 
and one which he wrote to the I48th Psalm, called 
after him. Maurice Greene, his successor at the 
Chapel Royal, not only did much for cathedral music, 
but produced a fine tune for Watts's ' Come ye that love 
the Lord ', christened Brentford, which is still in use. 

But we have dismal accounts of the music in country 
parishes. 2 Thomas Mace in 1676 lamented: "Tis sad 
to hear what whining, toting, yelling, or screeking 
there is in many country congregations'. This de- 
generation from the Tudor period was due partly to 
the Scottish influences, for the metrical psalters were 
now published on the Edinburgh model without tunes; 
and partly to the decline in education, for the West- 
minster Directory recognised that many did not read, 
so that the clerk must give out one line at a time. 
Here and there attempts were made to improve matters, 
as Addison and Steele show us; but the congregations 
no longer sang, and the alternatives were jigs in the 
organ-loft, or ladies from the town quavering and 
trilling after the clerk had ended. One tune of this 
type has, however, become standard, and when we 
roll out the hallelujahs on Easter, we have a tune 

1 John S. Bumpus, English Cathedral Music, p. 206. 
8 J. T. Lightwood r Hymn Tunes and their Story, p. 76. 


Resurrection, which first appeared in 1708 in Lyra 
Davidica}- The composer deliberately broke away from 
the monotonous old tunes, appealing to the German 
custom of free song; and including Eisenach, Nicolai's 
Morning Star, and his Sleepers Wake, known best to us 
in Mendelssohn's Hymn of Praise', but he seems also 
to have drawn inspiration from the English music of 
the cathedral and the concert hall. 

In the north the two great musical counties main- 
tained a fine tradition, one book of tunes coming in 
1718 from Halifax, by John Chetham, the curate of 
Skipton. This was of the old type, one note to one 
syllable; it ran through a dozen editions that century, 
and is still popular after repeated revisions; it intro- 
duced Burford. 

Caleb Ashworth was a Rossendale Baptist, and as he 
left dale and denomination, the result was to carry 
on the traditions into Midland Congregational circles. 
In 1760 he published a Collection of Tunes gathered 
from many sources. One he had found in a Dublin 
book of 1749, where it was set to Watts's 'Time, what 
an empty vapour 'tis'; he gave it the name Irish, 
and started it on a long lease of popularity. The com- 
poser is unknown, but it is suggestive that another 
Lancashire Baptist, John Johnson, was evangelizing 
then in Dublin, and publishing through the same firm. 
Ashworth also printed a Christmas tune by John 
Wainwright of Stockport, written about 1750 to 
Byrom's hymn, 'Christians, awake'. This also has 
become standard, though its identity is sadly disguised 
under the place-names of Mottram, Stockport, Leaming- 
ton, Dorchester, Bethlehem, Longtown, Walworth, York- 
shire, to say nothing of its composer's name. 

1 Hymns, Ancient and Modern, Historical Edition, p. Ixxxvii. 


Ralph Harrison, minister at Cross Street, Manchester, 
schoolmaster, and professor at the Manchester Academy, 
felt the need of a new tune-book, and issued one about 
1780, in which he printed several of his own tunes, 
one named after the academy where he had been 
educated, Warrington. 

Here appeared, for the first time outside a magazine, 
a tune to Perronet's 'All hail the power'. As Harrison 
found it anonymous, he named it Scarborough, and only 
in the sixth edition of Addington's collection did that 
minister confer upon it the name of his own London 
meeting-house in Miles Lane, by which it is now known. 
The tune was due to William Shrubsole, chorister at 
the cathedral in Canterbury, in which city Perronet 
was the Independent minister; but before he claimed 
it, it had been varied more than once in the north of 
England and in Scotland, to suit the taste of the 
eighteenth century for Handelian roulades. Harrison 
also included in his collection a fine tune which had 
already appeared in the book for Magdalen Chapel 
during 1762 ; to this he now gave the name Montgomery. 

William Longford may have led the way in the south, 
with his Collection of Tunes in 1719, used at the various 
classes he held in the Dissenting meeting-houses of 
London. 1 Four years later, William Wheale, organist 
at St. Paul's, Bedford, wrote a tune named after the 
town, which was chimed from the church tower for a 
century. John Church, master of the Westminster 
choristers, also published, in 1723, an Introduction to 
Psalmody, including some tunes by Croft, and Addison's 
paraphrase of Psalm 23 set to music by Henry Carey, 
dramatist and song -writer. The contrast between 
Anglican psalm-singing and Dissenting hymn-singing 

1 J. T, Lightwood, Hymn Tunes and their Story, p. 113. 


in 1730 is well brought out by this, and by Harmonia 
Perfecta, issued by Nathaniel Gawthorne, who suc- 
ceeded Longford as the second Professor of (what was 
still called) Psalmody. For Gawthorne took the 
beautiful lyric of Dr. Thomas Campion, now a century 

Never weather-beaten sail more willing bent to shore, 

and set it to music. It is a fair instance of eighteenth- 
century taste, for not only was the long line broken 
into two, but the word Sail was altered to Souls, and 
other liberties were taken with the text. Campion's 
trochaic metre was fresh in sacred music, and in 
Charles Wesley's hands it soon became popular. 
Another London clergyman, Robert Seagrave, wrote 
several hymns for his congregation, of which 

Rise, my soul, and stretch thy wings 

has carried Campion's metre to other books. For 
another variety, the amphibrach, especially dear to 
High Calvinists such as Hart, a popular tune was taken 
from Handel's opera Sosarme, and fitted with the 
pious name of David. But the monotony of the verse 
has been well exposed in Alexander Pope's familiar 

Some to church repair, 
Not for the doctrine, but the music there. 
These equal syllables alone require, 
Though oft the ear the open vowels tire ; 
While expletives their feeble aid do join, 
And ten low words oft creep in one dull line. 1 

The Church of England spent its energy at this 
period chiefly in organ music. At the famous church 
of St. Magnus, a builder installed an instrument in 

1 Essay on Criticism, II, 142. 


1712 which had a section of its pipes enclosed in a box 
with movable louvres; this 'swell' organ has become 
standard. Then next year to Boston across the 
Atlantic, an organ was exported, and was used in the 
Queen's Chapel for the liturgical service. But there 
was no compromise with those who desired either 
hymns or congregational singing. The one develop- 
ment in this line was due to the London charity schools. 
In 1739 Captain Coram procured the foundation of 
the Foundling Hospital, and as the children were in 
constant residence, there were great possibilities of 
giving them a musical training. Handel's interest in 
this place was great, as is now commemorated by the 
names of some streets near Coram Street, and the 
Messiah was regularly performed there. Then in 
1758 an Orphan Home was founded at Lambeth, 
complemented by a Female Penitentiary. The second 
Professor of Psalmody was William Riley, who, in 
1762, published his Parochial Harmony, containing 
many old tunes re-christened after London churches, 
such as Clark's St. Magnus, Jones's St. Stephen. He 
also published a volume of Psalms and Hymns, con- 
taining a tune by Nares for Psalm 23, now known as 
Winchester New. The singing at these asylums became 
famous; Duche, the chaplain, interested Barthelemon, 
a leading violinist, who wrote for the children to sing 
Ken his Morning Hymn. This led to Barthelemon 
becoming instructor. He was succeeded by J. W. 
Callcott, the famous glee writer, who in 1791 brought 
out, jointly with Samuel Arnold, the organist of the 
Chapel Royal, The Psalms of David for the Use of 
Parish Churches, which contained a new tune called 
Arnold's. The next organist, William Horsley, also 
conferred his name on a tune he wrote for the children. 


While, however, the singing at these asylums became 
famous, yet it remained a thing passively enjoyed, 
not actively shared in by any congregations. Thus 
William Jones, the versatile Hutchinsonian, deplored 
publicly in 1789 that the psalmody of country churches 
was universally complained of; and Dr. Burney in 
his History of Music, two years later, summed up that 
despite the multiplicity of new tune-books, yet for a 
century only two new tunes had rooted themselves in 
actual church use, Croft's io4th Psalm, and the Easter 
Hymn. This verdict was only on the psalmody of 
the Established Church, not on the hymnody of Dis- 
sent. And how this was at once remedied by Edward 
Miller of Doncaster, Samuel Arnold and John Well 
and Callcott of London, can only be appreciated when 
we see the great strides made by Baptists, by Metho- 
dists, and the musical public generally, under a renewed 
wave of German influence coming in from Hanover. 



The day is past and gone; 

The evening shades appear: 
Oh, may I ever keep in mind, 

The night of death draws near ! 

Lord, keep me safe this night, 

Secure from all my fears: 
May angels guard me while I sleep 

Till morning light appears. 

Massachusetts and Virginia. 



THE influence of the two Reaches was strong in America, 
where indeed Elias had made his first appearance, and 
had planted the first church in Philadelphia. 

It is not to be wondered at that Baptists soon were 
making singing an attractive part of worship. And 
when the musical bent of Wales is considered, it is 
easy to understand that the churches in the Welsh 
Tract of Pennsylvania were the first to be noted in 
this way. Those of Newport and Boston only followed 
suit after Valentine Wightman published a circular 
letter on the subject, though the Rogerenes had been 
nicknamed the Singing Quakers before 1700. 

What they sang is not so certain. One writer 
conjectures that they used the Bay Psalm Book; but 
there is no evidence of their adopting this favourite 
of their former persecutors. The Welsh were far more 
likely to bring some of their own. It is worth observ- 
ing that some compositions which soon died in England, 
retained an American footing quite into living memory; 
such as Henry Jessey's 'Unclean, unclean, and full of 
sin', Keach's 'My soul, mount up with eagle wings'. 1 
Now there were many emigrants to America from their 
churches, and it seems more than likely that they took 
over many hymns in memory and in manuscript. 

George Whitefield began his career of revival and 
song with 1738. Tate and Brady was reprinted at 

1 W. Cathcart, Bapt. Encycl., I, 567. 



Boston in 1740, while Franklin at Philadelphia put 
out editions of Watts in 1741 and 1742. Therefore 
the Philadelphia Association, in 1742, reprinted the 
'Confession' of 1677 together with two articles from 
Reach, of which the former stated that it was enjoined 
on the churches of Christ to sing psalms, hymns, and 
spiritual songs, in public assembly as well as in family. 

Meantime the German Baptists at Germantown and 
Ephrata had developed great services of song, which, 
however, were all in their native language, so that 
their influence on any words was only indirect. Their 
music was written in a notation peculiar to themselves, 
so that it could only be reproduced from memory by 
any English hearers. 

Before the eighteenth century closed, Baptist 
collections by American editors had appeared at New- 
port, Philadelphia, Germantown, Norwich, Norris- 
town, and New York. And the fine tradition of the 
ballad burden welled up again in the production of 
hymns with refrains. The first collection of these 
appeared at Norwich in 1784, and since then they have 
swept over all Protestant America, and have been 
brought to England by Sankey, McGranahan, Phillips, 
and many another singing evangelist. 

In England Baptists were responsible for another 
innovation, the singing of hymns written by women.; 
a course defensible by those who thought of Miriam, 
Deborah, and Mary. Yet so delicate was the experi- 
ment felt to be, that one woman published under the 
disguise of ' One to Whom the Lord is Gracious,' and 
the other under the pseudonym 'Theodosia'. Anne 
Button began her publications with 1734, when she 
had newly married the pastor of Great Gransden; she 
continued writing till her death in 1765, but her hymns 


have not won a permanent place in any important 
circle. Anne Steele was daughter of the pastor 
at Broughton in Hampshire, and her hymns probably 
were in use there long before they were published 
collectively in 1760. She struck a new note of devotion 
to Christ, her hymns being largely emotional and 

At Wisbech, David Culy wrote forty hymns, published 
in 1726, but he stood aside from the main line of 
Baptist development. Nathanael Wyles of Terling 
with his eighteen published at Colchester in 1742 had 
more influence. Other writers were Daniel Turner of 
Abingdon in 1747, Benjamin Wallin of Maze Pond in 
1750, James Fanch of Romsey in 1761. The case of 
Wallin is peculiarly interesting as he succeeded Abra- 
ham West, who had made it a condition of accepting 
the pastorate in 1736 that the church should sing at 
its worship; it had originated in 1691 by a secession 
from Reach's church of those opposed to singing, and 
throughout the long pastorate of Benjamin's father, 
Edward, had confined its devotions to reading, pray- 
ing, preaching. Benjamin Beddome also, at Bourton- 
on-the- Water from 1740, was writing hymns for the 
use of his own congregation, afterwards published 
appended to the sermons they summarized. 

In the north of England there was a perfectly inde- 
pendent movement, far too little known in the south. 
In 1717 a young man of Quaker extraction, Alverey 
Jackson, settled as pastor of the Baptist Church at 
Barnoldswick, in Yorkshire, four miles north of Colne 
in Lancashire. He at once 'made an essay to restore 
the gospel ordinance of singing psalms, hymns, and 
spiritual songs, which was wholly cast off and lost by 
then'. A sermon on the duty of singing, which must 


have lasted two hours, survives. And within two 
years the question was formally propounded to the 
Association meeting, at Rawdon, which in 1719 
agreed that singing was a moral duty to be continued 
in the churches of Christ. Jackson wrote hymns for 
his sermons, and many have been printed from his MSS. 
A little west, Rossendale was a great centre of music, 
both vocal and instrumental. Just about the same 
time, a group picturesquely known as the 'Deighn 
Layrocks', that is, the Larks of Dean village, became 
Baptist; the group included Nuttalls and Ashworths 
and Hargreaveses, who were held together by the bond 
of music. 1 They at once brought their musical gifts 
and consecrated them to God, so that the worship 
around Goodshaw and Lumb became extremely 
attractive. As some people had objected that perform- 
ing other men's compositions could not be a part of 
spiritual worship, this difficulty was overcome by their 
composing new tunes. For instance, James Nuttall 
wrote Sparking Roger, Booking Warp, Lark Tune; his 
son, James, wrote Grim Death; his son, John, wrote 
Happy Simeon; John Hargreaves contributed Sweet 
Harmony; Robert Ashworth was responsible for Glad- 
ness; Abraham Ashworth produced Marvellous, Novelty, 
etc. These titles show the startling originality of this 
Lancashire school. In the singing pew there came 
violinists, 'cellist, double-bass, flutist, clarinet-player, 
and even trumpeters. And thus, two centuries ago, 
was founded a fine tradition of original hymns, 
original tunes, orchestral accompaniment. Even now, 
a southerner who comes across the Whitsuntide School 
hymn-sheets may be surprised to find how the north 

1 R. J. V. Wylie, The Baptist Churches of Accrington, p. 118. 
Baptist Quarterly, IV, 43. 


leads. For many years the north was content with 
MS. copies, sometimes kept as jealously as the Sistine 
music at Rome, sometimes lent freely to be copied; 
but the non-use of the printing press concealed from 
the south the great development in the hill country, 
till perhaps the middle of the last century. Not until 
1829 did Accrington acknowledge the existence of 
Watts, and supplement their own hymns with some 
of his, by then rather antiquated. 

Samuel Medley of Liverpool improved on the old 
method of giving out hymns. It had been the custom 
for the minister, or sometimes the singing-leader, to 
read out two lines, then for the congregation to sing 
them; another pair of lines followed, and so on. This 
occasionally was ruinous to the sense, or was ludicrous 
from effects produced in the runs and repeats which 
characterized the music of the eighteenth century, 
even Handel's. Medley, therefore, had his hymns 
printed on leaflets and distributed to the congregation, 
who could then sing by eye and not by ear, without 
constant prompting from the desk. The hint was 
quickly taken, and these ephemeral leaflets became the 
fashion in many a church. It was 1785 before Medley 
gathered up his productions and issued a volume. 
Other hymns followed by the close of the century, and 
among a score or two still in use may be mentioned: 

Mortals awake! with angels join: 
Awake, my soul, in joyful lays. 

John Needham of Bristol issued a volume in 1768, 
Robert Robinson of Cambridge wrote fewer, but two 
have retained great popularity: 

Mighty God, while angels bless Thee: 
Come, Thou fount of every blessing. 


John Fawcett, who could not bear to leave his close- 
fisted and warm - hearted congregation at Hebden 
Bridge for the attractions of Carter Lane, immortalized 
the situation in 

Blest be the tie that binds, 

which excites the derision of many poetical readers, but 
constantly commends itself to those who feel real 
Christian love. 

A new spirit was indeed stirring in the whole 
denomination, of which these hymns were one outward 
sign, while the persistency of Carey in founding the 
Baptist Missionary Society was another. The prime 
mover was Andrew Fuller, and though it does not seem 
that he ever wrote poetry, yet he inspired many to 
write. Some of these stood distinctly in the old ways, 
and hymns became rather polemic; yet as Paul consoled 
himself in similar circumstances, every way Christ 
was preached. From all the productions by Langford, 
Langley, Clarke, Dracup, Burnham, Cole, Home, and 
others, few are remembered except 

Now begin the heavenly theme. 

With such a wealth of new hymns, it seemed wise to 
cull the best from many authors, and the idea of a 
collection would seem to have been carried into practice 
first by Baptists. John Ash of Pershore, a school- 
master, collaborated with Caleb Evans of Bristol. 
They naturally drew heavily on Baptist writers, but 
intermixed hymns by Watts, and were liberal enough 
to borrow from the evangelical clergyman, John New- 
ton. The experiment proved an instant and lasting 
success ; the book reached a tenth edition in 1827, long 
after the death of the original compilers. 

Hitherto the great majority of hymns had come from 


ministers, responses to their sermons. But Baptists 
have always held firmly the priesthood of all believers, 
and the ministry of song was not to be limited to 
preachers. This has puzzled some people seeking to 
trace the hymns on Baptism published in 1773, and 
often appended to other collections; they were by a 
shoemaker at Bromsgrove, John Fellows. And in 1806 
there appeared a new selection of seven hundred 
evangelical hymns for private, family, and public 
worship (many original) from more than two hundred 
of the best authors, etc. It was supplied with notes 
as to the authors, an innovation that has been widely 
appreciated and copied: and it was popular enough to 
be reprinted often. Its editor, John Dobell, was like 
Matthew, a custom-house officer. 

A new body of Baptists had arisen in the Midlands, 
with whom were allied a few churches astride the Pen- 
nines, and one or two older general Baptist churches 
in Lincolnshire. From 1770 they developed an intense 
corporate life as the New Connection, and one evidence 
of this was a book of hymns and spiritual odes issued 
at Halifax in 1772. The Midland section responded 
twelve years later with the Barton Hymns; Deacon 
put out a third collection in 1793, again entitled 
Hymns and Spiritual Songs, and when the Barton book 
was revised, he followed suit in 1800 with a 'New and 
large collection'. It is somewhat remarkable that 
while the modern Baptist Church Hymnal is lineally 
descended on the one side from the official New 
Connexion book, not one of these early hymns has 
retained a place: probably their piety was greater 
than their poetry. 

The Welsh have ever been susceptible to poetry and 
music, as then: Eisteddfods testify to the unedified 


Englishman. Yet it was not till 1774 that Benjamin 
Francis of Shortwood issued a Welsh Collection, which 
he improved twelve years later: Joseph Harris of 
Swansea published another in 1796, Titus Lewis of 
Carmarthen a third in 1798. 

The Scotch Baptists formed another compact group, 
and as Presbyterians would barely tolerate para- 
phrases, and would not sanction hymns, they brought 
out their own collection in 1786, which passed through 
several revisions. 

These examples were bettered next year by John 
Rippon, a minister of great enterprise and commercial 
ability, who came from the west country to the post 
of vantage in Southwark occupied by a church originat- 
ing from Reach's. He decided to adopt Watts as a 
whole, in his two books bound together, and to supple- 
ment with a 'selection of hymns from other authors'. 
This voluminous collection came ' out in 1787, and 
despite its bad arrangement won instant favour, far 
beyond Baptist bounds. It was exported to America, 
and there was promptly pirated by other publishers. 
Within thirteen years it had reached its ten editions, 
each varied; Rippon enlarged it again in 1827. When 
rearranged after his death, the Comprehensive Rippon 
of 1844 contained 1,174 hymns, nor did it die out till 
his successor, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, produced 
Our Own Hymribook in 1866, gently chaffing the 
congregation which had so long been loyal to Rippon's 

It does not appear that many Baptists excelled in 
writing tunes during this eighteenth century, though in 
its last year Gabriel Davis, the leader at Portsea, 1 
published Sacred Music, with forty tunes, of which 

1 J. T. Lightwood, Hymn Tunes and their Story, p. 236, 


Monmouth may still be heard. And at the same time 
Thomas Jarman of Clipstone chose the same title for 
the first of his many books. But at least they were 
eclectic, and Rippon was wise enough both to engage 
a good leader, Thomas Walker, and then to collaborate 
with him in bringing out a book of tunes in 1811 to 
accompany his hymn-book. This was well pushed, 
and ran to many editions. 

Some Baptist churches may still be found in isolated 
places which cling to the methods of that age. In 
the pews may be seen old-fashioned tune-books printed 
from copper plates, vocal score with ancient clefs. 
A precentor blows a pitch-pipe, calculates the key-note, 
which he hums to a few neighbours, and then with the 
second or third note the whole congregation joins in. 
Such little Bethels still exhibit to the Christian a type 
of severe and genuine piety, to the musician a speci- 
men of fine unaccompanied part-song. By the end 
of the eighteenth century, the reluctance of the old 
school of General Baptists to congregational singing 
had died out. But organs were still anathema in such 
circles, though, despite Andrew Fuller's dictum that 
instrumental music was utterly unsuited to the genius 
of the Gospel dispensation, strings and wind might be 
found in many a table-pew, especially north of Trent 
and Mersey. 

Church after church in these parts upheld the 
tradition, and all local sketches emphasize the import- 
ance of the congregational singing and playing. New- 
bigging described in his History of Rossendale the effect 
produced on him, the weird exultant music of Glad 
Tidings, the Hallelujah Chorus sung by the majority 
of the congregation. It is remarkable that occasional 
opposition arose from the ministers, a sign that in very 


unlikely circles, the demand of the people at large 
might be balked by the pride of office. The orchestra 
was at last undermined by the organ in chapel after 
chapel; Cloughfold accepted the first gift of the Greeks 
in 1852, and Lumb was shortsighted enough to buy an 
instrument six years later. It might have played the 
Dead March for the Deighn Layrocks; their help was 
gradually confined to special occasions, and by the 
end of the century the society had breathed its last, 
leaving behind it a sweet fragrance. 1 In the Rawten- 
stall Library is a sketch of its long career, and one of 
the many MS. tune-books, showing one hundred and 
fifty original compositions, 'teeming with runs and 
repetitions, and often finishing with a rolling chorus'. 
A ballad, sung to Backing Warp, commemorates the 
old times: 

Aw think just naah aw see um stand 

Wi' candle lifted, book i' hand ; 
While others on th' owd table spread 

Ther book, un pept o'er fiddler's yed. 
Then one, two, three, they all began, 

Un th' crotchets, quavers, heaw they ran ! 
Th' owd singers sang, un th' fiddlers bow'd, 

Th' effect uth' song con neer be towd. 

1 Baptist Quarterly, IV, 46. 



From the length and intricacy of their metres, many of them 
may seem to English readers adapted rather to purposes of 
private than of public devotion. But the singing of hymns 
forms a much larger and more important part of public 
worship in the German Reformed Churches than in our own 
services. It is the mode by which the whole congregation is 
enabled to bear its part in the worship of God, answering in 
this respect to the chanting of our own Liturgy.. 


One of the noblest aims of music consists in advancing 
religion, and in edifying and elevating the human soul. 




THE accession of a Hanoverian king in 1714 drew 
attention to many things German, and English 
hymnody profited again by certain developments. 
There were three distinct religious movements there, 
each producing a fresh outburst of song: the Pietist, 
the Moravian, the Dunker. Of these three, the 
Pietist revival within the Established Churches, 
centring in Franck's philanthropic institutions at 
Halle, had a double effect, in hymns and in music; 
but the difference of language long postponed its full 
value in the poetry. Yet we may note how John 
Wesley published pioneer versions from Freyling- 
hausen in his earliest books, though he did not realize 
the worth of Gerhard, already a classic. Wesley did 
not give much hint of the hundreds of hymns pub- 
lished, and a century passed before these were really 
appreciated in England. Such modern versions as 

All my heart this night rejoices, 

The day departs; our souls and hearts, 

Who as Thou makes blest ? 

may show a variety of metre that would be looked at 
askance by men trained to the deliberate monotony 
of Watts. 

There was less difficulty with music, which needs no 


translator. England waked to learn the developments 
of a hundred and fifty years, including such tunes 
as Bremen by Melchior Vulpius, the evening hymn 
curiously misnamed Dijon, Kocher's Dix, Rinckart's 
Nun Danket, Bach's conversion of Hasler's love song 
into the famous Passion Chorale, and Bach's conver- 
sion of Heinrich Isaac's music in 1490 to the Emperor 
Maximilian's 'Innsbruck, I must leave thee'. 

G. F. Handel settling in London and Dublin is but 
an illustrious example of what diversified the range of 
English music. From the immense mass of his own 
compositions, many hymn-tunes have been selected 
or arranged, and those from Samson, Solomon, and 
Theodora hold their own still. He was also asked by 
Wesley to compose half a dozen tunes expressly for 
congregational song, and Gopsal is the best known of 
these. Unfortunately, he wrote down to the level of 
taste, and all these are in the familiar metres. Others 
of this period are Franconia, Heinlein, Munich. 

John Wesley was a medium by whom the great 
Moravian movement was acclimatized to some extent. 
The Unitas Fratrum at Herrnhut issued a Song Book 
in 1736, and the influence exerted on Wesley during 
his voyage to Georgia is well known. Next year he 
and his brother printed some English versions and 
hymns at Charles Town, and another edition at London 
in 1738. John's contributions include Gerhardt's 
'Commit thou all thy griefs', Tersteegen's 'Thou 
hidden love of God', Silesius's 'Thee will I love, my 
Strength, my Tower', Rothe's 'Now I have found 
the ground wherein', and Zinzendorf's 'Jesus, Thy 
blood and righteousness'. Wesley so profited by his 
Moravian friend, that he went to the Continent to 
study the movement. His Journal shows what he 


learned as to hymns. At Amsterdam he was the 
guest of a Mennonite minister, who had translated part 
of the Herrnhut hymn-book, and Wesley could follow 
the singing intelligently. That incident shows how the 
Anabaptists, pioneers of experimental hymns in the 
vernacular, were now drawing on other sources. A 
Lutheran service is described at length: it included a 
long voluntary on the organ, closed with a hymn sung 
by all the people sitting; a second hymn, to the organ, 
by all the people; a third hymn; the creed in rhyme; 
another hymn. Wesley was evidently much surprised 
by the organ, the congregational song, hymns and not 
psalms. The Moravians added to the usual Lutheran 
parish services their own, including singing every 
morning at eight, every evening at eight, open-air 
singing round the town on Sunday evening by the 
young men. In their schools they instructed the 
little children chiefly by hymns, whereby they found 
the most important truths successfully insinuated into 
their minds. 

It is clear that Wesley was deeply impressed by these 
features, and. that they supplied him with lessons 
which he taught in English, and so acclimatized their 
best. He did, however, break with the Moravians 
because of the very great stress which they laid on the 
physical suffering of the Saviour, as may be seen in 
Zinzendorfs hymn above: his brother shows a better 
way of regarding the death of Christ in his 'All ye that 
pass by'. 

Quite apart from the channel of Wesley, the Mor- 
avians made good their footing in England. However 
aloof they may still hold themselves from the main 
currents of religious life here, yet in two respects their 
imprint on English music has been important. They 


issued in 1744 a Chorale Book for the use of their 
English adherents. Ten years later, Zinzendorf put 
out a most elaborate hymnal, where the wealth of 
Christian song was systematized, and quite a new vista 
was opened to English congregations. The historical 
divisions were into Scripture anthems, Scripture 
hymns, Songs of the Primitive Church, of the ancient 
Brethren, of sixteenth-century Germans, of ancient 
English, of seventeenth-century Germans, of English 
and Germans to date, and of modern Moravians. 
Various classes were catered for, especially children. 
Great variety of metre was introduced, as the English 
versions were made to accord with the tunes imported 
from Herrnhut, compare Spire] and full instrumental 
parts were indicated. The book might well have 
initiated a new epoch, had it not been for the repulsive 
tone of many of its lyrics. From this defect William 
Hammond, one of the English Moravians, was free, 
and his book of original hymns and translations in 
1745 might yield more than 

Lord, we come before Thee now. 

When Butts issued his Harmonia Sacra about ten years 
later, he reproduced one of Neander's chorales to an 
exceptional metre, and this holds its own for Wesley's 
'Old Year Hymn', as Ringland. 

Much less known is the development of song among 
the eighteenth-century German Baptists; * indeed, the 
very existence of such a body seems hardly familiar 
to many, and it may be necessary to say that they 
have no connection with the Anabaptists of two 
centuries earlier, and none with another group that 
sprang up in the nineteenth century. They originated 

1 J. F. Sachse, German Sectarians of Pennsylvania, III, 128-60. 


in Pietist circles, where the study of the Bible led to 
the conclusion that every one must make his own 
personal confession of Christ in baptism, irrespective 
of what his parents or others had promised in his 
infancy. By 1727 this new body was so well estab- 
lished in the Rhine valley that an elaborate system of 
choir singing was in vogue. The political conditions, 
however, were so unfavourable for them, that some 
emigrated to Pennsylvania. Their report of the con- 
ditions there was so promising that within twenty 
years nearly the whole of the German Baptists had 
crossed thither; and there they are to this day, 
known as Pennsylvania Dutch, Tunkers, Dunkers, or 

They quickly established a singing-school at Ephrata, 
into which Ludwig Blum introduced some English 
modifications. By 1745 they published a tune-book, 
handicapped by an original notation, so that it never 
became popular outside their own circle. Hymn- 
books followed in 1747 and 1754, and the German 
population could, and did, use these to some extent. 
Within the general body there were two communities 
of celibates, who devoted themselves entirely to com- 
posing, copying, and singing music; their manuscripts 
are still a wonder. But the musical theories of the 
leader have found no acceptance, and the remarkable 
choral effects are no longer reproduced. 

Towards the close of the century they began to melt 
into their surroundings, and one sign of this was the 
issue of a hymn-book in English. It does not appear 
that any of their hymns, have re-crossed the Atlantic 
and found their way into English Baptist books; but 
it is possible there has been some influence on the 
ordinary American Baptist. It is to be noted, however, 


that like the Moravians, the Dunkers are still a class 
quite notably apart. 

It is a question whether the addiction of Lancashire 
and Yorkshire to stringed bands is a continuance of an 
English tradition or a revival due to Germany. In 
any case, it is to be noticed that the weavers and 
spinners diversified their lives with violin part-music 
of the madrigal type. When, therefore, these people 
met on Sunday, especially after the Methodist revival, 
they naturally tended to more serious music. We have 
details how some devoted themselves to oratorios, then 
composed anthems, and then transferred their talents 
to Nonconformist meeting-houses. Many old records 
refer to the innovation, and show how the deacons 
would tolerate at first only the bass, then admitted a 
string quartet, and gradually winked at the table- 
pew or the gallery housing a miscellaneous band. 
A century ago, this might include flute, clarinet, 
basoon, and even brass. These performers readily 
coalesced with the more enthusiastic singers, so that 
a choir and orchestra of amateurs became common 
in large dissenting chapels. 



Servant of God, the summons hear; 

Thy Master calls, arise, obey! 
The tokens of His will appear, 

His providence points out the way. 

Lord of the wide-extended main, 

Whose power the winds and seas controls, 

Whose hand doth earth and heaven sustain, 
Whose Spirit leads believing souls : 

For Thee we leave our native shore 

(We whom Thy love delights to keep), 
In other worlds Thy works explore, 
And see Thy wonders in the deep. 

CHARLES WESLEY, On Whitefield 
Embarking for America. 



THROUGH the grim life of the parsonage at Epworth, 
as revealed to us in the story of Hetty Wesley, there 
rings one redeeming note, a love of poetry and music. 
This descended to the three sons, Samuel, John, and 
Charles, especially to the last, and through him was 
transmitted to another Charles, another Samuel, 
composer of Doncaster and Hiempolis, and yet a third 
Samuel Sebastian, who are all well known in the roll 
of organists and composers. But for congregational 
singing they did little; it is for us to note how John 
and Charles not only kindled a new religious life in 
England, but also beautified it with their poetry and 
song. 1 Then to observe how, through their indepen- 
dent colleagues, the impulse was given to evangelicals 
who strove with more success to remain within the 
Church of England. 

John Wesley began under Moravian auspices, 
translating from the German of Gerhardt, Rothe, 
Silesius, Tersteegen and Zinzendorf. While he also 
composed original hymns, yet he was greatly surpassed 
by his brother Charles, who wrote no fewer than 
6,500 hymns, of which five hundred have stood the 
test of time in friendly Methodist circles, and perhaps 
forty or fifty are used by others. In the fashion of the 
day many circulated at first as mere leaflets, but for 

1 A NfU> History of Methodism, Appendix C. 


more than forty years hymn-books also were con- 
stantly being issued by the Wesleys. They carefully 
guarded their monopoly, in 1780 the conference order- 
ing that no preacher was to sing a hymn of his own 
composing, and in 1782 exacting a promise to this 
effect on pain of expulsion. In music they were less 
successful with a monopoly. Jonathan Battishill, 
attending some of Charles Wesley's musical evenings, 
set twelve of his Sacred Poems and published the tunes. 
One of these, after much re-editing, holds its own, and 
is named after the composer, Battishill. 

As early as 1742 a music-book was published, and 
the sources on which the brothers drew are remark- 
able. Of the old psalm-tunes they retained only 
three; from Tate's supplement, then a generation old, 
they borrowed a few; but the main body of music 
was new in congregational use. From their Moravian 
friends they learned somewhat of the wealth of the 
Continent, and an operatic march of Handel's was 
solemnly named Jericho. This was a good precedent 
for Charles James in 1788 putting out Melisse, 
borrowed from Rousseau's 1752 opera Le Devin du 
Village, and christened in 1812 by Cramer, Rousseau's 
Dream* But John Wesley was like Luther in his 
instinct for what was really popular, and being a great 
traveller, he picked up folk-songs everywhere, and 
turned them to the account of Christ's cause. Even 
in 1766 Horace Walpole, in a private letter, wrote that 
he had 'been at one opera, Mr. Wesley's. They have 
boys and girls with charming voices, that sing hymns, 
in parts, to Scotch ballad tunes; but indeed so long, 
that one would think they were already in eternity, 
and knew how much time they had before them'. 

1 Cong. Quarterly, IX, 169. 


There would be reason for the quip if he heard Cheshunt, 
for this melody of Holcombe's gave 343 notes to 46 
syllables ! It was neatly re-wedded, as being originally 
a thought for a spring morning, to a hymn from the 
Song of Solomon, mercifully only two verses long. 

For Wesley's second tune-book, he obtained the 
help of one of Handel's instrumentalists, J. F. Lampe, 
whom he had recently converted, and who turned 
from writing comic operas to writing florid hymn- 
tunes. Against these Wesley's protest was useless, 
and his prefaces show how vainly he struggled against 
the taste of the day. In 1761 he put forth a very 
autocratic tune-book, generally known as Sacred 
Melody, where he insisted on the airs of his choice 
being printed as they were, not mended. This 
passed through three editions, and in 1781 was en- 
larged by the addition of other parts into Sacred 

With all Wesley's love of rule, he recognized that 
he could not absolutely control every detail, and he 
did permit that if the tunes of his own selection were 
used exactly as he printed them, others might be used 
in addition. And the result was that Methodists 
became pre-eminently a singing people. But so self- 
contained were they, that the actual hymns and tunes 
they used were almost confined to themselves: the 
Spiritual Psalmist's Companion, designed for them in 
1772, with such a tang in the names of the tunes as 
Cornish, Epworth, Love Feast, Marylebone, Olivers, has 
contributed to common stock only the last, re- 
christened Helmsley by the vicar of that parish. 
Thomas Olivers introduced to Methodist circles a tune 
he heard in 1770 at a Sephardi synagogue in Aldgate; 
he obtained the melody from the singer, Leoni, after 


whom he named the tune, and then wrote to it a 
hymn prompted by the Hebrew doxology: 

The God of Abraham praise. 

The melody is very like a chorale of 1560 by Christian 
Flor of Liineburg. 

Hitherto tunes had usually been named after their 
birthplaces, but new fashions now became evident. 
Some are characteristically subjective, as Complaint, 
Self -Dedication', some borrow the first lines of the 
hymns for which they were composed, as Dying 
Stephen, Shepherd of Israel', some are for specific 
occasions, as Watchnight, New Year's Day, Morning 
Song] some have an ecclesiastical ring, as Chimes, 
Passion, Calvary, Whitsunday, and others advertise 
their composers, as Berner's, Dryden's, Hambleton's, 

Methodists imparted to wider circles a new conception 
of hymnody; the bald taste of Watts had ruled too 
long. Every phase of experience was expressed in the 
new song, and the note of evangelism was most richly 
sounded. Again, the old versifiers were no poets, 
were often most wooden in their rhythm, and most 
scanty in their rhymes. Nor is any sense of humour 
evident in a man who could publish 

'Tis his prerogative 

To fix the sacred rite, 
Which, like a gate, should to his courts 

Each humble soul invite. 1 

The Methodists brought literary taste, and though 
even Charles Wesley dropped into doggerel, they did 
lift hymns out of the old rut. 2 In their ' Discipline ' the 

1 John Fellows, When Sion's Glorious King, verse 6. 
2 Wesley M. Gewehr, The Great Awakening in Virginia, p. 164. 


ministers were told: 'In every large society, let them 
learn to sing, and let them always learn our tunes first '. 
The movement was not to be deflected by choirs: 
'Exhort every person in the congregation to sing, not 
one in ten only'. 

It is often forgotten that there were other Methodists 
than the Wesleys. One of the original band was 
Benjamin Ingham, whose influence was great in 
Yorkshire, Lancashire, and Westmorland. He pub- 
lished two books, from one of which is often reprinted 
James Allen's 

Sweet the moments, rich in blessing 

as revised by Walter Shirley. Of this school, besides 
Robert Seagrave mentioned already, is John Cennick, 
whose work was so deeply tinged with Moravian 
influence that few of his hymns are now heard, except : 

Children of the heavenly King; 
Thou dear Redeemer, dying Lamb. 

The Calvinistic side of the Methodist movement 
was led by George Whitefield and the Countess of 
Huntingdon. The former studied music with some 
young musicians he had converted, learning from them 
his gam-ut or sol-fa. In 1753 he issued his Selection 
for the Tabernacle, which in forty years ran to thirty- 
six editions; the Divine Musical Miscellany followed in 
1754. A curious modification of cathedral practice is 
evident here, in that the familiar responsive singing 
between Decani and Cantoris sides was imitated by 
the men and women who sat on the two sides of the 
tabernacle. Milgrove of the Countess's chapel in Bath 
wrote Harts specially on this model. Whitefield's 
influence among the Calvinistic Methodists of Wales 


could only be traced adequately for those who appreci- 
ate Welsh hymnody, but William Williams of Panty- 
celyn wrote at least one hymn in both tongues : 
Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah, 

and another shows that the spirit of John Thomas and 
William Carey could inspire the Welsh music : 
O'er the gloomy hills of darkness. 

Martin Madan, chaplain of the Lock Hospital, adapted 
Whitefield for use there, and added new tunes in 1769. 
He was a musical enthusiast, and often gave oratorios, 
for the composition of which he enlisted a young violinist 
called Giardini. To this man, who afterwards went 
to Moscow, we owe the tune now so known, originally 
advertised as a 'Hymn to the Trinity'. 

The Countess of Huntingdon stretched her pre- 
rogative as peeress to appoint numerous chaplains 
officiating on premises owned by her in the fashionable 
resorts. Some of them issued books, till she decided 
on one standard book to be used in all her 'chapels', 
for she carefully adhered to the technical ecclesiastical 
term, considering that she was in full standing with 
the Church of England. Her collection appeared in 
1780, and its curious oblong appearance marks it out, 
suggesting at once that it was intended to bind with 
an oblong book of tunes within an ordinary octavo 
case. Her relation, Walter Shirley, edited some hymns 
for it, and it included Haweis's 

Enthroned on high almighty Lord, 

O Thou from whom all goodness flows, 
To Thee, my God and Saviour, 

with one often assigned to the countess herself, 
When Thou, my righteous Judge, shall come, 


and the famous hymn by Edward Perronet of 

All hail the power of Jesu's name. 

The countess aimed at the cultured classes, therefore 
she engaged eminent musicians to write tunes, includ- 
ing Handel. 

Other writers and compilers of this type were 
Rowland Hill, De Courcy of Shrewsbury, Simpson of 
Macclesfield, and Toplady, editor of the Gospel Maga- 
zine. Of their work, well-known specimens are: 

Your harps, ye trembling saints; 
Object of my first desire; 
Rock of ages, cleft for me. 

Rowland Hill had the sense to engage a fine organist 
at the Surrey Chapel, Benjamin Jacob, who col- 
laborated with Samuel Wesley, gave organ recitals in 
the chapel, and published National Psalmody. He 
is still remembered by a chant, which affords an easy 
means of dealing with awkward metres. 

The pair of writers who really did most for the 
Church of England, John Newton and William Cowper, 
put out a volume known from their home as the 
Olney Hymns. It was unfortunate that the melancholy 
of Cowper fixed on the whole Evangelical school the 
stigma of morbidity, which it never lived down, and 
which indeed was promoted by the great popularity of 
these hymns. 

In the parish churches generally, as distinct from the 
proprietary chapels and the new philanthropic institu- 
tions, very little was done to uphold congregational 


Any real progress was due not so much to the clergy 
as to itinerant singing-masters, such as we hear of by 
the middle of the century in Hampshire. There was 
not, however, any fine tradition behind them, and too 
often they were possessed only of what musicians 
styled a most wretched set of psalm-tunes, in two or 
three parts, complex, difficult, and devoid of true 
harmony. Fortunately, not many of these found their 
way into print. As their stock of muisc was so poor, 
it followed often that the average singers were soon 
repelled, and an amateur choir tended to form itself; 
a bishop of experience in Chester and London declared 
that it was quite impossible for the ordinary congre- 
gation to join in. 1 This state of things intensified, and 
held even in musical counties as late as 1811; for in 
Shirley we read both of the singers at the parish 
churches, and of the Whitsun procession of the Estab- 
lished Church being led by bands, in contrast to the 
Methodist children who could, without book or notice, 
strike up a hymn, and to the adults who at prayer- 
meeting 'passed jauntily from hymn to hymn, and 
from tune to tune, with an ease and buoyancy all their 
own'. This is an undesigned acknowledgment of the 
decay in official circles during the seventy years since 
William Knapp, parish clerk of Poole, had put forth 
new tunes for the psalms; one of them keeps his 
memory green, Wareham. A little change may be 
recognized centrally, though unofficially. The metrical 
psalms were adapted to the ecclesiastical year, and as 
the Prayer Book and prose Psalter were reprinted 
from time to time, odd pages at the end were filled up 
with hymns; it is said that the Oxford printer was a 
dissenter, and thus enriched the church store. 

1 Beilby Porteus: Charge, 1790. 


The best-known exception to the general apathy is 
John Darwall of Manchester, who became vicar of 
Walsall. He wrote new tunes to all Tate and Brady, 
and secured a faster style of singing. In Whit-week 
1773 a new organ was opened for him, and the service 
closed with the I48th Psalm to a new tune by the 
vicar, well known still as Darwall' s. 

William Boyce, conductor to the Three Choirs 
Festival, wrote Sharon, and in 1762 contributed 
Hereford to William Hayes's settings of ' Sixteen Psalms 
from Mr. Merrick's New Version'. This was for use 
at Magdalen College, Oxford, of which Hayes was 
organist, and another tune by him in the collection 
was so named. Boyce was aided in his great work on 
cathedral music by Samuel Howard, of whose tunes 
good instances are Lancaster, Norfolk, St. Bride's. 

When the Methodists definitely organized apart 
from the Church of England, their friends within the 
Establishment drew closer to those of ecclesiastical 
type, and books began to appear in which psalms and 
hymns were intermingled, arranged not according to 
personal experience, but according to the church 
calendar, or the various services in the book of Common 
Prayer. The status of these excited some alarm, and 
a law-suit was begun in 1820 to stop all such un- 
authorized books; it resulted in a decision by the 
Archbishop of York which assured their place in 
parochial worship. 

By that time a fresh factor had appeared there, 
barrel-organs. Congregations that could not afford 
an organ with keys, and could not muster a band of 
players, were offered by organ-builders a machine 
almost fool-proof, where you turned a handle, and a 
tune came out. Indeed there was a variety of tunes 


in a variety of keys, and several barrels could be bought 
to enlarge the repertoire. For fifty years or more, 
such instruments were to be found in many a gallery, 
and did their part in supporting the song of the 
congregation. To-day they are represented by their 
cousin, the mechanical piano, which traverses our 
streets, but rarely to support the singing of hymns. 



There is a gate that stands ajar 

And through its portals gleaming, 
A radiance from the cross afar, 
The Savior's love revealing. 
O depth of mercy ! can it be 
That gate was left ajar for me ? 

For me : for me : 
Was left ajar for me ? 


From earth to heaven we build a stair, 
The name by which we call it, Prayer. 


Take my heart for Thine, Jehovah ! 




AMERICA has seen nearly three centuries of frontier 
life, which involves missionary effort of a kind unknown 
in England, whether among natives, or among pioneer 
whites. In each case it has elicited new song. Samson 
Occom was a Mohican, converted by Whitefield, who 
gave his life to evangelizing his people. He collected 
many hymns in 1774, and wrote two or three, which, 
however, show nothing distinctive in metre or in 
thought. Nearly the first original hymn, after a 
century's barrenness, is by an evangelist roving in 
Virginia, John Iceland: 

Christians, if your hearts are warm, 
Ice and snow can do no harm. 

This was composed for a great baptismal service in 
I 779 a t* 1116 when troops were shivering at Valley 
Forge. Ten years earlier, sixteen hymns by Samuel 
Davies, president of Princeton, had been published 
posthumously; they were of the Watts type. Though 
a few were reprinted in England, nearly the only one 
that has rooted itself is, 'Great God of wonders, all 
Thy ways', etc. 

As soon as independence was achieved, there was 
full play for the pioneer. Leland had been leading 
in the great revival which Whitefield had inspired. 
At the camp-meetings it was usual to sing short verses 


easily learned, and these were generally very definite 
in their teaching. This was the fountain-head of 
the stream that irrigated England in the days of 

In Nova Scotia, Henry Alline published original 
hymns by 1784 ; his Hymns and Spiritual Songs reached 
a fourth edition by 1802, and some are in modern books. 
The Dunkers of Germantown issued a collection in 
English by 1791; this was repeatedly revised, and 
brought a distinctive tradition to a wider circle. 
Asplund the Swede made a new collection at Baltimore 
in 1793. Benjamin Cleveland, even earlier, had put 
forth hymns on 'Different Spiritual Subjects' in 
Connecticut, while Oliver Holden's American Harmony , 
with its fine Coronation, appeared in Massachusetts, 
1793. These books show an original vein in all parts 
of the land; William Staughton indeed utilized the 
popularity of the Marseillaise, and wrote to that 

Ye sons of God, awake to glory. 

The value of singing was widely recognized. When 
Jacob Bower, of Dunkard extraction, started on his 
life-long work as a prairie preacher, his library con- 
sisted of a German New Testament, an English Bible, 
and a hymn - book. This he augmented, and the 
cheery homeliness of his lines obscures their lack of 
technical merit : 

Come tell us your troubles, ye saints of the Lord ; 
And tell us what comfort you Ve found in His word : 
Although you 're unworthy, in Jesus be bold, 
Tell what a kind Savior has done for your soul. 

If less adventurous ministers stayed in the East, 


they were awake to the claims of the Redskin: David 
Benedict was not only an indefatigable historian, but 
a friend of missions : 

Tongues of rudest conformation 

Mastered by untiring care, 
Words of strangest collocation 

Far away Thy light shall bear; 
Every version 

Onward still Thy light shall bear. 

In 1805 there appeared at Richmond a chorus- 
book, and thenceforward southern melody went its 
own triumphant way. State rivalled state in its 
publications, those from Augusta, Louisville, Dover, 
Cincinnati, Charleston winning more than local fame. 
Then to camp-meeting songs, were added those of the 
negroes, especially when they were popularized by the 
Fisk Jubilee Singers, and when the Coloured Baptists 
organized sufficiently to establish publishing-houses 
of their own. 

Other writers fell back on the old plan of taking 
popular tunes and writing new words to them, the plan 
of Luther and of Thomas Moore. Enoch Freeman 
pressed into Christian service, Scots wha hae: 

Rouse ye at the Savior's call 
Sinners, rouse ye one and all, 
Wake, or soon your souls will fall, 
Fall in deep despair. 

S. F. Smith was a student at Andover, when a German 
hymn-book was put into his hands by someone who 
could not read it. The music attracted them both, 
and Smith dashed off a new poem, which was 
used first on Independence Day at a Sunday-school 


celebration. Since then it has become almost a 
national anthem: 

My country, 'tis of thee, 
Sweet land of liberty, 
Of thee I sing. 

The northern states prided themselves on the culture 
of Boston and Philadelphia, and on the wealth centred 
at New York; which three cities became seats of 
great denominational enterprises. The old school put 
out rival editions, Staughton supplementing Rippon, 
Winchell arranging Watts, then Watts and Rippon 
being combined. But the Psalmist of Stow Smith, 
appearing in 1841, gradually won general favour, and 
served to knit the northern churches for a generation. 
A formidable rival then appeared in Sursum Corda, 
which by three revisions has kept abreast of the 
popular taste. From such sources Englishmen have 
profited by Dufneld's hymn 'Stand up!' with Bebb's 
tune of New York. 

A great deal of occasional verse was written: 
Nathanael Colver deliberately revived the earliest 
English custom of summarizing his sermon in a hymn 
which he lined out for the congregation. When the 
old Tremont Theatre in Boston was bought and con- 
verted into a church, the Tremont Temple, the strain 
was raised: 

Great God, before Thy reverend name 
Within these ransomed walls we bow; 

Too long abused by sin and shame, 
To Thee we consecrate them now. 

But in the northern churches, although the hymn- 
books are usually published with tunes, the congrega- 
tion in the cities is being elbowed aside by the 


professional quartet, and is sometimes invited to sing 
only twice at a service. Against this custom there 
have been vigorous revolts, and the pastor has to 
reckon on his work being criticized and rivalled by the 
professional evangelist with his singing partner. These 
travelling singers are always searching for new airs 
that can be pressed into service, or new songs; and 
many of them have composed both words and tunes. 
In many cases publishers have seen possibilities of 
profit, and there is great competition in the field of 
sacred solos with choruses. Some of these have been 
transplanted to England, where, however, when the 
original evangelist has passed on, after creating a 
sale for his book, the congregation will seldom let the 
soloist display, but insists on singing the whole. 

Whosoever heareth, shout, shout the sound, 

illustrates the rich evangelical appeal, the free rhythm, 
and the congregational demand that characterize the 
class; while 

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, 

shows the chorus effect, and in the third verse the use 
of words which really have no meaning, emotion over- 
coming sense; for chords neither break nor vibrate, 
though cords may. English congregations, however, 
are usually attached to their denominational books, 
which are seldom enlarged ; therefore the book compiled 
by the travelling evangelist and copyrighted by his 
publisher, often drops out of use very rapidly, or is 
used only in undenominational missions. And in 
America, besides the national taste for something new, 
there is to be considered the opinion of Henry Ward 
Beecher: 'The tunes which burden our modern books 


by hundreds and thousands, utterly devoid of char- 
acter, without meaning or substance, may be sung a 
hundred times, and not a person hi the congregation 
will remember them; there is nothing to remember; 
they are the very emptiness of fluid noise '.* And 
Professor Lutkin of the North-Western University, 
makes the positive suggestion that a really great artist 
could effect more with a sacred musical classic than 
by the revival songs manufactured for the occasion. 

New England made its own contribution to hymns 
between 1816 and 1850, chiefly by Unitarians and 
Congregationalists. The new departure began with 
Henry Ware of Cambridge; most of his hymns were 
for special occasions, but his Easter song, 

Lift your glad voices in triumph on high, 

has become well known. He edited the Christian 
Disciple, whose columns made many writers known, 
notably Andrews Norton. Of the same school was 
John Pierpont, whose ode at the opening of a church 
at Salem, 

O Thou to whom in ancient time, 

is but the best known in England of many in America. 

From such men the torch was handed to a new 

generation. E. H. Sears in 1835 wrote the great carol, 

Calm on the listening ear of night; 
and fourteen years later matched it with 

It came upon the midnight clear. 
Meantime, Oliver Wendell Holmes had written 

Lord of all being, throned afar; 
1 Quoted in Cong. Quarterly, IX, 170. 


while Longfellow had penned his Psalm of Life, and 
Blind Bartimeus. His brother Samuel, while yet a 
student at Harvard in 1846, collaborated with Samuel 
Johnson ; their book abounded in new hymns, showing 
the tradition of culture blossoming in a distinctive 
way. Martineau made much of Johnson's own work, 
known in England as early as 1873, including 

Holy Spirit, Truth Divine, 
while his 

City of God, how broad and far, 

took new life when sung at the opening of Liverpool 
Cathedral in 1924. The two friends in 1864 edited 
Hymns of the Spirit, wherein was the mission hymn, 

O still in accents sweet and strong. 

In that same year appeared another writer, J. W. 
Chadwick, with his Visitation hymn, 

Eternal Ruler of the ceaseless round. 

When Johnson and Longfellow first published, Metho- 
dists were freeing themselves from the tyranny of 
Wesley. William Hunter, from Ulster, published in 
1845, the Minstrel of Zion; it included his 

Joyfully, joyfully onward we move, 

long acclimatized in English schools. Three years 
later, David Creamer, an American born, brought out 
his Methodist Hymnology, which marked a new de- 
parture. But it was only after 1864 that American 
Methodists made any great contribution, with Fanny 
Crosby's two thousand hymns. 
The Civil War left its traces in hymnody. Mason 


Brayman was editor and lawyer both in Kentucky 
and Illinois before he wrote : 

Unto our God on Judah's hills 

Be songs of holy joy once more: 
Let Canaan's rocks and sparkling rills 

The King of heaven and earth adore. 
For He will set the captive free, 

Will rend the proud oppressor's chain, 
And from the isles of every sea 

Bring Israel to His fold again. 

No wonder that he heard the call, and rose to be 
general in setting the African captive free. On the 
other hand, just before the conflict, Basil Manly wrote 
for the Southern Baptist Seminary: 

Soldiers of Christ, in truth arrayed, 
A world in ruins needs your aid, 

A world by sin destroyed and dead, 
A world for which the Savior bled. 

They would find fresh significance in those words when 
they reopened the wrecked seminary. And so now as 
each session begins at Louisville, this hymn calls the 
men to new consecration. 

There has been a finer strain in American music, 
derived from German immigrants with their Liedertafel. 
A good instance of this is a tune by Carl Zeuner of 
Brooklyn and Philadelphia, most curiously named 
Luther's Chant, though it is not a chant, and has 
no association with the great reformer. A fine 
chorale called Mannheim was introduced to England 
by Lowell Mason, to whom also are due Olivet and 
Missionary, the former being sometimes disguised 
under the name of Harlan. His work was made 
known in Britain by Binney of the Weigh-House in 1853. 

The development of Christian hymnody among the 


negroes has been remarkable. 1 In their African homes, 
a careful observer says that there are soloists at all 
musical functions, even the dirge, 'that low, melan- 
choly, minor wailing of the bereaved', being led by a 
chief mourner. Most experiences of life are put into 
song, 'from a lullaby to a religious chant, from a 
pastoral melody to a hymn of grief, from a jig to a 
funeral lament'. Their music is antiphonal, the 
soloist being relieved by a chorus. Every type of 
instrument is known, drums of all descriptions, dul- 
cimers with nine wooden slabs, four-stringed viols, 
organs with eleven notes, ocarinas capable of nine- 
teen, a set of seven trumpets tuned to definite notes. 
They are 'in the age possessing no system of notation, 
where there is nothing but the bird, the insect, the 
water brook and the wind, to denote the rise and fall 
of musical strains. That is where the native is a 
master of the art, in producing tones and harmonies 
from the primeval instruments he has invented'. 

Unfortunately there seems to be no Christianizing 
of this native music in Africa; missionaries largely 
ignore it, and supplant it by European metres and 
American organs. Yet in three quarters there are at 
least original hymns. When a new church was being 
dedicated in Central Africa, forty new hymns were 
contributed by the converts. On the Congo, Bonjare 
added thirteen to the new book. In Madagascar, 
Andraianaivoravelona is most prolific. But none of 
these African hymns have been translated into English. 
Fortunately there has been a different development 
in America, whither about two million negroes were 
transported. The folk-lore they brought with them 
was acclimatized; it is interesting to trace the kinship 

1 G. C. Claridge, Wild Bush Tribes, etc., pp. 222, 230, 242. 


between the fetish stories of Africa and the tar-baby 
stories of Uncle Remus. And thus they had their 
own moulds into which to pour their religious senti- 
ments when they began to assimilate Christianity. 
About 1776 we hear of a converted negro in Georgia 
teaching hymns to his people, and encouraging them 
to sing. 1 He went to Jamaica, and in 1802 one of his 
successors wrote to England of a great revival when 
people sang 'psalms, hymns and spiritual songs'. 
From his conventional phraseology we should have 
hardly grasped the originality. But a modern friend 
of the negro reminds us that before Christianity was 
allowed to the slaves, they sang their melodies in the 
twilight, voicing their great human sorrow and need. 2 
These plantation melodies 'show that the negro has 
obtained access to the spiritual deeps, and that he is 
capable of penetrating the sublime. The words have 
often little relevance to anything profound, and at 
best are childish. There is generally a keynote which 
murmurs through the whole of the song, the function 
of the basso profondo who provides a river of harmony 
like life itself; and the tenors and baritones and the 
shriller voices move on this flowing bass like ships. 
One of the most unforgettable melodies is "O listen 
to the lambs!" The tenors seem to imitate flocks of 
innumerable sheep and lambs all crying to one another, 
whilst the basso profondo is the irrelevance of "I want 
to go to heaven when I die" continually repeated in 
subterranean mumbling and whispers. The negro 
soul was very thirsty for religion and drank very 
deeply of the wells of God. The negroes learned to 
sing together, thus first of all expressing corporate life. 

1 J. Rippon, Bapt. Register, I, 300; IV, 974. 
8 Stephen Graham, Children of the Slaves, pp. 15, 86. 


They drew from the story of Israel's sufferings a token 
of their own life, and they formed their scarcely 
articulate hymns which survive to-day as the only 
folk-music of America: 

Go down/Moses, 'way down in Egyp' Ian' 
Tell ole Pharaoh, Le' ma people go ! 

Israel was in Egyp' Ian' 

Oppres' so hard dey could not stan' 

Le' ma people go ! 

or the infinitely pathetic and beautiful 

In the valley on my knees 
With my burden an' my Saviour, 

I couldn't hear nobody pray, O Lord, 
Couldn't hear nobody pray. 

O 'way down yonder by myself, 
I couldn't hear nobody pray.' 

The student of poetry and music would be well repaid 
if he studied these 'spirituals' on the one hand in 
connection with the melodies in Africa, and on the other 
in connection with the long evolution of music in 
Europe. But our present concern is to note that there 
is now a strong and distinctive type of congregational 
music and hymn, developed in Christian negro churches, 
which number more than four million members. A 
study of these has recently been published which does 
indeed connect Africa and America. The ancestral 
drum was replaced by the 'triangle', a piece of iron 
used to hitch horses to the plough. 'The ante-bellum 
negro often suspended this by a string, and beat it 
with its pin along with the playing on "quills" (a kind 
of pan-pipes), much after the order that a drum is 
beaten.' And on the rhythmic side the summary is: 
'Negro folk rhymes, with very few exceptions, are 
poetry in which a music measure is the unit of measure- 
ment for the words rather than the poetic foot'. 


From America we glance to India to see whether a 
new type has arisen there. The indigenous religions 
had not developed any congregational song, but there 
were lyrics both in Tamil, Sanskrit, and the northern 
vernaculars. A Scottish Jesuit sought very early to 
write a Christian poem, but this was rather epic. 
And only at the advent of modern missionaries was a 
serious attempt made to build on native foundations. 
Fountain took down a native air, and a convert wrote 
to it a Christian hymn, thus naturally repeating the 
successful methods of Arius and Luther. The char- 
acteristic is that the burden or refrain comes first, 
then the soloist gives a verse of the hymn, then the 
chorus repeats the refrain, and so on. There was no 
harmony, and it is amusing to see that as soon as 
Englishmen saw the tune and the words, they pro- 
ceeded to fit it with a descant above and a bass below, 
and to write fresh words. A very popular hymn in 
Bengal has been rendered into English, where the 
burden is: 

Jesus only, none beside, He 's the Saviour; 
Jesus only, none beside. 

Bengalis are encouraged to compose both words and 
music, and these are in print. An Oriya native has 
taken over familiar ballad tunes, and has written more 
than two hundred Christian hymns to them. So too 
in Assam, and among the Karens, while the seven- 
syllable line of Burmese poetry has been utilized for 
congregational song. Marathi poets have dedicated 
their gifts to Christ, but it is painful to find missionaries 
training them to sing American hymns in a weird 
pronunciation of English to American tunes accom- 
panied on an American organ. Farther east, a 


Chinese at Bangkok began native hymnody as early as 
1808, while now in both China and Japan there are 
many native writers. Thus the whole course of 
European development is likely to be duplicated in 
Asia. It should be remembered that Eastern music 
is pentatonic, and can be readily played on the black 
keys of a piano. Few Western editors can resist dealing 
with the melody as they do with European plain-song, 
inserting other notes, adding harmonies, insisting on 
keeping tune. 

Perhaps it is the wide difference of Asiatic models 
that has hindered their Christian lyrics from being 
naturalized in Europe. The fact remains that barely 
a dozen Eastern hymns are known among us, except 
as curiosities. 



Prepare, prepare the iron helm of war, 
Bring forth the lots, cast in the spacious orb : 
The angel of fate turns them with mighty hands, 
And casts them out upon the darken'd earth! 
Prepare, prepare. 

Prepare your hearts for Death's cold hand! prepare 
Your souls for flight, your bodies for the earth ; 
Prepare your arms for glorious victory! 
Prepare your eyes to meet a holy God ! 
Prepare, prepare. 




TOWARDS the end of the eighteenth century, a new 
taste in literature became evident: the simple popular 
ballad obtained fresh recognition in polite circles; and 
the romantic school arose. These two considerations 
had an effect on hymnody. 

First as to the ballad-measure. 1 The Scotch tunes 
published soon after the union of the two kingdoms, 
prompted D'Urfey to issue his Pills to Purge Melancholy 
for actual singing in 1719. Four years later a large 
collection of old ballads was printed for reading. Such 
influences account for Henry Carey's: 

Of all the girls that are so smart, 
There 's none like pretty Sally, 

She is the darling of my heart, 
And she lives in our alley. 

and for David Mallet's William and Margaret: 

'Twas at the silent solemn hour, 
When night and morning meet; 

In glided Margaret's grimly ghost, 
And stood at William's feet. 

Thomas Percy in Shropshire rescued from the fire a 
seventeenth-century MS. which was treated freely, 
and augmented, so producing the Reliques of Ancient 
English Poetry in 1765. This brought about a new 

1 G. Saintsbury, Short History of English Literature, p. 580. 



creation, sometimes simply natural and unforced; this 
culminated with Burns, as for instance: 

Who made the heart, 'tis He-alone 

Decidedly can try us ; 
He knows each chord, its various tone, 

Each spring, its various bias : 
Then at the balance let 's be mute, 

We never can adjust it; 
What 's done we partly may compute, 

But know not what 's resisted. 

Sometimes it was consciously national; a freer 
measure rings in Skinner's Tullochgorum: 

There need na be sae great a phrase 
Wi' dringing full Italian lays ; 
I wadna gie our ain strathspeys 
For half a hundred score o' 'em. 

The free ballad licence reappears in the Ancient 
Mariner : 

I looked to heaven, and tried to pray; 

But or ever a prayer had gush'd, 
A wicked whisper came, and made 

My heart as dry as dust. 

It was in 1798 that Coleridge and Wordsworth issued 
the Lyrical Ballads, wherein they deliberately illus- 
trated two complementary styles of poetic treatment. 
This heralded a new era, and writers of hymns could 
apply to then: specific task the generic principles: 
'The principal object proposed in these poems was to 
choose incidents and situations from common life, 
and to relate or describe them, throughout, as far as 
was possible in a selection of language really used by 
men . . . above all, tracing in them, truly but not 
ostentatiously, the primary laws of our nature : chiefly, 


so far as regards the manner in which we associate ideas 
in a state of excitement '. 

Walter Scott, having been fired by the Percy 
Reliques, after trying his hand at translations from the 
German, set himself to collect the Minstrelsy of the 
Border, which he began issuing in 1802. Three years 
later he appended to his Lay of the Last Minstrel a 
version of the old Dies Irae: 

That day of wrath, that dreadful day. 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge also went to Germany for 
inspiration, and finding a metrical paraphrase of the 
gospels by Ottfried, Englished a passage into blank 
verse : 

There lives not on this ring of earth 
A mortal that can sing her praise. 
Mighty mother, virgin pure, 
In the darkness and the night 
For us she bore the heavenly Lord. 

Such new strains of poetry were enough to call 
attention to the baldness of the average hymn. New- 
ton had done something by his partnership with 
Cowper to show the possibility of wedding poetry and 
devotion, and at Bristol, Thomas Chatterton had 
published a hymn for Christmas: 

Almighty Framer of the skies. 

A Yorkshireman, trained at Bristol Baptist College, 
pondered over the phenomenon, and in 1805 John 
Foster issued his love-letters as essays, one of which 
was devoted to explain the aversion of men of taste 
to evangelical religion. Starting from the fact that a 
multitude of books exhibited 'the most subordinate 
materials that can be called thought, in language too 
grovelling to be called style ', he analysed the causes, 


'how it was possible for the noblest ideas that are known 
to the sublimest intelligences, the ideas of God, of 
providence, of eternity, to shine upon a serious human 
mind without imparting some small occasional degree 
of dignity to the strain of thought'. At last, then, 
the jejune theories of Watts were sharply challenged, 
and as Foster was widely read, there came to be re- 
sponses of two different kinds. Poets made occasional 
experiments at hymns, men and women of devotion no 
longer clothed their thoughts in mere rhythmic prose. 
Thomas Moore was prompted by Psalm 147 to write: 

O Thou who dry'st the mourner's tear; 

but as it came from one who had been publicly 
stigmatized as 'the most licentious of modern ver- 
sifiers, and the most poetical of those who in our 
time have devoted their talents to the propagation 
of immorality', it was not likely to win the favour of 
religious congregations. 

Wordsworth affected chiefly the sonnet form, and 
his series on church history affords magnificent reading; 
he did not venture into familiar hymn metres till 
1830, when we find the Romance of the Water Lily 
closing with a wedding hymn: 

Who shrinks not from alliance 
Of evil with good powers. 

Four years later he wrote a fine noon-day hymn for 
the labourer, which ought to find a place in Fellowship 
hymn-books : 

Up to the throne of God is borne. 

Though we do not find any direct contributions to 
hymnody by the professional poets, yet they did much 
to prompt others. William Wordsworth quickened his 


younger brother Christopher, half a dozen of whose 
hymns have a vein of true poetry in them, which we 
hear in such a couplet as: 

Ripened by His glorious sunshine 
From the furrows of the grave. 

James Grahame confined himself to blank verse in his 
Biblical Pictures and his Sabbath Walks. So, too, did 
Robert Pollok in his Course of Time; but the readers of 
his thirty editions would thenceforth look for hymns 
less arid. The demand was met by Kirke White in 
his evening hymn, with such touches as: 

The Sun of holiness shall shine 
In glory on our head; 

and in his fragment, completed by another, and often 
weakened in its first line, which really was: 

Much in sorrow, oft in woe. 

Mrs. Hemans was avowedly inspired by Scott, and 
part of her poem on his funeral figures in hymnals as : 

Lowly and solemn be Thy children's cry to Thee. 

James Montgomery is yet another instance of the lay 
contributor, though he was a son of a Moravian manse. 
Trained in the Moravian school of Fulneck with all 
its tradition of song, he became in 1794 editor of the 
Sheffield Iris, which position he held till 1825. Among 
his many poetical works are four distinctly intended 
for congregational singing. How well he wrote may 
be seen in that a hundred of his hymns are still in use. 
They have been said to illustrate the close connection 
between a pure heart and a fine fancy. Our present 
point is that he was good alike in practice and theory; 
he had considered what were the elements of abiding 
poetry, and was twice invited to lecture on the subject 


in London; and as one branch of his studies, he took 
the history of hymns. 

The first response to this poetical movement was 
by John Curtis of the Broadmead choir, who in 1827 
issued a 'Union Collection' of hymns and sacred odes, 
with the distinct avowal that he wished to disprove 
Johnson's dictum as to contemplative piety being in 
the nature of the case unpoetical. Although Curtis 
so far bowed to the old school as to offer his collection 
merely to supplement Watts, yet as he embodied 
hundreds of hymns, those who had weighed the words 
of John Foster would probably use the supplement 
much more than Watts himself. Many authors were 
drawn upon, hitherto not pressed into congregational 
service, the most exceptional was Krishnu Pal, the 
first convert in India. There were many 'varieties', 
not merely odes and poems, but single verses that 
could be memorized and sung without book at prayer- 
meetings a fashion revived at the end of the century 
by evangelists from America. The Baptist custom 
that a hymn was to be considered primarily in relation 
to the sermon, was catered for by most elaborate 
indexes of scripture allusions and subjects. But the 
extremely small size of type damaged the circulation 
of the book. 

London speedily followed the example, and in 1828 
Groser and Haddon edited a New Selection, also to 
supplement Watts. To match it, there came out the 
Psalmist tune-book in 1837, introducing Marlborough 
and Woolstanton. A generation later came out Psalms 
and Hymns, again with elaborate indexes of texts and 
of homiletical subjects. 

Baptist response to the new poetic influence was 
thus only partial and tardy. Nor were Congrega- 


tionalists much more sensitive. They adhered largely 
to the plan of supplementing Watts; it was not re- 
markable with Burder in 1784, but it does seem rather 
conservative in 1833 when the new Union asked 
Josiah Conder to prepare a collection. Even in a 
revised form he drew on only about ninety authors, 
but his choice was much to the taste of his constituency, 
and a dozen hymns of his own have won favour in 
wider circles. In 1853 the Leeds ministers, including 
G. W. Conder, brought out another collection with the 
aid of George Rawson, a solicitor. This drew on about 
a hundred authors, gave versions of medieval Latin 
hymns, prose psalms pointed for chanting, and anthems. 
It leaped into popularity over the north, and held its 
own for the rest of the century. The Congregational 
Union countered with a larger book, one-third of which 
was Watts. But meantime Thomas Toke Lynch was 
encouraged to issue his Hymns for Heart and Voice: the 
Rivulet. On the one hand these were experimental, on 
the other they were poetic; but because they were not 
dogmatic a storm broke out which actually caused the 
omission of the autumn session of the Union in 1856. 
The official editors adopted none of his work. The 
work of Rawson was, however, so valued, that he was 
asked to help the Baptists in 1858 with Psalms and 

Supplements to both the Congregational books 
appeared in 1874; * then in 1887 the Union com- 
missioned Dr. Barrett of Norwich to prepare another, 
of which a careful critic has said that it sets forth 
what is best in Congregationalism, 'in taste, catholic; 
in feeling, evangelical; in expression, scholarly; in 
doctrine, orthodox'. But the same critic deplores 

1 Cong. Hist. Soc. Trans., IX, 125. 


that it shows the beginnings of that painful bowdleriza- 
tion of hymns that still continues. After Holder's 
books of 1884 and 1905, another official book appeared 
in 1916, drawing on hundreds of authors and translators, 
to provide for congregations of all schools. 

While these writers and editors belonged to con- 
ventional religious circles, there were other circles 
wherein poetry was written for popular song. Gerald 
Griffin showed in his Eileen Aroon how akin Ireland 
can be to the Scottish Robin Adair. Ebenezer Elliott, 
the Corn-law Rhymer, produced a 'People's Anthem' 
now to be found in many a hymnal, and also a poem 
on the 'Poor Man's Day', which has obviously inspired 
Professor Blackie: 

Sabbath holy! 
For the lowly 

Paint with flowers thy glittering sod : 
For affliction's sons and daughters 
Bid thy mountains, woods, and waters 
Pray to God the Poor Man's God. 

If he sang from Yorkshire, and Thomas Cooper the 
Chartist from Leicester, William Barnes could vary his 
learned lucubrations from his Dorset school with the 

Since I do miss your vaice an' fea.ce 

In prayer at eventide, 
I '11 pray wi' woone sad vai'ce vor greace 

To goo where you do bide ; 
Above the tree an' bough, my love, 

Where you be gone avore, 
An' be a-wa'it6n vor me now, 

To come vor evermwore. 

Hawker's Song of the Western Men, Dobell's Keith of 
Ravelston, the Ballad of Marjorie, Kendall's Orara, 
show the same spirit working in widely different parts. 


Beside the literary movements, religious and secular, 
there was a musical, aided by the romantic movement 
in Germany. Thus Andreas Romberg, known most 
widely as the author of a Toy Symphony, wrote the 
tune Kiel, named after the Danish university that 
gave him his doctorate. Knecht of Stuttgart seems 
to have become known by his tunes St. Mildred and 
Vienna. Edward Miller of Doncaster published in 
1790 his Psalms of David, including a variation of an 
older tune which he christened after the premier, 
Rockingham. His son, W. E. Miller of Sheffield, did 
for Dissent what the father had done for Anglicans, 
when in 1805 he issued two distinct books, one for use 
among Methodists, whom he had joined, the other for 
the worshipper of Watts. He vigorously opposed both 
trashy importations from America and the frivolous 
style of recent English music. Among the hundreds 
of new tunes he thus published, is Byzantium, by 
Thomas Jackson of Newark, though those written by 
better known musicians whom he enlisted seem to 
have passed out of use. The old style found numerous 
village enthusiasts. Leach, the violinist of Wardle, 
published in 1789 and 1797, and greatly affected 
Methodist song in Lancashire, supporting himself as 
teacher of music in Rochdale and Manchester. His 
tunes are still popular, but London editors will no 
longer print them. 

Anton Radiger taught at Chatham, and published 
in 1790. His Praise is a fine example of the way in 
which different parts were utilized by the device of 
repeating the words. Samuel Stanley, the 'cellist of 
Birmingham, not only led at Carr's Lane and then at 
Ebenezer, but twice published a score of tunes; his 
Warwick and Calvary show the same bold runs. Of the 



same type is Eaton, by Zerubbabel Wyvill of Maiden- 
head in 1802. Isaac Tucker, leader in the Baptist 
chapel at Westbury Leigh, has been ungratefully treated, 
for the tune of that name is no longer reprinted, though 
his most popular Devizes has recently been revived. 
And the same fate has befallen Burnham, composed 
in 1805 by that Thomas Clark of Canterbury who 
afterwards edited the Sacred Gleaner, and in 1827 for 
the Sunday School Union the Union Tune Book, 
which was perhaps the latest popular collection of the 
old-style tunes. James Ellor of Droylsden next year 
was inspired to write Diadem for Perronet's hymn, and 
so well has it held its own that it has compelled recogni- 
tion even in the new-style books. But as much 
cannot be said for Euphony, by Henry Dennis, violinist 
and farmer, of the Baptist church at Hugglescote. 

Henry Allon of Islington was the pioneer of a more 
sober style for Congregational music. In 1852 at 
Union Chapel he instituted a psalmody class, led by his 
organist, Dr. H. J. Gauntlett. For this he published 
in 1858 the Congregational Psalmist with more than 
three hundred tunes, avowedly to 'supersede the 
inferior and worthless tunes of the preceding century' 
by reviving psalter tunes, naturalizing German 
chorales and French tunes, and editing ancient Latin 
melodies. To him we owe our knowledge of Dresden, 
a fine tune by J. A. P. Schulz (1747-1800), always now 
sung to a version of the harvest hymn by the Hamburg 
banker, Matthias Claudius, 'We plough the fields'. 
Lubeck is an older tune of 1537; Ratisbon a medieval 
litany; Rutherford much altered from the form in which 
Urhan, the operatic violinist, wrote it for Chants 
Chretiens in 1834. 

Within eight years Allon had sold 52,000 copies, 


and he then distinctly prided himself on having led 
the way, so that though Anglicans had followed, he 
still had the largest and most catholic representation 
of the worship-song of the Holy Church, through- 
out the world. Later editions introduced compressed 
score, arrangements from works of the great masters, 
new copyright tunes, tunes to new hymns of fresh 
metres. And companion volumes of chants and 
anthems were issued, for congregational use, and not 
merely by choirs. A new era had set in. 

Gauntlett himself had as much to do with this as 
Allon, but he was guided by different principles. At 
first he was an amateur in music, keenly interested 
in the reform of organ-building; but about 1842 he 
abandoned the law, and was created Mus. Doc. by 
Archbishop Howley. His next aim was the revivifica- 
tion of Gregorian music. He joined with W. J. Blew 
in issuing The Church Hymns and Tune Book from 
1844, an( i here he laid down the principle that tunes 
were not to be fitted at random: that hymn and tune 
must be wedded indissolubly. As an instance of 
how little his principle is accepted, he composed St. 
Alphege to the words, 'The hymn of glory sing we'; 
the hymn is disused, but the tune is diverted to three 
Latin hymns and to three modern hymns. He also 
issued another book jointly with Kearns, and a third 
jointly with Waite, the great Nonconformist reformer, 
through whom he seems to have passed over to the 
more fruitful association with Allon. 

While he was a keen lecturer, reviewer, critic, 
adapter, editor, he did an abundance of original work. 
He could deal with new metres from the German, as in 
St. Albinus] in more ordinary measures he showed 
equal originality, as is shown by Dura, St. Bernard, 


St. Fulbert, St. George, Southwold, University College. 
Triumph and Springfield seem exceptional, but the 
latter began life as a sevens, and has had its slurs 
dissolved to fit longer lines. 

Gauntlett, however purist in theory, used great 
freedom in dealing with the tunes that Allon chose, 
and Allon had expressly to explain what were their 
respective shares. Two instances will show the 
liberties taken by Gauntlett. Johann SchefHer, a 
Catholic priest, published some German hymns at 
Breslau in 1657 under the name Angelus Silesius; 
G. Josephi wrote tunes to them. Gauntlett took a 
line and a half of one and based a new tune on it, 
which under the name of Angelus is deservedly popular. 
Again in 1842 a collection of Silesian folk-songs was 
published and obtained wider currency; one of these 
was heard by an English tourist in Westphalia, and 
published by him in the Evangelical Magazine for 1850 
with the grave assurance that it was a Crusader's 
Melody. Dr. Gauntlett slightly remodelled it, and 
issued it as Ascalon, under which name it supplanted 
the old English tune Dalston to the same hymn of 
Watts, 'How pleased and blest was I'. The change 
was doubtless aided by the fact that the first two 
lines have exactly the same melody. Another experi- 
ment in folk-song was more remarkable, for in taking 
over Ballerina from the Spanish, Allon had really 
tapped a Moorish and Arab source, written in the 
Eastern pentatonic scale, a fact which facilitated its 
export to China by a mission late last century. 



The Catholic Creeds, and the Lord's Prayer, presenting in 
their simplest forms, and in their natural order, all the funda- 
mental points of Christianity, both objective and subjective, 
appeared to the Editor to be the best basis for a classification 
of those hymns of faith and devotion, which express feelings 
at all times appropriate to a Christian profession. 




THE Church of England for many years did not use 
hymns for the congregation: anthems for choirs and 
psalms for the people provided the staple. But with 
the nineteenth century this exclusiveness began to 
weaken. The impulse came partly from the romantic 
school of poetry, partly from the devotional school of 

Reginald Heber wrote a prize poem on Palestine, 
which was improved by the criticism of Walter Scott. 
When he settled in the rectory of Hodnet, he began 
publishing hymns in the Christian Observer, avowedly 
to raise the service of song from the profanity and 
fanaticism with which it , had been polluted. He 
adapted the Baptist plan of writing the hymns for 
the occasion; thus for a missionary sermon in 1819, 
he wrote the magnificent 

From Greenland's icy mountains. 

But as a rule, the epistle and gospel for the day 
suggested both the sermon and the hymn. Perfectly 
conscious of the value of hymns among Dissenters, he 
tried to gain episcopal approval for his MS. collection 
in 1820, but failed. Only in 1827, after his death, as 
Bishop of Calcutta, were his hymns printed along with 
some by Milman, and issued as one of a series of 
poetical books. This gave them vogue in a circle 



not primarily religious, while their own devotion found 
them a ready welcome for actual worship. 

In that same year appeared the Christian Year of 
Keble. His title showed that he held fast to the 
ecclesiastical traditions, and that as dates came round, 
he would offer a suitable hymn. This was the ancient 
practice, but to 'Englishmen it came as a novelty, 
despite the meagre survival of a few hymns appended 
to the psalter. As Anglicans learned to look abroad, 
Newman was attracted by the Roman Breviary and 
translated ten hymns which went into No. 75 of the 
Tracts for the Times. Another member of the same 
school found out the Parisian Breviary, and rendered 
many of its hymns, ignorant as yet that they dated 
only from 1736, and were written deliberately to 
supplant the more ancient hymns. The next trial 
was with the Roman Breviary of 1632, but this again 
had expressly discarded the venerable medieval hymns. 

Meanwhile, Roman Catholic musicians were doing 
a little that touched the national life. At the Sar- 
dinian chapel near Lincoln's Inn Fields rebuilt to- 
day and appropriately dedicated to St. Cecilia the 
organist was Samuel Webbe, to whom we owe St. 
Werburgh and Benevento. He was a writer of capital 
glees, and in 1792 published a collection of motets, 
whence we derive Corinth and Melcombe. When 
Newman and Faber joined this communion, they 
further enriched its hymnody, though their strains 
are often too luscious for Protestant use. It seems 
natural that Faber should have attached himself to 
the Oratory of Philip Neri, whose services to music 
have already been spoken of. 

There were other Anglicans, who remained in their 
ancestral communion, equally touched with the spirit 


of the past. In 1837 John Chandler, vicar of Witley, 
published Hymns of the Primitive Church, now first 
collected, translated, and arranged, including such 
versions as 

Christ is our corner-stone, 
O Jesu, Lord of heavenly grace. 

A few other attempts at exploration revealed the 
need for a better understanding of past history, 
especially the history of music, and some of the re- 
formers put forth a clear programme. Arguing from 
ancient medieval specimens, they pleaded for unison 
singing only, within moderate compass, in direct 
opposition to the simultaneous movement among Non- 
conformists for part-singing, led by Waite and Curwen. 
They broke away from Gregorian precedent, asking for 
well-marked melody, and strict common time. Many 
tune-books were issued, of which two by the Rev. 
W. H. Havergal are typical; he re-edited Ravenscroft's 
Psalter with its pseudo-historical classification, then 
in 1847 published Old Church Psalmody which ran to 
five editions. The difficulties of the reformers are 
illustrated by the fact that Havergal's own parishes in 
Worcestershire would not follow his lead. He wrote 
original tunes on the same models, of which Evan and 
St. John are well known; and here again he was 
balked, for Evan has been printed in triple time by 
later editors, in the teeth of his principles. The 
Society for Promoting Parish Music published the 
Parish Choir from 1846 to 1849, an ^ m its pages, which 
chiefly contained old tunes revived, appeared a revision 
of a tune by Joseph Smith of Halesowen, set to a 
hymn for Innocent's Day; under the name Innocents 
it has become widely popular. It is apparently in 


the process of reviving the old psalter tunes, that 
No. 22 of Andro Hart's Psalter had to be named, and 
was called London New though it was a much older 
tune than Croft's London. 

Charles Steggall, pupil of the Royal Academy of 
Music, published a volume of Church Psalmody in 
1849, an d as organist at two important London churches 
was able to effect real improvement. A specimen of 
his work was to the old I48th metre, Christchurch: it 
is a sign of the limited influence of Gauntlett's new 
school, insisting on the appropriate wedding of hymns 
and tunes, that while in Anglican circles it is used to 
a modern hymn in antique style with a refrain, in the 
Free Churches it is more familiar to a version of a 
Latin hymn. 

Two important books appeared in 1854. One was 
by W. Mercer, a Church Psalter and Hymn Book, of 
which the musical editor was John Goss, organist of St. 
Paul's; the music gave chiefly the old psalm-tunes and 
some German chorales, such as Upsal, an adaptation 
of Cruger's Evening Hymn. His own cathedral style 
comes out well in the ornate setting of Lyte's hymn, 
Praise my soul. The other was a different style of 
book, edited by T. Maurice, containing chiefly new 
tunes to certain hymns, and entitled Choral Harmony. 
This drew upon many sources, for P. Maurice edited a 
German chorale into Watford] Paul La Trobe the 
younger contributed Fairfteld, whose name com^ 
memorates the Moravian settlement near Manchester; 
Sterndale Bennett, the Bach enthusiast, gave Russell 
Place; Datchet, an amphibrach of eleven syllables to 
the line, came from George J. Elvey. He was organist 
of St. George's Windsor, and so named a tune which he 
published in 1858 for 'Hark the song of jubilee'. 


John Mason Neale was a leader of the Ecclesiological 
Society, and from his Sackville College in East Grin- 
stead produced the Hymnal Noted in 1852, with two 
more editions. Perhaps he had been inspired by 
Samuel Webbe; certainly his proposals were to fall 
back entirely on medieval song such as Veni Emmanuel, 
and on those lines Pusey translated from the Salisbury 
Hymn Book 'Lord of our life'. It is misleading that 
the tune often wedded to this hymn bears a Latin 
name, Integer Vitae, for it is only derived from a German 
setting of Horace's ode. 

A. R. Reinagle was organist in Oxford at the Church 
of St. Peter, which provided a name for a most useful 
common metre. Another German, Melchior Teschner, 
was drawn upon for the splendid tune to 'All glory, 
laud, and honour', Neale's version of Theodulph's 
hymn; the tune was named after that saint. And 
Havergal adopted Swabia from a Heidelberg collection 
of 1745. 

German influence was brought in through another 
channel. Catherine Winkworth discovered at Dresden 
the wealth of Lutheran hymnody. The Chevalier 
Bunsen published in 1833 a collection of nine hundred 
hymns; eight years later he negotiated a Prusso- 
English bishopric in Jerusalem; both events showed 
his desire to draw together all Evangelicals. Miss 
Winkworth chose some hundred of his hymns, and in 
1855 issued translations as Lyra Germanica, again with 
the desire to bring to the front the deep and true 
communion of saints in different churches and lands. 
She did, however, fall in with the Oxford arrangement 
according to the ecclesiastical year. The pedestrian 
style of English psalmody is evident, in that she 
felt it necessary to apologize for the variety of 


metre she found and imitated, and to insist that 
continental worship consisted largely of congregational 

The Evangelical clergy did not appreciate the new 
Anglo-Catholic movement or its hymnody, and they 
found poets to continue and enlarge their tradition, 
of whom Dean Alford, Charlotte Elliott, and F. R. 
Havergal have proved the most lasting, and are widely 
used outside their own communion. Two or three 
eclectic books were used by this school. 

So evident was the drift apart, that the S.P.C.K. 
issued Church Hymns in 1852, with the hope that to 
this well-established society all would rally. But 
unofficial enterprise has proved more successful. For 
out of the welter of competing books, Sir H. W. Baker, 
vicar of Monkland, in 1861 produced one edited and 
owned by a group of High-Churchmen, who entitled it 
Hymns Ancient and Modern. It is no small testimony 
to the power of song that they dared not discard some 
by Lutherans, and even by Dissenters. The promoters 
secured a fine musical editor in W. H. Monk, whose 
choice and settings made the book popular far outside 
their own school. It is amusing to see that Dykes's 
tune Nicaea, with a Catholic flavour about its name, 
was styled by Gauntlett, Monkland, for use among 
Congregationalists ; the compliment to the editor per- 
sonally would hardly be acceptable when his principles 
were so opposed. Within fifty years it was revised 
three or four times and the owners had sold sixty 
million copies; now perhaps more than three-fourths 
of all Anglican churches use it. Yet the musical 
treatment did not win general assent. Thomas 
Hardy, who had known as a boy an old psalm-tune, 
apostrophized it at a later meeting: 


Stripped of some of your old vesture 
By Monk, or another. Now you wore no frill, 
And at first you startled me. But I know you still, 

Though I missed the minim's waver, 

And the dotted quaver. 

The owners of Hymns Ancient and Modern were for 
long very conservative with their copyrights, so that 
Nonconformists either did not know their hymns and 
tunes, or they used the book itself within the family 
circle, which thus became leavened with the sacerdotal 
doctrine of the book as a whole, with the idea of an 
ecclesiastical year, with the cycle of the Prayer Book. 

Musicians were led to consecrate their gifts. William 
Boyd composed a tune to ' Come, Holy Ghost, our souls 
inspire', for a Whitsuntide service among Yorkshire 
colliers: his Pentecost at once established itself in the 
north. In 1868 he joined with other Oxonians in 
publishing Thirty-two Hymn Tunes, whence Sullivan 
transferred it to a later edition of Church Hymns, but 
wedded it to ' Fight the good fight '. This is an instance 
that might be easily paralleled: Dykes and Barnby 
also re-harmonized, restored, divorced, and re-married 
old tunes, besides producing new compositions. Of 
other leading books, the Hymnal Companion appeals 
to the Evangelicals, the Hymnal Noted and the 
Hymnary to the Anglo-Catholics, while the literary 
tradition is represented in the English Hymnal. 

Neale did two more services to hymnody. From the 
old Latin Church he looked to the Greek, especially 
the writers of Jerusalem, Sicily, and Constantinople 
for three hundred years after the rise of Islam. There 
he found a wealth of song, and though the themes 
chosen, the treatment, the metre, were all strange, yet 
they suggested English hymns, which he modestly 


credited to those who inspired him. It was in 1862 
that he succeeded in drawing attention to this new 
source. He never looked farther east to Persia or 
mined the wealth of hymns in Syria; but his 
explorations of Greek sources have been followed up, 
especially by the Presbyterian Brownlie. 

The other service was to guide an enthusiast in the 
study of hymns. Daniel Sedgwick was a self-taught 
Baptist bookseller, who specialized in hymn-books, 
and built-up a library with whose help he became an 
expert consulted for a quarter of a century by all 
editors. Not only did he reprint rare collections from 
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but he inspired 
many other students so that they appealed both to 
literary and to devotional circles. 

In 1862 there was a contribution of great importance, 
from an unexpected quarter, Sir Roundell Palmer, the 
Solicitor-General. He was deeply interested in ecclesi- 
astical matters, and had sought to succeed Keble as 
professor of poetry. He had been in consultation with 
Sedgwick, and he decided to issue a Book of Praise 
from the best English writers of hymns. He brought 
to his labours principles familiar in university circles, 
and aimed at the restoration of original texts, at 
discovery of original authors. With artistic instinct, 
he saw that 'the constant enthusiastic contemplation 
of a few subjects, dear to the universal heart of 
Christendom, and embodying the highest conceptions 
of Divine purity and beauty, produced a simplicity, 
refinement, and spirituality of style, which never 
tires, notwithstanding its limited range '. With deep 
religious feeling he recognized that Christian hymnody 
binds 'together by the force of a central attraction, 
more powerful than all causes of difference, times 


ancient and modern, nations of various race and 
language, Churchmen and Nonconformists, Churches 
reformed and unreformed'. 

To-day Anglicans are no longer behind others in their 
use of hymns, and the stately cathedral services by 
paid choirs do not stand alone. Indeed, these were 
losing their appeal to the people generally. Deeply 
as Henry Esmond may have been moved at Winchester, 
yet Dickens describes the singing men of Cloisterham 
in the nineteenth century in terms which show how 
little devotion they could express or kindle: 'In the 
famous anthem, Wesley's "Wilderness", a falsetto 
blossomed as the rose in such a timid voice, that the 
bass, who was the next to get going, exhorted him in 
stentorian tones to be strong and fear not, which 
covered the falsetto with confusion. After six lines 
of recitative, the full choir let themselves go in a mad 
fugue in which every voice tumbled over every other 
voice, and the Decani side tried in vain to drown the 
Cantoris, and only succeeded in being put out of the 
fray by the bass, who drowned the lot of them, and 
defied the organist to drown him, although that 
gentleman was pounding away with both feet at once, 
both hands, and every one of the stops shooting in 
and out like buffers on a steam-engine'. 

On the other hand, nearly every non-Anglican book 
shows hymns supplemented by prose chants and by 
anthems; and thanks to Dr. Allon, the congregations 
are encouraged to sing these. A bishop who in a large 
assembly of Nonconformists had deplored their in- 
difference to historic Christianity, gained a new light 
when the whole body responded to the call of the 
conductor of the small choir, and without notice or 
book sang the Te Deum to a setting by the master of 


the choristers at Exeter Cathedral one hundred and 
fifty years before. 

Representative books at the end of last century are 
the Presbyterian Church Praise of 1882, the Con- 
gregational Church Hymnal of 1887, the Primitive 
Methodist of 1912, the Scotch Church Hymnary of 
1898, the Baptist Church Hymnal of 1900. For some 
of these, musicians like Rimbault, Stainer, Hopkins, 
Bridge were employed, others preferred less known 
men. But it may well be said that the last generation 
has seen a flowing together of two streams which had 
too long remained apart, and that except for the 
intoning of the prayer-book services, the musical 
worship in all churches is tending to one rich and varied 
type, wherein the whole congregation has its part. 



Although the music proper to the Church is purely vocal, 
music with the accompaniment of the organ is also permitted. 
... It is forbidden to sing anything whatever in the vernacu- 
lar in solemn liturgical functions. 

Pius X, 1903. 

To the Presbyterian, the hymn-book, with the Psalter, 
occupies the place of a liturgy. It gives him the only means 
he has of letting his voice be heard in the offices of public 


Hymn-singing needs to be natural, unforced, and full of 
life. It should be the most vital experience of which a school, 
or college, or any assembly is capable. 




THREE movements influenced congregational singing 
after 1840; the teaching of song in day-schools, the 
coming of American singing evangelists, the rise of 
brotherhoods and sisterhoods. These gave rise to 
new types of hymn-books, which deeply modified the 
standard books for Sunday. 

Popular education in song was a passion with Joseph 
Mainzer, who, after fine work in Paris, came to Edin- 
burgh, then settled in Manchester. He published 
Singing for the Million, and began a periodical still 
known as the Musical Times. His work at Paris 
attracted John Hullah, who found there a great system 
of teaching by Wilhem. Hullah acclimatized this in 
England, training students at Battersea College, where 
the pupil-teacher system dovetailed with his method, 
and developing a new school at Exeter Hall; in twenty 
years about 25,000 people passed through his classes. 
Unhappily he brought over one French peculiarity, 
the fixed Doh. Against this innovation the cudgels 
were taken up by John Curwen, a Nonconformist 
minister, in favour of the old sol-fa notation. Though 
this had not been in print since Joseph Hall's Psalms 
of 1607, it had been remembered and used; Addison 
mentioned that milk was generally sold in London by 
a street-vendor 'in a note above E-la'. Miss Glover 
of Norwich had recently revived it, and her ' Modulator ' 
soon became familiar; a Tonic-Solfa College was 


established, and in fifteen years certified over a quarter 
of a million pupils. The result was that instead of 
music being learned entirely by ear, it was acquired also 
by eye, and the power to read at sight became more 
common than ever before. Since Elizabethan days, 
there had never been a time when music was more 
popular. Not only hymn-tunes, but anthems, part- 
songs, oratorios, are now printed in this style, and 
nearly every congregation will have some ordinary 
members using a book in this notation. 

Song-books were soon compiled, and these con- 
tained some religious verse. An obvious next step was 
to provide special hymn-books for the use of children; 
and Sunday schools led the way. But early selections 
were made by people who did not understand the child 
mind, and invited schools to sing: 

Soon will our earthly race be run 

Our mortal frame decay; 
Children and teachers, one by one, 

Must droop and pass away. 

This was a common line of thought : 

Youth on length of days presuming 
Who the paths of pleasure tread, 

View the leaves, so lately blooming, 
Numbered now among the dead. 

And another author invited children to sing to their 

Why were not our infant bodies 

Sacrificed to gods of stone ? 
Or, unpitied, doomed to suffer 

Under Moloch's cruel throne ? 

From such education into an unreal religion, there was 
rescue by Jane Taylor and others ; and women naturally 
found their ministry of song acceptable here. 


The Sunday School Union arranged deliberately 
and entirely for children. The first venture was the 
Sunday School Hymn Book with tunes, yet this still 
included whole sections devoted to Invitations and 
Warnings, Moral Duties, Life, Death, and Eternity. 
In 1905 this was superseded by the Sunday School 
Hymnary, which excluded hymns of mere sentiment 
and of doctrine, aiming at building up of character 
by hymns that could be sung sincerely, of which more 
than six hundred were included. For another stage 
of experience, the Christian Endeavour Union provided 
another hymnal with above five hundred hymns for 
young people in their teens and twenties. 

The sources of the music for children are even more 
varied than usual. When the Wesleyans put out their 
first school tune-book in 1854, they incorporated a 
folk-song used for a round game, naming it Coventry. 
It was edited by Hemy in his Crown of Jesus, named 
there Stella after the Durham village where he heard 
it, and by this channel it passed into general use. 
Again, George Herbert composed a Kyrie which was 
used by Claribel for her song 'Children's Voices', 
and it figures in some metrical litanies as Agape. 
A song by an Irish lady is known as Goshen. 

The extent of this new provision for children may be 
gauged by the fact that the Sunday School Union is 
indebted to more than a hundred authors for copy- 
right hymns, and to still more composers for copyright 
tunes. Every year prizes are offered for new tunes 
to be sung at the Whitsun festivals in the north. 

Day-schools also have tried to cater for child song, 
even for the religious section. Two or three collections 
have been compiled for the purpose, but a shock is 
experienced at finding that one editor expects boys 


and girls to be weary, languid, and sore distressed; 
or that they feel the eventide of death falling fast. 
A far more sensible collection is published by Novello, 
and in a third may be found such a prayer as 

Grant us the gifts that we need in our labours, 
Minds that are eager to seek for the True, 

Keen to perceive it and strong to embrace it, 
Wills that are patient and valiant to do. 

From the special children's book, there has been a 
reaction back upon ordinary congregational books. 
To prevent divorce between the young and their 
elders, part of at least one service on Sunday is now 
usually devoted to the children: so in the newest 
hymnals many pieces are chosen for them, together 
with metrical litanies and special arrangements, and 
even a few anthems. Yet the intense love of the 
ordinary man for taking his own share will occasionally 
give the spectacle of greybeards ecstatically chanting, 

We are but little children weak! 

Soon after 1870 Britain had a splendid experience 
of American revivalism and song at their best. One 
convert, who has since won to a foremost place, 
testifies after fifty years that Sankey's solo singing 
made a profound impression. Rhymesters were 
accustomed to compose topical ballads which they 
sang in the street, selling broadsheet copies: at 
Birmingham the chorus of one such ditty ran : 

So the rich and the poor and the young and the old 
Give up thinking of pleasure, of dresses, of gold, 
But rush off each night to hear and behold 
The wonderful Moody and Sankey. 

Nearly every factory in the city echoed with the 
songs and solos, and there was an enormous sale of 


both words and music. Since then, other singing 
evangelists have brought over more songs, generally 
ephemeral; and more books have been issued. Suc- 
cessive editions show how the exuberance of Penn- 
sylvania and Tennessee have had to compromise with 
England which insists on its standard hymns, and with 
Scotland which demands its psalms and paraphrases. 
From the new style of words and music some have been 
culled with promise of permanence, despite the diffi- 
culties of copyright. Another branch from the same 
stem is Hymns of Consecration and Faith, represent- 
ing a type of revival associated with the conventions 
at Mildmay and Keswick. 

American revivalists have popularized mass singing. 
Audiences have been taught new hymns and new 
tunes, have been trained in chorus work and in respon- 
sive song. The particular hymns and tunes learned 
have often been discarded in a year, but the confidence 
gained in trying unfamiliar music, and the readiness to 
learn new words, have been permanent gains. Where 
such novelties have been followed up, it is found that 
the way has been prepared for music more ambitious 
than that of simple hymn-tunes. Chants and anthems, 
such as have long characterized the worship of the 
Established Church, are now to be heard frequently. 
And thanks to the revival of music in school and at 
home, these are not relegated to choirs, but are shared 
by whole congregations. 

Special attempts have been made to reach men, by 
Adult Schools, by Pleasant Sunday Afternoons. For 
these, hymns of a virile kind were needed, dealing also 
with fresh topics, especially social. This led to the 
production of a Fellowship Hymnal, which added to 
above three hundred other hymns twenty-five written 


for the new movement. The first seven in the new 
book are by the son of an ironfounder, an American 
Jew, a canon of St. Paul's, a Friend, a man of letters, 
an American Unitarian, an Australian civil servant. 
All members of the Church, not officers alone, are seen 
here taking their part in providing for its worship. 
The Brotherhood movement caused another revival, 
of orchestral accompaniment. This obliges us to 
look backwards. 

The nineteenth century saw in many parts a 
three-cornered contest between congregation, players, 
organist, and choir. There were many who felt what 
Richard Wagner said: 'To the human voice, the 
immediate vehicle of the sacred word, belongs the first 
place in the churches.' 1 But there were others who 
could not sing, and could play; these wished to dedicate 
their talent to the service of God. About 1835 many 
a rural parish church would have in its west gallery 
the music-men with viol, book, and bow; in Derbyshire 
these survived at least into the seventies, even though 
the tendency was to limit them to the three great 
festivals. But the influence of cathedrals and of rich 
benefactors suggested the use of organs, against which 
many objections were raised. Scotland had a long- 
standing tradition against the 'kist of whustles'. The 
orchestra saw instinctively that one stately instru- 
ment, making more volume and variety of sound 
than they could unitedly, would gradually displace 
them. In many quarters the fear was entertained 
that paid performers, without any sense of vital 
religion, might oust or rule those who desired to worship 
in song. Instances of the problem abound in all parts. 
The prerogative of the deacon to give out the hymns 

1 Catholic Encyclopaedia, X, 651. 


and to lead the singing was the custom at the Metro- 
politan Tabernacle till lately, and is still maintained in 
an important chapel at Brighton. A Bacup pastor 
preached that a select body of singers might be lawful, 
but no further useful than as they assisted the con- 
gregation. 'Singing cannot, any more than praying, 
be done by proxy; every man must discharge his own 
duty/ When a singing pew was instituted, strict 
discipline was maintained: in 1826 a church in Bucks 
declined to admit thereto persons of light and unsteady 
character, and a deacon was appointed to issue tickets 
to the singing gallery. At a Lancashire church one 
choir did go on strike, and received a severe lesson by 
finding a new set of church-members fill the gallery 
at once, to their own permanent exclusion. Members 
felt at home in their Father's house, and long continued 
to sit as they sang, generally continuing this family 
attitude at the Lord's Table, even now. Similar 
discipline was long maintained over the instrumentalists, 
while their activities greatly interested the children, 
who in youth wondered whether the violin were the 
daughter of the bass viol, then were fired with an 
ambition that attached them to the place. The 
proposal to introduce an organ perturbed many con- 
gregations; in 1873 a wealthy church in north London, 
with stately building and cultured minister, was 
gravely troubled by a proposal to aid the leader of 
song by a small organ. A similar proposal in the north 
caused one conservative to stigmatize the machine as 
'Baal, the idol of the Philistines', and when Baal was 
enthroned, to walk out of chapel at every hymn till 
the idol's voice was silent, and he could return to 
worship in spirit. Hardy tells of a tragedy in Wessex, 
where deacons in the fifties appreciated an organ, 


but appreciated the good name of the church even 
more: his poem enshrines the names of the tunes all 
loved: Old Hundred, Saint Stephen's, Mount Zion, New 
Sabbath, Miles Lane, Holy Rest, Arabia, and Eaton. 
Such opposition came to a head among Methodists 
at Leeds, and disrupted the Connection, a trouble only 
just healed. 

A way out of the difficulty was found by the improve- 
ment of a simpler keyed instrument, which could be 
played by the amateur church-member. The har- 
monium emerged about 1840, the still easier American 
organ a generation later. These can be played, after 
a fashion, by any one who has learned the piano, so 
that paid professionals are not needed. The frank 
adoption of the piano is still rare, though its use in 
day-schools shows its value for rhythm. 

The enthusiasm and devotion of instrumentalists 
has found another outlet, thanks largely to the Salva- 
tion Army's enterprise. While the standard service 
of song is now usually supported on a keyed instrument, 
fresh forms of worship have arisen. Within doors, 
Pleasant Sunday Afternoons and other informal types 
have been glad to take the help of violinists or cornet- 
players; schools have seen the advantage of offering 
a variety of work to adolescent members. Out of 
doors, brass bands are of value for marches, and at 
selected pitches; while scouts and guides utilize their 
musical talent. 

All these novelties have been reflected in the new 
books. Towards the end of last century, several 
ambitious editors desired to lead people forward, 
even at the expense of discarding much of the past. 
Successive editions of Hymns Ancient and Modern saw 
the modern hymns increasingly predominate: and it 


was left to other editors to produce books with ancient 
music, even of the medieval plain-song. The editors 
of the Baptist Church Hymnal in 1900, basing their 
work on two favourite books, dropped a thousand out 
of sixteen hundred hymns, and added two hundred 
new by one hundred and twenty different authors. 
But in the choice of music the real usage was unknown, 
or defied; while two hundred standard tunes were 
printed, five hundred copyright were offered. This 
first experiment at a musical edition broke with a 
deep-seated tradition that religion was more important 
than knowledge, and if the two were not combined, 
the former was preferable. Methodists again chose a 
highly skilled musician without Methodist traditions. 

In every case there was a revolt. The Methodists 
insisted on adding an appendix, for which their musical 
editor disclaimed responsibility; Baptists sent a formal 
protest, met by the reinstatement of many favourite 
tunes; the older editions of Ancient and Modern con- 
tinued to be in demand, and the proprietors had to 
reprint them. Some recent students of hymnology 
seem so attracted by the new, that they have not 
observed the great conservatism of the people. Within 
the last six years there have been important illustra- 
tions of what congregations really will do, irrespective 
of the advice of musicians. 

William Gadsby in 1814 published a selection of 
hymns, revised by his son in 1882, now widely used 
by the Strict and Particular Baptists, who have a 
choice of more than eleven hundred hymns. Though 
they are in thirty-six metres, all but common, short, 
and long are styled 'irregular', a remarkable sign of 
conservatism. In 1927 a Companion Tune Book 
appeared, of which a large edition was exhausted in a 


few months, and a reprint was needed within the year. 
The committee, therefore, had gauged well the taste 
of the constituency, which believes in pure congrega- 
tional song, with a minimum of support from any 
instrument. The aim was announced as being to 
include all the old favourites in general use, others 
which were less popular but still of merit, more recent 
compositions from other collections, and new tunes. 
Elaborate indexes connect it with the hymn-book. 
For the three regular metres, more than half the tunes 
are provided. Whereas some writers have fancied 
that 'repeats' are obsolescent, forty out of one hundred 
and ninety common present this feature, and twenty- 
four out of one hundred and sixty-seven longs. 

Nor is it only hi such circles that Cranbrook, Diadem, 
Calcutta, are in frequent use, book or no book. Be it 
noted that in the repetitions, one object may well be 
to vary the monotony of the regular metres ; the usual 
device is to double the fourth line, but often the voices 
part company and sing antiphonally, or overlap. In 
older days a tune that split a line, and split it well 
for the first verse, produced curious effects with other 
verses. Thus on the one hand, Radiger's tune 
Athaliah gives a really devotional effect: 

See a poor sinner, dearest Lord 
Whose soul, encouraged by Thy word, 
At mercy's footstool would remain 

And there would look, 
And there would look, and look again. 

But a recent writer remembers how words were 
sacrificed to the music: 'Those pathetic complaints 
of the shrill soprano, "O for a man", oft repeated, and 
then taken up by the more youthful seconds; next it 
is chirped by aesthetic tenors, and finally rolled off 


by the stentorian basses. Grotesqueness reached its 
meridian, the music quietened down, and in unison 
was breathed the inoffensive orison, "O for a mansion 
in the skies!"' Despite the ludicrous results, the 
writer declared that the memory 'lingers like the dying 
cadence of a sweet and sacred melody'. * Such pecu- 
liarities have been noted by Gadsby's editors, who offer 
only half a dozen tunes of this type. They have, 
however, retained some that are gloriously florid; 
Whitton's New York gives fifty-six notes to twenty- 
eight syllables; and this taste is not confined to the 
aged members, for Old Langdon is a copyright tune, 
apparently written by the owner of a bass voice, who 
spreads sixteen syllables over thirty-seven notes. 

Many editors have prided themselves on the novelties 
they can present; and it may be that they seldom hear 
the remarks passed by leaders of choirs, and occupants 
of the pews. Publishers are beginning to realize that 
behind the conservatism of the masses is a real attach- 
ment to good religious music which has satisfied many 
generations. One firm advertises a volume 'standard 
for more than twenty years'. 

The latest important sign of persistent taste may be 
seen in the 1933 revision of the Baptist Church Hymnal. 
From the eight hundred hymns, about a hundred and 
fifty have disappeared as not being in general use; 
and these are largely of the last century, while Watts 
still contributes thirty -one. Both nineteenth and 
twentieth centuries are represented in the substitutes, 
but it is quite noteworthy that eleven come from the 
Early and Middle Ages, twenty-two range from Luther 
to Wesley. On the musical side, composers and 
editors may take warning that more than a hundred 

1 R. J. V. Wylie, Baptist Churches of Accrington, p. 121. 


modern tunes have been discarded, while even more old 
classics have been introduced afresh. 

The wealth of such inheritance is indicated in the 
mere names. Franconia, Silesia, and a Dolomite Chant 
remind us of our debt to Germany; Bayeux, Rouen, 
and others tell how Huguenots have influenced our 
song; Old Forty-Fourth and Old Hundred-and-Twentieth 
recall the proper tunes of the Elizabethan Metrical 
Psalter; David's Harp and MountEphraim illustrate the 
Biblical studies of early Dissent; 5^. Columba, London- 
derry Air, Kilmarnock, pay a tribute to sister nations; 
Hafodwen, Aberystwyth, Hyfrydol, are but a few that 
come from the Principality. English music ranges from 
Southport in Lancashire to Lewes in the south; from 
Farningham of Kent to Truro of Cornwall; while 
Philadelphia, Savannah, Niagara, bring strains from 
across the Atlantic, as far west as Arizona. 

These instances of attachment to the treasures of the 
past, may be balanced by an outpouring of song among 
a people newly won for Christ. Forty years ago, the 
Lushai Hills in India teemed with bloody offerings at 
tiny altars; to-day these have largely disappeared. 
When we ask to what agency the change is due, and 
how the people now express their devotion, in each case 
the answer is, sacred song. At the beginning, gospel 
hymns were translated or composed by the missionaries, 
largely to Welsh or English melodies. For years these 
were a powerful evangelizing agency, on mountain- 
top and in valley, on village square and in jungle. 
But to-day the Lushai Church is producing its own 
hymns, constructed on its ancestral lines, and a de- 
lighted hearer has written down more than two hundred. 
It has also evolved its own sacred music, not bringing 
over old heathen tunes, but creating new Christian 


melodies on the Lushai model. The Christians need 
no books, no instruments, no trained choirs: 'from the 
lips of babes and sucklings as from those of aged men 
and women', the strains well forth naturally as the 
bird-songs. Such a living experience illustrates in 
another land the theme of this book, the power of 
popular hymn-singing. 




By Eric H. Thiman, Mus.D., F.R.C.O. 

The Church delights to raise 
Psalms, and hymns, and songs of praise. 





By Eric H. Thiman, Mus.D., F.R.C.O. 

THE discussion in the preceding chapters is concerned 
very largely with congregational singing, viewed from 
a historical aspect, and the subject may here, perhaps, 
be profitably continued from the standpoint of present- 
day usage, embracing many tendencies in our churches 
and chapels. 

Undoubtedly the most important factor prevailing 
to-day is the change of taste of our congregations in 
the matter of hymn-tunes. It is perhaps little more 
than two decades ago that the revivalist type of 
tune, generally associated with the names Moody arid 
Sankey, was extensively used in churches of practically 
all denominations, and a visitor to our churches to-day 
cannot fail to be struck by the fact that this kind 
of tune is, with a very few exceptions, almost non- 
existent. The weakness of these tunes lay not only 
in the frequently excessive sweetness of the harmoniza- 
tions, but, a much more potent factor, in the rhythmic 
monotony of each line. It is no uncommon thing for 
the rhythm of the first line, with its frequent reitera- 
tions of notes of shorter time-value, to be reproduced 
exactly in the succeeding lines, producing to a sensitive 
ear a feeling of monotony that has to be heard to be 
believed. Even a comparatively innocuous example, 



such as the tune commonly sung to ' God be with you 
till we meet again' (by no means one of the worst of 
its type), which is one of a few survivors of this class, 
shows this characteristic in each of the four lines of 
the verse, and examination of an average Mission tune- 
book will show many more examples of a much greater 
blatancy. The fact that this kind of hymn-tune is 
rapidly becoming extinct (except among a very few 
sects) can be due to no other reason than a change of 
taste based on an improved musical outlook. The factors 
that have given birth to this change are perhaps two. 
First, the influence, difficult to over-estimate, of the 
singing class in our elementary and secondary schools, 
the musical material of which is based largely on the 
healthy influence of the national song and folk-song, 
in place of the mawkish, and often effeminate, ditty 
which tended to prevail twenty years or so ago; and 
this influence exerted in the schools, which are perhaps 
bound up in a greater degree with the Nonconformists 
than with any other denomination, cannot fail to have 
had some hand in the general improvement of taste. 
One has only to compare, for instance, the type of 
tune sung at Sunday School Anniversary services, 
with that sung only a few years ago, to realize that this 
school training is slowly but infallibly bearing fruit. 

A second factor governing this change of taste 
is most probably the enlargement of musical experi- 
ence provided by the wireless, the gramophone, and 
the healthy musical competition festival. It is a 
truism to say that it is only within the last few years 
that professional music-making, previously the pre- 
rogative of musicians only, has been extended to the 
average music-loving public, who are now aware, 
probably for the first time in musical history, of the 


heritage of music left by the great composers. Such 
a knowledge cannot but fail to have an influence on 
the choice of tunes sung in church. 

This unexpressed but none the less sincere desire 
for a healthier type of tune has resulted in the use of 
a large number of folk-songs being pressed into the 
service of the Church and Sunday school. Undoubtedly 
the folk-song cult can be carried too far; and all 
traditional melodies are not equally suitable, any more 
than all traditional melodies are equally good. But, 
taken in moderation, the influence is undoubtedly 
healthy, as it transfers the interest from the har- 
monic to the melodic, always an admirable thing in 
corporate singing by untrained bodies. Among the 
best of these tunes may be mentioned such examples 
as Kings/old, Coleshill, St. Columba, King's Lynn, and 
Monksgate. With their dignified yet tuneful melodic 
lines, their instinctive feeling for climax, and their 
natural improvement consequent on their being handed 
down vocally from generation to generation, they are 
among the best and most suitable tunes possible for 
congregational singing. 

In some quarters, too, an attempt has been made to 
revive the use of plain-song tunes. Admirable and 
indeed vocal as many of these tunes are, it will probably 
be found that the average congregation does not take 
very kindly to them. For one thing, in a world of 
measured music it is difficult to transfer the mind 
back to a period when time-signatures, bar-lines, and 
metrical accents were non-existent; and their modal 
feeling and lack* of a definite tonality sound strange to 
a modern ear; and, perhaps most important of all, the 
fitting of the syllables, sometimes to one note, some- 
times to a group of two or three, is embarrassingly 


difficult to a congregation. The conclusion is inevit- 
able that, broadly speaking, plain-song melodies are 
unsuitable for congregational singing. In their rightful 
place, from the cathedral choir-stalls, their austerity, 
dignity, and ' other-worldliness ' can have a tremen- 
dously impressive effect, but they are not heard at 
their best when they are attempted by the average 

There are, oddly enough, one or two plain-song tunes 
that have become surprisingly popular. Nearly all 
congregations love Veni Emmanuel, and Jesu Redemptor 
is frequently and successfully sung. The purist will, 
however, reply that these tunes, pressed willy-nilly 
into metrical forms, are mere grotesque perversions of 
the original plain-song, often harmonized with modern 
chords which are terrible anachronisms; and the 
statement would be perfectly true. Yet although 
they make successful tunes, they do not invalidate the 
argument above, for they are shorn of their medieval 
characteristics, and merely appear as ordinary hymn- 
tunes with a slightly wayward (and engaging) air. 

A welcome feature of many modern hymn-books is 
the presence of Welsh melodies. Of this type, Aberyst- 
wyth has been popular for many years, and Bryn 
Calfaria, Hyfrydol, and Ebenezer are equally fine 
specimens. They have a certain melancholy that 
seems, for some strange reason, to appeal very strongly 
to English congregations. The musician often finds 
them a little monotonous (four of the eight lines of 
Aberystwyth, for instance, conclude with the same 
cadence), but unquestionably they are fine additions 
to our hymn-books. Perhaps the most noble of them 
all is Hyfrydol. With its dignified movement, its 
conjunct melody, and its superb climax, it is one of 


the finest hymn-tunes ever written, and the effect of 
it, sung by a large congregation, is quite unforgettable. 

One of the finest groups of tunes in our books is 
that formed from old French and Swiss melodies; but 
it is much 'to be regretted that in many books the 
engagingly varied rhythm of their original form has 
been perverted into a dull and lifeless succession of 
monotonous minims. Musicians rejoice to see that 
many modern hymn-books are now printing them in 
all their delightful rhythmic charm; they are not, in 
reality, any more difficult to sing thus than in the 
supposedly more 'practical' shape in which they made 
their appearance in older books. The appearance of 
the German chorale is another welcome feature of 
many modern books; for tunes, such as Ach Gott und 
Herr, Allein Gott, Es ist das Heil, Freu dich sehr, and 
countless others are so valuable a contribution to 
psalmody that their exclusion from the majority of 
books in present use must be a mystery to many. 
It is to be hoped that this almost undiscovered mine 
of wealth may be before long made accessible to 
English congregations. 

Although this chapter is concerned largely with 
general tendencies, specific mention of one or two books 
in which the features mentioned above are to be 
observed, can hardly be avoided at this stage. The 
book that perhaps of all others first showed the way to 
a healthier type of hymn and tune was the English 
Hymnal (1906). The features that are most immedi- 
ately apparent therein are: the large number of 
traditional melodies, mainly of English origin ; the use 
of plain-song tunes, restored to their correct form; the 
use of 'gathering-notes' (i.e. the first syllable of each 
line of a C.M. tune a semibreve instead of the more 


usual minim); the restoration of French, Swiss, and 
German melodies to their original rhythm instead of 
their more usual arrangements in notes of equal value; 
the employment of many chorales in the beautiful 
harmonizations of Bach, and finally, the modern tunes, 
by many writers of note, among which may be 
mentioned Sine Nomine (by the musical editor, Dr. 
Vaughan Williams) to 'For All the Saints', one of the 
finest of all modern tunes. 

The very wide use made in the Anglican Church of 
this admirable book shows how much it was needed, 
and the few minor criticisms of those who have used it 
and know it well, do not, to any great extent, affect its 
virtues. For instance, it is felt by many that the use 
of the old four-lined stave for the plain-song tunes 
seems to make them partake, to the average member 
of the congregation, rather of the nature of an esoteric 
cult; that some of the English traditional melodies 
are musically rather poor; and that the low pitch of 
most of the tunes, while suitable to the congregation, 
is extremely hard on "the choir. To this last point, 
the supporters of the book would probably reply that 
it is primarily for congregations and not choirs; but 
while true enough, the remark would not be particu- 
larly helpful. Some of the problems raised by this 
point are discussed later: but meanwhile, both for 
what it is and for the influence it has had, the book 
can be described, without exaggeration, as epoch- 

Songs of Praise (1925, enlarged edition 1931, Musical 
Editors, Martin Shaw and Vaughan Williams) exhibits 
many of the characteristics of the English Hymnal, 
with a rather larger proportion of modern tunes by 
well-known composers. The title of the book is 


perhaps sufficient evidence of the fact that it is in some 
respects divergent from the average hymn-book, so 
far as words are concerned; for a considerable pro- 
portion of its contents must be considered sacred 
poetry rather than what is usually understood by the 
word 'hymn', and many of the modern composers 
whose work is represented therein have not hesitated 
to break almost completely away from the usual form 
and style of hymn-tune; and a practically clean sweep 
has been made of the many tunes which, although in 
some respects musically unworthy, are generally re- 
tained for sentiment's sake and which are treasured 
highly by the average congregation. For these reasons 
it is not, perhaps, a book that is likely to win the general 
favour; but for schools, colleges, and various com- 
munities of eclectic folk, nothing could be better. 

Yet another book of very high standard that merits 
a few words of discussion, is the Church Hymnary 
(1898, revised 1930, Musical Editor, Dr. David 
Evans), perhaps even more generally useful than 
either of the above. The revised edition is particu- 
larly rich in carefully chosen folk-song, and in French 
and Swiss melodies, many of which are found hi no 
other books. Some indication of the wide net cast 
by the editor and the great care taken to embrace 
everything worth while in church song may be given 
by mentioning that it includes such things as St. 
Patrick's Breastplate in Stanford's fine arrangement 
(which incidentally runs to eight pages in the book), 
Parry's Jerusalem, Tallis's Canon in its original canonic 
form, and many other fine and unusual features, which 
so far as we know are not met with elsewhere. Another 
admirable point is the presentation of the plain-song 
tunes, which are set in a somewhat simpler manner 


than in the English Hymnal, and the use of faux- 
bourdon arrangements, the performance of which is 
discussed later. The book contains a few unworthy 
things, among which may be mentioned some of the 
modern Welsh tunes, but one is throughout conscious 
of the fact that no pains have been spared to make it 
an eminently practical book; and it has only to be more 
widely known to become one of the most favoured of all 
modern books among discriminating congregations. 

That the change of taste mentioned at the beginning 
of this chapter is indeed in process of being is evident 
from a perusal of these books, representative of the 
general tendency away from the sentimentality and 
unhealthy sweetness prevailing during the closing years 
of the last century. Practically every modern hymn- 
book and every new edition now appearing contains 
many of the features discussed above in greater or 
less degree, and the progress made during the last 
decade is none the less welcome for being overdue. 
The Church to-day is more anxious than ever to attract 
the outsider; and it cannot possibly do so if it relies 
on tunes which the average music-loving member of 
the public, who knows something of folk-song, of 
Bach and Handel, of Beethoven and Brahms, feels 
instinctively (even if subconsciously) to be wrong, and 
unworthy of that highest level to which he knows 
church music should attain. 

It may now perhaps be of interest to discuss some 
points in connection with modern usage in congrega- 
tional singing. The four parts in which practically 
all our hymns are written might lead a complete 
stranger to assume that the congregation divides itself 
up into soprano, contralto, tenor, and bass, each person 
taking the part which he or she is best fitted to assume. 


Any organist who takes the trouble to go and sit in the 
congregation during a service, leaving an assistant at 
the organ, will soon discover how fallacious such a 
view is. He will probably discover that forty per cent 
of the congregation are not making any verifiable noise 
at all; and out of the remaining sixty per cent thirty 
per cent are taking the melody line either at its rightful 
pitch or (if they are males) an octave below; ten per 
cent will be singing improvisatory harmonies of their 
own invention (generally called 'singing seconds'); 
and the remaining twenty per cent will perhaps be 
taking their rightful parts. Such a diversity of effort 
cannot possibly lead to the best results, and musicians 
who have given any thought to the matter at all are 
puzzled to know how to use this untrained body to the 
best advantage. Undoubtedly the finest effect of all 
is produced when the congregation sings a concluding 
verse in unison (or octaves, it as should more rightly 
be called) against a solid backing of organ tone. Yet 
continual and unvarying unison singing would be too 
monotonous, and those of the congregation who could 
read music and were accustomed to taking their own 
parts would naturally object. In obviation of this 
difficulty, there have been recently many efforts made 
to bring more variety to unison singing. Of these, 
two are increasing in popularity, and merit a few words 
of explanation. 

The first and more usual is termed descanting. The 
congregation and the three lower parts in the chou- 
sing the melody, and the sopranos of the choir sing an 
added and different melody above them. 1 The effect 

1 Where the tenor part of a hymn tune is of sufficient melodic 
interest, a simple and often effective descant can be made by the 
sopranos singing this part an octave higher. 


when well done can be delightful and even exhilarating; 
yet it must be confessed that exceptional voices are 
needed to do the descant justice, if its inevitably high 
notes are to be taken without painful unpleasantnesses 
of tone. Then again, many descants, even some- 
times those provided by skilled composers, often make 
very ugly clashes with the melody, which have the 
effect of disturbing and upsetting the congregation. 
As to the descant which is composed by the amateur 
organist, its effect is generally even more distracting; 
and it cannot be too strongly emphasized that the thing 
must be done properly, with carefully written descants 
and soprano voices of exceptional purity and strength, 
if it is to be done at all; and it is just here that the 
English Church, with its boys' voices, scores so heavily. 
Most members of Nonconformist congregations will 
probably admit that descants in their churches are 
frequently unsatisfactory, and indeed, often disturbing 
and unpleasant. Musically, however, there is nothing 
the matter with the idea : it is only the execution that 
is so often at fault. 

The second plan has perhaps more to recommend it. 
It is termed 'faux bourdon' or 'faburden', and here 
the congregation, with the tenors, takes the melody 
as before, while the other three voices of the choir 
add a surrounding tissue by way of accompaniment. 
The practice is really an extension of the old idea of 
putting the tune in the tenor: the effect is generally 
delightful, and it is quite easy to perform. Verses so 
treated can be sung unaccompanied if desired, for the 
basses, altos, and sopranos of the choir provide the 
accompaniment to the unison singing of the congrega- 
tion. As a variant of unison singing it has much 
to recommend it: the need for exceptional soprano 


voices is not so pressing: the faux bourdon does not 
seem to disturb the congregation so much as does the 
descant ; it provides a special part for all the choir and 
congregation, so that every one should be happy and 
occupied. Where the system has been tried it has 
nearly always been unexpectedly successful, and 
for those who wish to try it there are several pub- 
lished collections of popular hymns arranged in faux 
bourdon. 1 

There is one further variety of congregational unison 
singing which is not explored as much as it might be; 
for not only is it easy of performance, needing no special 
parts or elaborate preparation, but it is in addition 
probably as old as religion itself; and it is strange that 
ministers and organists, knowing something of the 
method of singing the psalms employed in the temple 
at Jerusalem in pre-Christian times, do not make more 
use of the practice and possibilities of antiphonal 
singing. One sometimes hears hymns thus treated, 
with verses taken alternately by women's and by men's 
voices, to a tune such as Filii et Filiae or Veni 
Emmanuel, which does not permit of harmony singing; 
and undeniably effective all will admit it to be, especi- 
ally when the antiphonal verses are alternated with 
verses sung 'full'. But it is not generally realized 
that a most effective extension of this idea might be 
arranged by dividing the congregation up into, for 
instance, north gallery, south gallery, and transept, 
for succeeding verses, the whole congregation to take 
the first and last. Few organists will have heard this 
done, and many will probably have no conception of 
how thrilling the 'full' verses become when contrasted 

1 Geoffrey Shaw, The Tenor Tune Book ; Eric Thiman, Twenty 
Faux Bourdons to Popular Tunes and others. 


with the 'sectional' ones. So simple is the idea that 
one can only marvel that it has not been tried to any 
extent; and as for the initial arrangements, it would 
only be necessary for the minister when announcing 
the hymn to indicate the allocation of the verses; and 
in churches where a printed service paper is used, it 
could easily be printed thereon. There is that about 
antiphonal singing that seems to spur the congregation 
on to the best efforts possible; no doubt the natural 
feeling for emulation and competition is partly respon- 
sible; but there is in addition the fact that all parts 
of the congregation have a chance to rest their voices, 
with the result that when the turn of each section 
comes round, the allotted verse is attacked with fresh- 
ness and enthusiasm. Be that as it may, the fact 
remains that where antiphonal singing has been tried, 
all are warmly in favour of it, and as a means of spur- 
ring on a lukewarm or lethargic congregation, there is 
no better method. 1 

The addition of orchestral instruments to the organ 
accompaniment is an idea that is sometimes in the 
air nowadays. Much might be written on the ques- 
tion whether an organ is really the best medium 
for accompanying a large congregation. No doubt, 
organists will hold up their hands in horror at the 
suggestion; has not the organ been the immemorial 
accompaniment of the Church's religious song? Yet, 
while admitting all its virtues, its nobility, its austerity, 
and its volume, it is impossible to close an eye to its 
defects. Most organists are probably familiar with 
what happens in their churches as soon as they reduce 
the volume of their accompaniments: the congrega- 

1 One or two modern Sunday school hymn-books employ this 
device by giving various verses antiphonally to boys and girls. 


tion drags, the music becomes listless, many stop 
singing altogether, and the general effect is nerveless 
and uninspiring. To combat this, many play loudly 
throughout a hymn in an endeavour to keep the con- 
gregation up to the mark; the required stimulus may 
be forthcoming, but only too often in violation of the 
mood of the words. No doubt many hymns are quite 
unsuitable, by virtue of this fact, for really good con- 
gregational singing, and this point will be touched on 
later. But the fact remains that the organ does 
not provide a rhythmic accompaniment, as does, for 
instance, a piano, or a quartet of brass. To say that 
the organ can be played rhythmically is beside the 
point; the truth is that it does not provide the rhythmic 
'bite' which makes congregational singing, so to speak, 
'come to life'; and there is no doubt that it is often 
vastly improved, by the occasional addition of strings 
or brass. It is impossible to forget the stimulus 
that on one occasion was provided by a couple of 
trumpets that were left over from a performance of a 
Bach cantata in a church service, and used with the 
organ to accompany the final hymn. Even when 
these instruments were playing softly, the help it 
gave to the congregation was most noticeable, and in 
the final verse the singing became positively thrilling. 
One is not necessarily advocating Salvation Army 
methods in churches; but it is earnestly urged that the 
usual practice of thinking the organ the only possible 
accompaniment be given serious consideration; for 
when instruments in the hands of good players are 
available, the effect of a hymn of jubilant character 
can be immensely increased. 

For outdoor services, indeed, nothing finer than a 
quartet of brass, say two trombones and two trumpets, 


can possibly be found. One has often attended outdoor 
services where a large congregation has vainly been 
besought to sing to the accompaniment of a harmonium 
of Lilliputian dimensions, with the result that the 
greater part of the uplift of the service has been lost; 
whereas a small fee paid to professional musicians for 
their services in this matter would have been repaid 
tenfold. And those who think the suggestion that 
instruments be called upon to help the singing in church 
is unorthodox and monstrous, may be reminded that 
a century or more ago it was a universal practice in 
village churches; that abroad, in many cathedrals a 
full orchestra is habitually used on festival days; and 
that if Biblical sanction is required for the practice it 
may be found over and over again in the Old Testa- 
ment, and unanswerably in Psalm 150 : 

Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet : praise Him with 
the psaltery and harp. . . . Praise Him with stringed instruments 
and organs: praise Him upon the loud cymbals: praise Him 
upon the high-sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath 
breath praise the Lord. 

A very welcome tendency nowadays is the intro- 
duction of congregational practices, and Noncon- 
formists may well regret that here the English Church 
has got well ahead of them. It is obvious that, so 
to speak, to throw a new tune at the heads of the 
congregation during the service is not the best way of 
introducing it; but if the organist can get the people 
to stay after the evening service for the practice of 
new tunes, say once a month, the improvement in their 
singing is often noticeable. Sometimes the practice 
is held before service, and while this is, in the opinion 
of many, not so suitable a time (for it is often spoilt 
by late-comers entering and moving about), it has 


something to recommend it, inasmuch as the congrega- 
tion are led into the mood and spirit of singing before 
the service begins. At these practices, too, the organist 
can try over any devices he may be contemplating, 
such as descant, faux bourdon, and antiphonal singing, 
and thus ensure that the congregation will not be 
disturbed in a service by hearing something strange 
and new. As to the method of procedure, the most 
satisfactory is for the organist himself to conduct and 
to get a good assistant to accompany: personal touch 
with a congregation is essential if the practice is to be 
of any use. It may here be emphasized that it is 
essential for something new to be done every time: 
for obviously the congregation will not be attracted 
by a mere run through of hymns they have sung from 
childhood. It is here that the organist will, with the 
help of his choir, introduce new tunes, new methods of 
singing well-known hymns; try to get the congregation 
to sing softly in appropriate verses without dragging (a 
Herculean task this, as all will know who have tried 
it) ; spur the people on to their best efforts in broad 
unison verses, and generally pave the way for improved 
service singing. 

Mention may be made here of the Hymn Festival 
Movement, which appears to have originated in Wales. 
It has been of great value in encouraging people to 
sing, in acquainting them with fine and unknown 
tunes, and in introducing the devices discussed above. 
Publishers have not been slow in bringing out small 
and cheap booklets of good and unfamiliar things, 1 
both new and old, for this purpose, and in the hands 

1 A British Hymn Festival Book (edited by Martin Shaw) ; A First 
Selection of Hymns and Tunes (from Hymns Ancient and Modern) ; 
The Hymn Tunes of Four Centuries and many others. 



of the right leaders the meetings can be most inspiring. 
English people are self-conscious about singing in public, 
and a great effort is generally necessary to get them to 
join in with spirit. Whereas they are often shy of 
lifting their voices in a church service, a practice or 
hymn-singing festival, held in circumstances freed from 
the restraint and the atmosphere which often prevail 
in the service, will frequently have surprisingly good 
results. The Hymn Festival Movement reached its 
highest point in the years immediately preceding the 
war; of late it has fallen somewhat into abeyance, and 
the time is undoubtedly ripe for a big revival. 

A few subsidiary points that do not perhaps come 
quite into the subject of the development of congrega- 
tional singing during the present century, but are, 
nevertheless, germane to the broader issues of the 
matter, may be touched on briefly by way of conclusion. 

It was mentioned above that many hymns, indeed a 
large proportion of those found in our hymn-books, 
do not really lend themselves very satisfactorily to 
good congregational singing, and there are signs 
that there is at present a feeling in agreement with 
this; certainly the hymns now chosen in services 
often show that those in which a good melodic 
line gives encouragement to a congregation are in- 
creasingly favoured. Even so, there is often room for 
improvement, and there are many ministers, even to- 
day, who seem curiously insensitive to the fact that 
some hymns always go well, and some never. One who 
has been on friendly terms with some of them hopes 
that it may be stated, without giving offence, that 
ministers are far from always being the best judges 
of what is a good 'singing' hymn. Too often they 
favour hymns of the introspective type, sung to tunes 


of a sentimental kind, wherein the chief interest, if 
any, lies in the harmony rather than in the melody, 
and this type of hymn is rarely sung satisfactorily. 
One can readily understand that their preoccupation 
is rather with the words, whereas that of the congrega- 
tion is always rather with the tune. This is not to 
say that a congregation pays no heed to the words it 
sings; but it is obvious that the introspective hymn 
needs a tune in sympathy with the words, and such 
tunes are rarely of the kind that lends itself to a 
broad effect in singing. All good organists know the 
type of hymn that goes 'with a swing', and if the 
choice of hymns were, for the most part, left to them, 
the standard of singing would probably be consider- 
ably higher. In this connection, it is worthy of note 
that many ministers are nowadays content to leave 
the entire choice of hymns to the organist, if they feel 
he is worthy of such a responsibility, only altering the 
selection if a particular hymn be wanted to re-echo the 
mood of the sermon, or for some other special reason. 
In churches where this plan is adopted, there is very 
rarely cause for regret; and the minister is freed from 
an additional task which he has often too little time 
to perform satisfactorily. A further advantage is 
that the organist feels he is not a mere nonentity, 
ordered to play this and that and nothing else, but 
that he shares the responsibility of ordering the service 
with the minister; and is bound in consequence to 
think more highly of his position and of his work in 
the church. It cannot too strongly be emphasized 
that the right choice of hymns can make a service, 
just as the wrong choice can mar it, however excellent 
the quality of the preaching may be. 

Perhaps a few words as to the type of hymn that is 



finding increasing favour, and what may be described 
as the 'right choice of hymn', may be helpful. In the 
first place, practically all hymns of the 'praise' 
type. They are usually set to fine, broad tunes of the 
quality of Old Hundredth, Praise my Soul, Duke Street, 
Hanover, and Leoni. Secondly, hymns with a strong 
nature feeling, such as are usually grouped under the 
heading ' His goodness in Providence ' or some similar 
title. Thirdly, hymns for seasons, functions, and 
occasions of the Church, such as morning, evening, 
church anniversaries, the call to worship and mis- 
sionary enterprise. Fourthly, national and social, 
hymns for the people and for peace (of which there are 
too few in our books). Fifthly, hymns of courage and 
conflict (with one or two exceptions of undignified 
blatancy). These divisions are, of course, by no 
means clear-cut; there are a few poor tunes within, 
just as there are a few good ones without; but all in 
all, perhaps, they give some clue to what experience 
has found congregations will sing with heart and 
spirit, and to the type of hymn that is tending more 
and more to be chosen. 

As to what is the 'wrong choice of hymn', detailed 
discussion is unnecessary; but for those in doubt it is not 
a bad plan to read through the words of a hymn and 
ask oneself: 'Does this hymn definitely inspire me to 
sing?' If the answer be 'No', it is obvious what to 
do: the choice of such a hymn may probably throw a 
cloud over the whole service. Our ministers and 
organists are definitely anxious for the people to sing; 
but the people cannot sing if the hymn does not lend 
itself to good singing. 

Some people are inclined to believe that the presence 
of a choir rather hinders congregational singing. 


Indeed, there is a tendency, as at St. Martin's-in-the- 
Fields, the Guildhouse (Eccleston Square), and the 
Christian Science churches, to mention three instances, 
where the work of the choir is either reduced to a 
minimum, or else dispensed with altogether, the con- 
gregation being definitely the important factor in the 
musical part of the service. It need scarcely be said 
that most church musicians, and those who believe that 
there is a part for both congregation and choir in the 
service, do not look upon the tendency with any favour. 
Without doubt, the presence of a choir is in some cases 
inimical to congregational singing, and it is generally 
known, for instance, that the type of choir common in 
America, led by a professional quartet, does not help 
the people to join in the service. The organist is un- 
willing to give the requisite body to the accompani- 
ment for fear of drowning the professional singers, with 
the result that his accompaniments become finicky and 
meticulous, and discouraging to the people. To say, 
however, that a good choir and congregational singing 
are incompatible is simply to confess that the problem 
has not been studied in its proper light; for there is 
without doubt a place for both in the service. There is, 
for . instance, the possibility of antiphonal singing 
between people and choir; there are the devices 
mentioned above for giving a special part to the choir, 
while the congregation sings the melody; and there are 
the extra-liturgical services of cantatas and other 
church music both on Sunday evenings after service 
and during the week, to which the energies of the 
choir can be directed. There are even anthems with a 
simple 'people's part' which can be learnt at con- 
gregational practices, with a more elaborate part for 
the choir: there are church cantatas by Bach and others, 


interspersed with chorales for the congregation to sing, 
in which the full effect is not obtained unless they take 
their share. Those who have heard the 'St. Matthew' 
Passion, for instance, at St. Paul's Cathedral cannot 
fail to have been thrilled by the effect of the interposi- 
tions of the huge congregation singing these chorales 
with the full accompaniment of organ and orchestra. 
Choir and congregation, both have their part to play 
in the Church's song: they are, or should be, comple- 
mentary to each other and not antagonistic. 

Finally, when the right choice of hymn, an inspiring 
method of singing it, a building which is 'live' acoustic- 
ally, and all other points mentioned above are taken 
into consideration, there still remains one aspect of 
the matter, namely, the personality and musical ability 
of the organist; and here one is glad to note, our 
churches are more and more alive to the necessity of 
appointing a responsible and well-trained musician to 
this important post. For when all is said and done, 
the kind of accompaniment provided by the organist 
is perhaps the most potent factor in good congrega- 
tional singing. Some organists, both professional and 
amateur, seem to possess the ability adequately to lead 
and accompany the congregation, which others, for 
some mysterious reason, however excellent their gifts 
lack entirely. This is not a belittlement of the 
amateur in favour of the professional, or vice versa; 
but other things being equal, it is more and more being 
found that the management of the musical part of the 
service is more satisfactorily left in the hands of the 
professional. It stands to reason that this is often 
necessarily the case; for the long training involved will 
generally have taught him the right management of 
the organ for good accompaniment; his knowledge of 


harmony and counterpoint will show him the pitfalls 
to be avoided when he tries the necessary task of 
varying the harmonies for unison singing; his musical 
taste, assiduously cultivated during years of acquaint- 
ance with great music, will enable him to distinguish 
between the shoddy and the fine tune, to the ultimate 
benefit of the congregation. This being so, it is a 
welcome fact that the higher salaries now generally 
offered provide more inducement for the professional 
musician than was previously the case. It is a truism 
that the type of playing the churches will get is 
dependent exactly on the salary offered. If they offer 
a good salary, they will get a good musician; and the 
reverse is equally true. The improving standard of 
music in churches is due largely to the generally rising 
level of taste that was spoken of at the beginning of 
this chapter; but the employment of the good musician 
must also be held partly responsible. Even so, there is 
room for improvement. One still hears of churches 
that can afford to install an expensive organ, but still 
continue to pay a miserable pittance to the organist, 
which in many cases is insufficient to pay his fares to 
and from the church, quite apart from the organ music 
which it is essential for him to have. A tribute may 
well be paid to those who continue their faithful work 
under circumstances such as these, for the love of it, 
and for nothing else; but in many instances, how un- 
necessary it is ! The difference to the musical part of the 
service made by the provision of a good musician at an 
adequate fee proves, in many cases, to be tremendous. 
To those having the welfare of church song at heart 
the final word may well be one of encouragement . While 
much more remains to do, much has already been done, 
as a comparison between the hymns in use thirty 


years ago and those in use to-day will show. A steady 
progress in the elimination of the weak and the sub- 
stitution of the strong is quietly and unobtrusively 
being made; more thought is being given to the 
problems of corporate worship; the standard of the 
music sung is everywhere higher, and the future is 
generally encouraging. One may hope that these 
achievements are but stepping-stones to a conception 
of music in churches finer and nobler than anything 
we of to-day can compas. 







A sure stronghold, 52-4, 58 

Abbaye, 80 

Aberystwyth, 206, 214 

Ach Gott, 215 

Acts of the Apostles, 59 

Addison, Joseph, 113, 195 

Agape, 197 

Ainsworth, Henry, 87 

All glory, laud, and honour, 23, 


All hail the power, 147 
All my heart this night, 133 
All ye that pass by, 135 
Allein Gott, 215 
Allen, James, 145 
Alline, Henry, 154 
Allison, Richard, 77 
Allon, Henry, 54, 77, 178 
Almighty Framer, 171 
Ambrose, 8 

'American Harmony', 154 
American organs, 161, 164, 202 
Anabaptist hymns, 47, 135 
Angel's Song, 82 
Angelus, 180 
Anglo-Saxon poetry, 34 
Anthems, 4, 30, 72, 74, 78, 113, 

175, 179, 191 
Antioch, 54 
Antiphonal singing, 8, 17, 21, 29, 

56, 145, 161, 221 
Antiphonars, 24 
Aquinas, Thomas, 25, 28 
Arabia, 202 
Arizona, 206 
Arnold's, 117 
Asaph, 1 02 
Ascalon, 180 
Ash, John, 126 

Ashworth family, 114, 124 
Athaliah, 204 
Augustine, 54 
Aurelius, 9 
Ausbund, 49 
Austin, John, 94 

Babylon, 77 

Bach, 131 

Ballads, 37 

Ballerma, 180 

'Baptist Church Hymnal', 127, 

203, 205 

Barrel-organs, 36, 149 
Bars, 67, 76, 81, 213 
Barton, William, 94 
'Barton Hymns', 127 
Battishitt, 142 
Baxter, Richard, 99 
'Bay Psalm Book', 88, 98 
Bayeux, 206 

Beddome, Benjamin, 123 
Bede, 23, 35 
Bedford, 102, 115 
Beecher, Henry Ward, 157 
Benedict, David, 155 
Benevento, 184 
Bernard of Clairvaux, 23 
Berners, 144 
Bishop, John, 102 
Blake, William, 167 
Blest be the tie that binds, 126 
'Blind Bartimeus', 159 
Backing Warp, 124, 130 
Bohemia, 54 

'Book for Boys and Girls', 97 
'Book of Praise', 190 
Bower, Jacob, 154 
Boyce, William, 149 



Boyd, William, 189 
Boyse, Joseph, 99 
Brayman, Mason, 160 
Bremen, 134 
Brentford, 113 

Breviaries, 12, 39, 62, 104, 184 
Bristol, 8 1 
Broadmead, 95, 174 
Browne, Thomas, 79 
Brownlie, Robert, 190 
Bryn Calf aria, 214 
Bunyan, John, 97 
Burford, 102, 114 
Burnham, 178 
Burns, Robert, 170 
Byrd, William, 41, 78 
Byrom, John, 114 
Byzantium, 177 

Caedmon, 33 

Calcutta, 204 

Calm on the listening ear, 158 

Calvary, 144, 177 

Calvin, John, 57 

Cambridge, 75 

Campion, Thomas, 77, 116 

Canon, 25, 85 

Canterbury, 75 

Carey, Henry, 115, 169 

Cathedrals, 72, 78, 82, 101, 112, 

191, 214 

Cennick, John, 145 
'Centuries of Select Hymns', 94 
' Certayne Notes ', 79 
Chadwick, J. W., 159 
Chandler, John, 9, 185 
Chants, 13, 60 
'Chants Chretiens', 178 
Charity schools, 117 
Cheare, Abraham, 95 
Cheshunt, 143 
Chesshire, 77 

'Chetham's Psalmody', 114 
Children, 6, 17, 28, 31, 44, 76, 

94-7, no, 135, 196-8, 212, 220 
Children of the heavenly King, 


'Child's Primer', 94 
Chimes, 144 
Choice of hymns, 226 

Choirs, i, 8, 17, 24, 71, 76, 105, 

124, 137, 138, 145, 200, 207, 219 
'Choral Harmony', 186 
'Chorale Book', 136 
Chorales, 51-7, 137, 160, 178, 

186, 215 

Christ is our corner-stone, 22, 185 
Christ the Lord is risen again, 26 
Christchurch, 186 
'Christian Endeavour Hymnal', 


'Christian Observer', 183 
' Christian Year ', 184 
Christians, awake, 114 
'Church Hymnary', 192, 217 
'Church Hymns', 188 
'Church Hymns and Tunes', 179 
'Church Praise', 192 
'Church Psalmody', 186 
'Church Psalter and Hymn Book', 


'Church Tunes', 61, 77, 78 
City of God, 159 
Clark, Thomas, 178 
Claudius, Matthias, 178 
Clement of Alexandria, 6 
Coburg, 54 
Coleridge, S. T., 170 
Coleshill, 213 

' Collection of Tunes ', 114, 115 
Collections, 126-8 
Colver, Nathanael, 156 
Come, Holy Ghost, 22 
Come tell us your troubles, 154 
Come, Thou fount, 125 
Come, ye that love, 113 
Commandments, 64 
Commit thou all thy griefs, 134 
Common metre, 38, 43, 60, 61, 169 
'Companion Tune Book', 203 
Complaint, 144 

'Comprehensive Rippon', 128 
Conder family, 175 
Congregational practice, 224 
Congregationalists, 98, 100, 109, 

114, 115, 158, 160, 175, 178, 192 
Controversial hymns, 10 
Copyrights, 74, 86, 128, 142, 157, 

189, 197, 199, 203 
Corinth, 184 
Cornish, 143 



Coronation, 154 
Countess of Huntingdon, 145 
Coverdale, Miles, 52-5 
Cowper, William, 147 
Cranbrook, 204 
Creamer, David, 159 
Creator Spirit, 104 
Croft, William, 112, 118 
Crosby, Fanny, 159 
Crowley, Robert, 60 
Culy, David, 123 
Curtis, John, 174 
Curwen, John, 185, 195 

Dalston, 180 

Damon, William, 75 

Danish music, 36 

Darwall's, 149 

Datchet, 186 

David, 116 

David's Harp, 206 

Davies, Samuel, 153 

Davis, Gabriel, 128 

Davis, Richard, 100 

Davis, Walford, 193 

Day of wrath, 100, 171 

Daye family, 67, 73 

Deacon, Samuel, 127 

Deacons, 138, 200 

Deighn Layrocks, 124, 130 

Descant, 17, 23, 164, 219 

Dettingen, 54 

Devizes, 178 

Diadem, 178, 204 

Dickson, David, 80 

Dijon, 134 

'Divine and Moral Songs', in 

' Divine Centurie, etc. ', 85 

'Divine Companion', 101, 113 

'Divine Musical Miscellany', 145 

Dix, 134 

Dobell, John, 127 

Dolomite Chant, 206 

Doncaster, 141 

Dresden, 178 

Dryden, John, 9, 104 

Dry den's, 144 

Duke Street, 228 

Dukes, 80 

Dundee and Dundie, 59, 80 

Dunfermline, 80, 82 
Dunkers, 122, 136, 154 
Dunster, Henry, 88 
Durham, 81 
Dutton, Anne, 122 
Dying Stephen, 144 

Easter Hymn, 118 

Eaton, 59, 178, 202 

Ebenezer, 214 

Eisenach, 114 

Elixer, The, 56 

Elliott, Ebenezer, 176 

Ellor, James, 178 

Elvey, G. J., 186 

Ely, 19, 64 

'Encomium on Music', 54 

'English Hymnal', 189, 215 

Enthroned on high, 146 

Ep worth, 143 

Erasmus, 24 

Es ist das Heil, 215 

Este, Thomas, 77 

Eternal Ruler, 159 

Euphony, 178 

Evan, 185 

Evangelicals, 139-47, 187, 188 

Evans, Caleb, 126 

Evans, David, 217 

Fair field, 186 

' Family Hymns ', 99 

Farningham, 206 

Farrant, Richard, 77 

Faux bourdon, 218, 220 

Fawcett, John, 126 

Fellows, John, 127, 144 

'Fellowship Hymnal', 199 

Flung to the heedless winds, 51 

Folk-songs, 28, 65, 83, 142, 163, 

164, 180, 197, 213, 215, 217 
Foster, John, 171 
Francis, Benjamin, 128 
Franconia, 134, 206 
Freeman, Enoch, 155 
French, 59, 80 
Freu dich sehr, 215 
From Greenland's icy mountains, 

Fulbert of Chartres, 23 


'Gadsby's Selections', 203, 205 

Gascoigne, George, 79 

Gauntlett, H. J., 178 

Genevan psalters, 61 

Gibbons, 82 

Gibbons, Thomas, in 

Glad Tidings, 129 

Glassenburie, 77 

Gloucester, 81 

God be with you, 212 

' Goostly Psalmes ', 55 

Gopsal, 134 

Goshen, 197 

Goudimel, 57 

Greek hymnody, i, 5, 10, u, 189 

Gregorians, 12, 179, 185 

Grigg, Joseph, in 

Groser, William, 174 

'Gude and Godly Ballates', 53 

Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah, 

Guido of Arezzo, 19 

Habington, William, 92 

Haddon, John, 174 

Hafodwen, 206 

Halle, 54 

Hambleton's, 144 

Handel, G. R, 117, 134 

' Handful of Honisuckles ', 76 

Hanover, 113, 228 

Harlan, 160 

'Harmonia Perfecta', 116 

'Harmonia Sacra', 113, 136 

Harmoniums, 202, 224 

Harmony, 19, 73, 74, 77, 81, 82, 

211, 219 

Harris, Joseph, 128 
Harrison, Ralph, 115 
Hart, Andro, 59, 80, 186 
Harts, 145 

Havergal family, 185, 188 
Haweis, Thomas, 146 
Heber, Reginald, 183 
Heinlein, 134 
Helmsley, 143 
Hemans, Felicia, 173 
Herbert, George, 55 
Hereford, 149 
Hierapolis, 141 
Hilary of Poitiers, 8 

'History of Music', 118 

Holmes, O. W., 158 

Holy Rest, 202 

Holy Spirit, Truth Divine, 159 

Homiletic hymns, 6, 51, 92, 156 

Horae Lyricae', no 

Horsley, William, 117 

Hullah, John, 195 

Hunnis, William, 75 

Hunter, William, 159 

Hyfrydol, 206, 214 

Hymn festivals, 225 

'Hymnal Companion', 189 

'Hymnal Noted', 187, 189 

'Hymnary', 189 

'Hymns Ancient and Modern', 

1 88, 202 
'Hymns and Songs of the 

Church', 82 
'Hymns and Spiritual Songs', 

109, 127, 154 
'Hymns for Heart and Voice', 

'Hymns of Consecration and 

Faith', 199 
' Hymns of the Primitive Church ', 

'Hymns of the Spirit', 159 

Icelandic harmony, 36 

Ilsley, 102 

In the myddst of our lyvyng, 52 

Indian music and hymns, 164, 206 

Ingham, Benjamin, 145 

Innocents, 185 

Innsbruck, 134 

Instrumental music, 35, 58, 77, 

83, 124, 129, 138, 200, 223 
Integer Vitae, 187 
'Introduction to Psalmody', 115 
Irish, 114 
It came upon the midnight clear, 


Jackson, Alverey, 123 

Jackson, Thomas, 177 

Jacob's Chant, 147 

Jarman, Thomas, 129 

Jericho, 142 

Jerusalem, 217 

Jerusalem, my happy home, 80 



Jesu Redetnptor, 214 
Jesus, Thy blood, 134 
Johnson, Samuel, 159 
Jonson, Ben, 79 
Joyfully, joyfully, 159 

Keach, Benjamin, 94-101, 121-3 

Ken, Thomas, 80, 99 

Kentish, 77 

Kethe, William, 62 

Kettleby's, 144 

Kiel, 177 

Kilmarnock, 206 

King's College, 81 

King's Lynn, 213 

Kings/old, 213 

La Trobe, Paul, 186 
Lancaster, 149 
Lawes, Henry, 68 
Leach, James, 177 
Leland, John, 119, 153 
Leoni, 143, 228 
Let the Most Blessed, 97 
Lewis, Titus, 128 
Lift your glad voices, 158 
Lining out, 92, 113, 125, 156 
London, 113, 186 
London New, 186 
Londonderry Air, 206 
Long metre, 8, 12, 37 
Longfellow brothers, 159 
Lord! come away, 93 
Lord, it belongs not, 99 
Lord of all being, 158 
Lord of our life, 187 
Love Feast, 143 
Lowly and solemn, 173 
Lubeck, 178 
Luther, Martin, 50 
Luther's Chant, 160 
Luther's Hymn, 65 
Lynch, T. T., 175 
'Lyra Davidica', 114 
'Lyra Germanica', 187 

Madan, Martin, 146 
Magdalen College, 149 
Mainzer, Joseph, 195 
Manly, Basil, 160 
Mannheim, 160 

Marlborough, 174 

Martyrs, 82 

Marylebone, 143 

Mason, Lowell, 160 

Medley, Samuel, 125 

Melcombe, 184 

Methodist hymns, 139-50, 159 

Metres, 23, 50, 60, 65, 67, 79, 84, 

no, 116, 131, 136, 176, 189 
Mighty God, while angels, 125 
Miles Lane, 115, 202 
Miller, Edward, 177 
Milman, Henry, 183 
Milton, John, 80 
Mission hymns, 155, 161, 164 
Missionary, 160 
Monk, W. H., 188 
Monkland, 188 
Monksgate, 213 
Monmouth, 129 
Montgomery, 115 
Montgomery, James, 173 
Moravians, 133, 141. 145, 173, 186 
Morning Hymn, 117 
Morning Song, 144 
Morning Star, 1 14 
Mortals, awake, 125 
Moscow, 146 
Mount Ephraim, 206 
Mount Zion, 202 
Much in sorrow, 173 
Munich, 134 
'Musical Times', 195 
My God, I love Thee, 104 

'National Psalmody', 147 

Neale, J. M., 187, 189 

Needham, John, 125 

Negro song, 161 

Never weather-beaten sail, 116 

'New and Large Collection', 127 

New Sabbath, 202 

'New Selection', 174 

New Year's Day, 144 

New York, 156, 205 

Newton, John, 126, 147 

Niagara, 206 

Nicaea, 188 

Norfolk, 149 

Northampton, 113 

Notation, 14, 19, 41, 44, 122, 137 


Now begin the heavenly, 126 
Now I have found, 134 
Nun Danket, 134 

O Filii, 221 

O sapientia, 21 

O Thou from whom, 146 

O Thou to whom, 158 

Object of my first desire, 147 

'Occom's Collection', 153 

O'er the gloomy hills, 146 

Of the Father's love, 10 

'Old Church Psalmody', 185 

'Old English Ballads', 84 

Old 44th, 206 

Old looth, 62, 64, 228 

Old I2oth, 206 

Old itfth, 74 

Old Langdon, 205 

Olivet, 1 60 

' Olney Hymns ', 147 

Oratorios, 105, 138 

Organs, 14, 26, 28, 58, 66, 69, 72, 

83, 103, 116, 130, 135, 193, 

200, 223 

Palmer, Roundell, 181, 190 
Paraphrases, 33, 55, 59, 74, 81, 

97. 99, ioo, no, 128 
'Parish Choir', 185 
Parker, Matthew, 74 
' Parochial Harmony ',117 
Part-singing, 31, 41, 78, 142, 218 
Passion Chorale, 134 
Patrick, John, 99 
Patrick, Millar, 193 
Pentatonics, 15, 29, 165, 180, 206 
Pentecost, 189 
Perronet, Edward, 147 
Philadelphia, 206 
Pierpont, John, 158 
Pius X, 193 
Plain-song, 9, 13, 17, 29, 44, 54, 

73, 104, 213, 215 
Playford family, 95, 96, 101, 113 
Pope and Turk, 65 
Praise, 177 

Praise, my Soul, 186, 228 
Printing, 26, 41, 42, 66, 102 
Proper tunes, 64 
'Psalmist', 156, 174 

'Psalms and Hymns', 95, 117, 174 
'Psalms of David', 177 
'Psalms of David Imitated', no 
'Psalms of David for the use of 

Parish Churches', 117 
Psalms versus hymns, 3, 88, 94, 

Psalters, 57, 60-7, 73-7, 80, 81, 

87, ioo, 113, 185 
Purcell, Henry, 101, 102 

Quarles, Francis, 55, 69 

Radiger, Anton, 177 

Ratisbon, 178 

Ravenscroft, Thomas, 59, 68, 81, 

82, 185 
Refrains, 40, 56, 76, 91, 94, 122, 

157, 161, 164 
Repeats, 125, 204 
Resurrection, 114 
Revivalism, 153, 198, 211 
Rex tremendae majestatis, 12 
Rhyme, 8, n, 12, 37, 60, 144 
Rhythm, 8, 23, 34, 76, no, 144^ 

163, 185, 213 
Ringland, 136 
Rippon, John, 128 
Rise, my soul, 116 
Robinson, Robert, 125 
Rock of ages, 147 
Rockingham, 177 
Roman Catholic hymns, 92, 94, 

103, 184, 193 
Romberg, Andreas, 177 
Rouen, 206 

Rousseau's Dream, 142 
Russell Place, 186 
Rutherford, 178 

'Sacramental Hymns', 99, ioo 
'Sacred Gleaner', 178 
'Sacred Harmony', 143 
'Sacred Hymns', 81 
'Sacred Melody', 143 
'Sacred Music', 128 
St. Albinus, 179 
St. Alphege, 179 
St. Anne's, 112 
St. Bernard, 179 
St. Bride's, 149 



St. Columba, 206, 213 

St. David, 81, 82 

52. Flavian, 64 

St. Fulbert, 180 

St. George, 180 

St. George's, Windsor, 186 

St. John, 185 

St. Luke, 1 02 

S*. Magnus, 113, 117 

S. Mary, 95 

51. Matthew, 112 

52. Peter, 187 

S*. Stephen, 117, 202 

S*. Theodulph, 187 

S*. Werburgh, 184 

Salisbury, 81 

'Salisbury Hymn Book', 187 

Samson, 134 

Sankey, Ira D., 198, 211 

Scott, Walter, 171 

Seagrave, Robert, 116, 145 

Sedgwick, Daniel, 190 

'Selection for the Tabernacle', 


Sequences, 21 

' Sett of New Psalme Tunes ', 102 
Sharon, 149 
Shaw, Martin, 216 
Shirley, John, 39 
Shirley, Walter, 146 
Shrubsole, William, 115 
Silesius, Angelus, 134, 180 
Sine Nomine, 216 
Sing Hallelujah, 23 
'Singing for the Million', 195 
Singing schools, 14, 99, 103, no, 

115, 117, 137, 148, 177, 178, 

195. 199. 212 
Singing seconds, 36, 219 
Sleepers Wake, 114 
Smith, S. F., 155 
Smith, Stow, 156 
Society for Promoting Parish 

Music, 185 
Soldau, 54 
Sol-fa, 20, 44, 58, 67, 73, 97, 98, 

145. 195 
Solomon, 134 
'Solomon's Balettes', 55 
'Songs of Praise', 216 
Spire, 55, 136 

'Spiritual Melody', 98 

'Spiritual Songs', 99 

Spirituals, 163 

Springfield, 180 

Stanford, John, 217 

Stanley, Samuel, 177 . 

Staughton, William, 154, 156 

Staves, 14, 19, 67, 216 

Steele, Anne, 123 

Steggall, Charles, 186 

Stella, 197 

Stennett, Joseph, 89, 100 

Sternhold, Thomas, 60, 100, 103 

Suabia, 187 

Sunday schools, 196, 222 

'Sursum Corda', 156 

Sutton, Katharine, 94 

Sweet children, 95 

Sweet the moments, 145 

Tallis's Canon, 217 

Tallys, Thomas, 41, 74 

Tate, Nahum, 100, 102, 121 

Taylor, Jane, 196 

Taylor, Jeremy, 93 

Tenor versus treble, 54, 58, 74, 

77, 219 

The day departs, 133 
The God of Abraham praise, 144 
Thee will I love, 134 
Theodora, 134 
Theodulph of Orleans, 23 
They are all gone, 93 
Thou dear Redeemer, 145 
Thou hidden love, 134 
Through all the changing, 100 
To Thee, my God, 146 
Tomkins, Thomas, 82 
Toplady, Augustus, 10, 147 
Toulon, 64 
Triumph, 180 
Tropes, 21 
Truro, 206 
Tucker, Isaac, 178 
Turner, Daniel, 123 
Tye, Christopher, 41, 59 

'Union Collection', 174 
'Union Tune-Book', 178 
Unison, 31, 57, 74, 185, 219, 221 


University College, 180 
Upsal, 186 

Vaughan, Henry, 93 
Venantius Fortunatus, 10 
'Veni Creator', 74 
'Veni Emmanuel', 187, 214, 221 
Vienna, 177 

Wagner, Richard, 200 

Wainwright, John, 114 

Waite, John J., 179, 185 

Walker, Thomas, 129 

Wallin, Benjamin, 123 

Walther, Johann, 53 

Walsatt, 102 

Ware, Henry, 158 

Wareham, 148 

Warrington, 115 

Warwick, 177 

Watford, 186 

Watts, Isaac, 107-18, 122, 128, 

144, 174, 175, 180, 196 
Webbe, Samuel, 184, 187 
Wedderburn brothers, 59 
Welcome, happy morning, 10 
Welsh song, 31, 121, 127, 214 
Wesleys, 139-47 
West, Abraham, 123 
Westbury Leigh, 178 

When Thou, my righteous Judge, 


While shepherds watched, 103 
White, Kirke, 173 
Whitefield, George, 121, 139, 145, 


Who, as Thou, 133 
'Whole Booke of Psalmes', 96 
Williams, R. Vaughan, 216 
Williams, William, 146 
Winchell, James Manning, 156 
Winchester, 26 
Winchester College, 102 
Winchester New, 102, 117 
Winchester Old, 77, 102 
Windsor, 59, 82 

Winkworth, Catherine, 131, 187 
Wither, George, 82, 86 
Worcester, 17, 23, 24, 82 
Wordsworth brothers, 172-3 
Worms, 54 

Wyles, Nathanael, 123 
Wyvill, Zerubbabel, 178 

Xavier, Francis, 104 

York, 80, 82 
Your harps, 147 

Zinzendorf, Nicolaus, 134 

MAD? AT Tut 






II Whitley 

Congrggationar hymn 


i ji p ; /? . ; ^ , 
||'/'/A..- ^-..-V: ' 

tr " -~ 

\ ,CA.,u,.,f- 


JO' 096 329' 


, Lu'6