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SONGS OF SACRED PRAISE ;
PSALM AND HYMN TUNES, ANTHEMS, SENTENCES AND CHANTS;
FOR THE USE OF CHOIRS, CONGREGATIONS AND SINGING SCHOOLS.
THE GREATER PORTION OF WHICH IS ENTIRELY NEW TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC.
ARRANGED AND COMPOSED BY
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1845, by
EDWARD HAMILTON, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
This work contains about four hundred psalm and hymn tunes — three hundred of which are new in this country. One hundred are mainly the standard tunes which are in constant use, and are deemed indispensable in every collection of Church Music claiming to be complete. There is also a variety of Anthems, Chants, &c., more than three-fourths of which are now for the first time, published. All the varieties of metre employed in the later collections of sacred poetry are provided for ; so that choirs using this book, will rarely experience the too common embarrassment of hot being able to sing every hymn, given out from the pulpit.
A feature peculiar to the book, is the division of the words into phrases, by means of commas. These marks will therefore be understood as answering this purpose, instead of fulfilling their usual prosodial function. This arrangement will tend to relieve teachers and leaders from the dificulty which has been hitherto experienced, in causing singers properly to group the words, and to take the breath in the right places.
The Editor is indebted to Isaac FLAGG, Esq., for the loan of valuable manuscripts, prepared by him with much labor and care, containing rich selections from the works of the great masters, in many instances adapted by him to English words. The pages of this work are enriched with Extracts from them, of choice music which has never been laid before the public.
Obligations are due also to Lowell Mason, Esq., and to the publishers of the “Carmina Sacra” for permission to extract from that work fire popular Hymn Tunes and three very beautiful Chants - due credit for which is given in the proper place. Thanks are accorded to other gentlemen for contributions.
Credit has been given to the composers entitled to it, in every case where it was practicable. Many of the tunes however being extracted from foreign works, and having no name attached to them, are inserted with the word “unknown" placed over them. Other tunes which have been arranged from some melody, the authorship of which is not known, are distinguished by the word “ arranged ” written over them. Those tunes and pieces which have no designation to the contrary are the composition of the Editor.
The "elements” are brief, but it is believed complete. The first thirteen chapters, state the principles necessary to be understood by pupils in a singing school - and the remaining chapters point out a method of communicating a knowledge of these principles to the mind of the learner. It is hoped that the plan upon which this part of the work is prepared, and the mode of its execution will be found such as to answer a good purpose.
In the composition and arrangement of the music, in the preparation of the elements, and in the whole plan and method of the book, the Editor has kept constantly in view the actual circumstances of choirs in New England, and the state of the public taste in regard to Church music ; and he asks that this may be borne in mind, in forming a judgment as to the merits of the work.
It would have been easy to fill the pages with extracts and arrangements from the great masters of ancient and modern art ; but the probability is that few would have bought the book and almost nobody have used it.
It is hoped the work will answer the end proposed, which is to furnish the public with music of an agreeable character, adapted to all metres and to all occasions, and calculated upon the whole to elevate the public taste.