The Psalm-Singer’s Amusement, title page, page 2
The Psalm-Singer’s Amusement, Advertisement, page 2
The Suffolk Harmony, title page, page 137
The Suffolk Harmony, Shiloh, text, page 137
Anthem: Blessed Is He, 34
Anthem: Consonance, 112
Anthm: Euroclydon, 70
Anthem: Lift Up Your Eyes, 176
Anthem: Modern Music, 96
Anthem: Peace, 256
Anthem: The Lord is ris’n indeed, 244
Anthem: Thou O God, 16
Anthem: Union, 140
The Bird, 224
Brattle Street, 160
Isle of Wight, 346
Old Hundred, 350
Plymouth New, 292
Wheeler’s Point, 164
1 Billings’s tune books will be cited below by sigla: The New-England Psalm-Singer (Boston: Edes and Gill, ) as NEPS; The Singing Master’s Assistant (Boston: Draper and Folsom, 1778) as SMA; Music in Miniature (Boston: the Author, 1779) as MM; The Psalm-Singer’s Amusement (Boston: the Author, 1781) as PSA; The Suffolk Harmony (Boston: J. Norman, 1786) as SH; and The Continental Harmony (Boston: Isaiah Thomas and Ebenezer T. Andrews, 1794) as CH. The Complete Works of William Billings (The American Musicological Society and The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 1977–) will be cited as follows: Vol. I, ed. by Karl Kroeger (1981) as WBI; Vol. II, ed. by Hans Nathan (1977) as WBII.
2 “Advertisement,” PSA, p. 2. In 1770 Billings had written that he had a second volume of music “consisting chiefly of Anthems, Fuges and Chorus’s” that would be published if NEPS met “with Encouragement” (WBI, p. 4). In 1778 he noted that “the Book of Anthems . . . was just on the point of publication, when Hostilities commenced between Britain and the Colonies.” (WBII, p. 6).
3 Of these nine compositions, only the anthem Peace and the anthem Universal Praise survive as a separate issue. The rest are found as extra music bound with copies of SH. In addition, The Bird and The Lark appear in many copies, but not all, of a later edition of PSA (n.p., n.d., but probably printed ca. 1804 by John Howe in Greenwich, Massachusetts). See David P. McKay and Richard Crawford, William Billings of Boston (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975), p. 111 and n., and p. 274. See also Hans Nathan, William Billings, Data and Documents (Detroit: Information Coordinators, 1976), p. 56.
4 See, for example, William Selby’s Two Anthems (1782), Billings’s Peace (1783); Abraham Wood’s Hymn on Peace (1784); Benjamin Dearborn’s A Scheme for Reducing the Science of Music to a More Simple State (1785); the Uranian Society of Philadelphia’s Introductory Lessons (1785); Simeon Jocelin’s A Collection of Favorite Psalm Tunes (1787); Billings’s An Anthem for Easter (1787); and perhaps Billings’s anthems “O Clap Your Hands” and “Except the Lord Build the House.” The practice of issuing anthems and small collections of psalm-tunes separate from tunebooks continued into the early 1800s, with Abraham Wood’s Funeral Elegy on the Death of General George Washington (1800) and Samuel Holyoke’s Occasional Music (1802) being just two of many examples.
5 In The Core Repertory of Early American Psalmody (Madison, Wisconsin: A-R Editions, 1984), Richard Crawford has published the 101 compositions most often found in American sacred tunebooks between 1698 and 1810. Among these are eight works by Billings: Amherst, Brookfield, Chester, Jordan, Lebanon, Majesty, Maryland, and An Anthem For Easter (“The Lord Is Ris’n, Indeed”). Several other Billings tunes were widely popular and frequently reprinted, although not enough to make Crawford’s “Core Repertory” list. These include Bethlehem, Columbia, Mendom, New Hingham, Paris, and Washington.
6 “Advertisement,” SMA, p. ; repr. in WBII, p. 6.
7 Richard Crawford and David P. McKay showed that several pieces by Billings in the Waterhouse manuscript (see p. xxxiv for list of Ms sigla) were never published. See their “Music in Manuscript: A Massachusetts Tune-Book of 1782,” Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, LXXXIV (April 1974), pp. 43–64. Hans Nathan’s discovery of a variant version of New North (WBII, p. 264)—with rhythmic differences and a fuging chorus not found in the version Billings published in SMA (WBII, p. 200)—suggests the presence of more such pieces in manuscript collections.
8 All ten tunes are included in Crawford’s Core Repertory (see note 4). Billings’s choice of tunes suggests an attempt to broaden the appeal of his collection beyond that of his own music.
9 See Nathan, William Billings, p. 31.
10 Framingham, Manchester, and Wareham had appeared in MM as plain tunes, but the addition of substantial fuging choruses to these tunes in PSA justifies considering them as newly published.
11 The set-piece is usually considered to be a through-composed setting of a metrical poetic text, while an anthem is normally a setting of scriptural prose. These labels do not fit every situation—for example, Billings often mingled hymn verses with Biblical prose and occasionally set poetical texts, calling them all anthems—but they hold for most anthems and set-pieces in American psalmody. Set-pieces tend to be shorter and musically less complex than anthems. See Richard Crawford, “Set-piece,” The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 20 vols., ed. by Stanley Sadie (London: Macmillan, 1980), XVII, p. 200. See also W. Thomas Marrocco, “The Set Piece,” Journal of the American Musicological Society, XV (Fall 1962), pp. 342–352.
12 The count does not include the 25 tunes from NEPS reprinted in SMA and MM, each of which had been revised, some substantially.
13 McKay and Crawford, William Billings, p. 47, note that the “Tansur Singers,” of which Billings may have been a member, met at the home of John Tileston as early as 1762. The Aretinian Society advertised a concert of sacred music in Boston in 1782. Nathan, William Billings, p. 32, records that Billings and a “singing Company” (possibly the Aretinian Society) were given permission to use the South Latin Schoolhouse in 1782. William Selby’s Two Anthems (Boston, 1782) were “composed in an easy and familiar stile, and adapted for use of Singing Societies.” The first edition of The Worcester Collection of Sacred Harmony (Worcester, 1786) notes on its title page that “The Whole was compiled For the Use of Schools and Singing Societies.” For a study of musical societies in Massachusetts, see Donald A. Nitz, Community Musical Societies in Massachusetts to 1840 (D.M.A. dissertation, Boston University, 1964).
14 Collections devoted largely to anthems, and hence intended for singers of some skill and experience, had been published earlier, e.g., Josiah Flagg’s Sixteen Anthems (Boston, 1766) and Daniel Bayley’s The New Universal Harmony (Newburyport, 1773). Anthem collections, however, were not easy to market. Ebenezer T. Andrews complained in a letter to Isaiah Thomas (July 24, 1791), that the third part of The Worcester Collection (Boston, 1786), which contained mostly anthems, set-pieces, and new hymn-tunes, sold poorly when it was not bound with the first and second parts, which contained musical rudiments and popular psalm-tunes. (See the Isaiah Thomas Papers, American Antiquarian Society.) Samuel Andrew Law, in a letter to his uncle, Andrew Law (February 8, 1794), advised against publishing “a book of any considerable size consisting wholly of anthems,” asserting that unless smaller pieces were offered with the larger, “the book will not go.” (See Richard Crawford. Andrew Law, American Psalmodist [Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1968] p. 118.)
15 “Advertisement,” PSA, p. 2.
16 McKay and Crawford, William Billings, p. 108.
17 As McKay and Crawford point out (ibid., p. 108n), the style had been seen in other tunebooks, such as James Lyon’s Urania (Philadelphia, 1761) and Andrew Law’s Select Harmony ([Cheshire. Connecticut], 1779). Similar borders also appear on hundreds of English and French song sheets during the eighteenth century.
18 The vignettes in the corners seem to show musical performances at concerts (upper corners) and perhaps in the home (lower corners), but surely not in a church during public worship. The vignette in the upper center, showing a singing master sounding a pitchpipe, may portray Billings himself. See McKay and Crawford, William Billings, p. 108, for a discussion of the title page.
19 When a compiler was publisher, but not printer, of his work, the imprint might read: “Printed for, and sold by the Author.” (See Daniel Bayley’s The Psalm-Singer’s Assistant, Newburyport, ca. 1765.) By omitting “for” in the imprint, Billings himself claims credit for the printing. Internal evidence testifies that the book was printed by an inexperienced hand. A number of pages in each surviving copy have faint spots, suggesting uneven inking of the plate, and some have double impressions where the paper seems to have slipped during the printing process. In addition, page numbers and caption titles are frequently cropped so closely that upper parts are missing.
20 Billings must have maintained relations with several publishers, such as Benjamin Edes, who published NEPS in 1770 and The Porcupine, alias The Hedge-Hog, a satire attributed to Billings, in 1784. Perhaps, if Billings did not own a copperplate press himself, he rented or borrowed one from someone else. According to Richard J. Wolfe, Early American Music Engraving and Printing (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1980), p. 165, the copperplate press was “an extremely uncomplicated apparatus.”
21 McKay and Crawford, William Billings, p. 106, speaking of MM, note that “the work would have presented few problems, even to a novice at printing.” Once the plates were properly engraved and marked, PSA would have offered no greater problems.
22 For example, see pp. 25, 28, 29, 32, 47, 56, 66, 100, and 101 for musical notation. Pages 28, 56, and 66 have diamond-shaped note heads clearly visible at the bottom of the page, while pp. 29 and 101 have oval-shaped notes. Thus Billings, who claimed to have delayed publishing this work because copper-plate was so scarce and expensive (see “Advertisement” to PSA), ended up re-using plates that had first been engraved well before the war.
23 Several pages show the remains of heavy border markings (see pp. 20, 34, 35, 36, 39, 40, 52, 68, and 69). The size of the borders of pp. 68–69 match those of Bayley’s Psalm-Singer’s Assistant; those on pp. 34–35 appear to match those of Johnston’s edition of Walter’s The Grounds and Rules of Musick Explained; and others, such as pp. 56, 100, and 101, may have come from Bayley’s A New and Compleat Introduction. Other tunebooks of these two compilers, such as Johnston’s “To Learn to Sing” (Boston, 1755 and 1760) and Bayley’s The Essex Harmony (Newburyport, 1770–1771), do not match up in size and format.
24 The plates for Johnston’s publication may have come from his son, Benjamin, who engraved the plates for MM. Thomas Johnston died in 1767. Daniel Bayley was still publishing tunebooks in Newburyport, Massachusetts, in the early 1780s, but the engraving style and tunebook format of these plates were by then out of date, and the plates could not have been reused in their earlier form.
25 When PSA was reprinted after Billings’s death, the anonymous publisher—perhaps John Howe of Greenwich, Massachusetts—sought to make the work more widely useful by adding a theoretical introduction and a collection of psalm-tunes, partly drawn from MM.
26 “Advertisement,” PSA, p. 2 (see note 1).
27 These anthems, many of which resemble in style those in PSA, were probably published in CH (1794). Union, in SH, also resembles the PSA anthems stylistically. Although the cost of a copy of PSA is unknown, the usual price for an engraved tunebook of its size in the early 1780s was about 8 shillings. (See Karl Kroeger, The Worcester Collection of Sacred Harmony and Sacred Music in America, 1786–1803, Ph.D. dissertation, Brown University, 1976, pp. 74–75.)
28 McKay and Crawford, William Billings, p. 114.
29 WBI, p. 138.
30 WBII, p. 244.
31 For a fuller discussion of Billings’s texts, see J. Murray Barbour, The Church Music of William Billings (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1960), pp. 8–13, and McKay and Crawford, William Billings, pp. 97–101.
32 Ibid., p. 98.
33 This volume, p. 46. For “Let Ev’ry Mortal Ear Attend,” see p. 120.
34 Nathan, William Billings, pp. 38 and 56.
35 For an outline of Norman’s work as a music engraver, see McKay and Crawford, William Billings, p. 141n.
36 McKay and Crawford, William Billings, p. 146.
38 Northborough appeared in John Stickney’s The Gentleman and Lady’s Musical Companion (Newburyport, 1774) as Lanesborough; Kittery in Oliver Brownson’s Select Harmony ([Connecticut], 1783); Richmond in SMA; Madrid in MM and Hartford and Mendom in PSA. Although newly published, Brattle Square and Wheeler’s Point are set in the parish-church style of Billings’s earlier pieces.
39 Karl Kroeger, “William Billings’s Music in Manuscript Copy and Some Notes on Variant Versions of His Pieces,” Notes, XXXIX (December 1982), pp. 342–344.
40 McKay and Crawford, William Billings, pp. 149–150.
41 In NEPS Billings used the verse-and-chorus form in Ashford, Haverill, and Smithfield, calling the final section “Chorus.” (See WBI, pp. 314, 335, and 322 respectively). In SMA the form is seen in Judea and Richmond. (See WBII, pp. 52 and 170.) Verse-and-chorus tunes emphasize contrast between the two sections, either by using fewer voices in the “verse” section, or by employing a different meter in the “chorus” section. Tunes in SH in verse-and-chorus form are: Baptism, Beneficence, Burlington, Conquest, Hartford, Moravia, Phylanthropy, Richmond, Sinai, and West Boston.
42 McKay and Crawford, William Billings, p. 150.
43 Dictionary of National Biography, 21 vols. (London: Oxford University Press, 1917–), XVI, p. 693.
44 Antinomianism is “the doctrine that the dispensation of grace set forth in the New Testament frees Christians from the claims and obligations of the moral law as presented in the Old Testament.” (Encyclopedia Americana, 30 vols. [New York: Americana Corporation, 1957], II, p. 35).
45 Dictionary of American Biography, 20 vols. (New York: Scribner’s, 1928–1936), VII, pp. 360–362.
46 McKay and Crawford, William Billings, p. 147, give the place of the 1776 edition as Burlington, Vermont. It is correctly cited in WBII, p. 343. Since John Murray was active in Boston as early as 1773, Billings may have been familiar with the original edition of Relly’s Christian Hymns (London, 1758).
47 The poetical meters omitted are: 126.96.36.199.8; 188.8.131.52.2.6; and 184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.
48 By using his popular Hallelujah-Meter tune, Amherst, not included in SH, and slightly adjusting the text underlay of the other omitted hymns, six of the seven remaining poems in Relly’s volume could also have been sung to Billings’s tunes. The only hymn for which Billings failed to provide a setting—one in 18.104.22.168.2.6 meter—consists of just one verse.
49 Billings set Particular-Meter hymns of Watts and Brady and Tate 14 times, seven of which are Hallelujah Meter. The next most frequently encountered Particular Meter is that of the 149th Psalm of Brady and Tate (10.10.11.11), which Billings set five times, including four poems not by Brady and Tate. The “standard meters of English psalmody” are Common Meter (22.214.171.124.), Long Meter (126.96.36.199.), and Short Meter (188.8.131.52.).
50 Billings cited Whitefield’s Hymns for Social Worship (London, 1753 and later editions) as his source for five texts, all in Particular Meter. The poems themselves are actually by Charles Wesley and John Cennick, printed by Whitefield without attribution.
51 Billings wrote the words for several Particular-Meter settings, including the text for Jargon in SMA, whose music was intended as a joke. However, the same words, when sung in the concluding section of Lamentation over Boston (WBII, pp. 145–147), were surely to be taken seriously. Billings’s text for Baltimore, set in 184.108.40.206.6.6.4 meter, published in SMA (WBII, p. 165), is the only one of his poems that reflects the influence of Relly’s verse.
52 McKay and Crawford, William Billings, pp. 149–150.
53 Ibid., p. 228.
54 Conquest, with at least five reprintings, and Petersburgh, with at least four, fared better than most other tunes in SH, few of which achieved even one. Madrid, Mendom, and Richmond, all reprinted in SH from one of Billings’s earlier tunebooks, did not share in the neglect of most other SH pieces. Probably taken from SMA, MM, or PSA rather than SH, they each had appeared in about ten tunebooks by 1820.
55 See Richard Crawford, “A Hardening of the Categories: ‘Vernacular,’ ‘Cultivated,’ and Reactionary in American Psalmody,” in his American Studies and American Musicology (Brooklyn: Institute for Studies in American Music. 1975), pp. 16–31. See particularly pp. 27–29 for a discussion of the causes behind the reform movement. It should also be noted that Jordan is set to verses by Watts, not Relly.
56 Mason and Webb, op. cit., p. 229.
57 The music of Martin Madan was introduced into American tunebooks in Andrew Law’s Select Harmony ([Cheshire, Connecticut], 1782). Madan’s A Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes . . . to be Had at the Lock Hospital near Hyde Park Corner (London, 1769) contains music set in a highly mellifluous style for two treble voices and a vocal/instrumental bass. It exerted considerable influence on American psalmody between 1790 and 1820, particularly among the younger psalmodists of the Billings era, such as Oliver Holden, Timothy Olmsted, and especially Samuel Holyoke, who, according to William Bentley, was called “the American Madan.” (See The Diary of William Bentley, D.D., Pastor of the East Church, Salem, Massachusetts [Gloucester: Peter Smith, 1962], I, p. 233, entry for February 11, 1791.) An American edition of the collection was published in Boston in 1809. See Richard Crawford, Andrew Law, p. 264. See also Nicholas Temperley, The Music of the English Parish Church, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979), I, p. 211.
58 For a discussion of Billings’s financial condition during the last decade or so of his life, see McKay and Crawford, William Billings, pp. 157–164. See also Nathan, William Billings, p. 41–46. CH seems to have represented a general “house-cleaning” for Billings, getting into print much of his unpublished earlier music. How much he composed after CH was published is unknown. His only other publication before his death was the Easter Anthem with an added section in 1795. His final known work, “A Piece on the Death of Washington 1799,” cited in the bibliography of Nathan, William Billings, (pp. 60–61), appears to be lost. Nathan’s suggestion that it might be a chorus in Sacred Dirges, Hymns, and Anthems (Boston, 1800) cannot be sustained on stylistic grounds. (See the editor’s “Communication” to The Journal of the American Musicological Society, XXXI [Spring 1978], pp. 176–177.)
59 McKay and Crawford, William Billings, pp. 166–168.
60 Crawford and McKay, “Music in Manuscript,” p. 48, show that Victory and Weymouth were composed as early as 1782; Cobham also appears in the Waterhouse manuscript (cf. fn. 6, p. xiii) as Raynham. On the other hand, pieces in the style featured in much of the music in SH (to be discussed more fully below) are relatively rare in CH. (See, however, Hopkinton, Lewis-Town, and South-Boston.)
61 Nathan, William Billings, pp. 56–57, calls them supplements, although their separate pagination shows that they were not intended originally as parts of SH. Their contents will be discussed in the section on Independent Publications to follow.
62 McKay and Crawford, William Billings, p. 141.
63 The pamphlet containing An Anthem for Easter was advertised in 1787; that containing The Bird and The Lark, in 1790.
64 Most tunebooks of the day were bound in thin boards, covered either with leather or with paper, which preserved the contents from the hard use to which singing-school books were often subjected over many years. On the other hand, independent publications, usually issued for performance on special occasions and designed to be distributed at minimum cost, were either unbound or put in paper covers which did not provide the protection of boards.
65 Gillian Anderson’s “Notes” to her edition of Peace (Washington: C. T. Wagner, 1974) suggest that it was written for a celebration of the peace treaty in Newport, but no record of the anthem’s performance has come to light.
66 See McKay and Crawford, William Billings, p. 271. Easter Sunday that year was April 8, 1787. Perhaps copies of Billings’s Easter publication came off the press before the previous Wednesday, the advertisement’s date.
67 Nathan, William Billings, p. 59. The anthem was also published in CH, pp. 97–104.
68 McKay and Crawford, William Billings, p. 270.
69 The only other Billings anthem besides Peace to include instrumental sections is his Ordination Anthem, “O Thou To Whom All Creatures Bow” (CH, p. 105), where two brief symphonies introduce modulations.
70 An excellent source of information about the use of instruments in New-England churches during the 18th century is William Bentley’s Diary, vol. II and III, passim. Bentley’s notations, covering mostly the music in his own church in Salem, Massachusetts, begin in 1795 to cite instruments playing with the voices. Billings himself provided an early suggestion for instrumental accompaniment on the title page of PSA. The vignette in the upper right corner shows two flutes, a violin, and a bass viol performing in what looks like the gallery of a public building. In the lower left corner, the vignette shows two flutes and a violin playing. On December 17, 1783, Ezra Stiles, President of Yale College, noted in his diary: “for the first time admitted a Flute in the vocal Music” at Quarter Day exercises. (Ezra Stiles, The Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles, 3 vols., ed. by Franklin Bowditch Dexter [New York: Scribner’s, 1901] III, p. 102). Joseph Russell, in a letter to Jeremy Belknap dated March 28, 1785, remarked that Billings’s anthem, “I Was Glad When They Said Unto Me” (unpublished and presumed lost), was accompanied by the organ. (See McKay and Crawford, William Billings, p. 252.) Temperley has shown that instruments were used in English parish churches from at least the 1740s (see his English Parish Church, pp. 148–150).
71 Billings, who so far as is known played no keyboard instruments, used the instruments as if they were voices, assigning the principal melody to the tenor line, with supporting bass line, and additions from the treble and counter as needed. However, a competent organist of the day, such as William Selby, could surely have played from the open score without difficulty.
72 See Commentary for the sources of the text. The words between mm. 198 and 208 cannot be traced to any known hymn source and, considering their patriotic reference, are most likely by Billings.
73 CH, pp. 115–116.
74 Information about Billings’s Easter Anthem was extracted from the editor’s unpublished study, “William Billings’s Anthem for Easter,” presented at a meeting of the Southeastern Chapter of the American Musicological Society in September 1975. The study traces the publication history of the Easter Anthem through tunebooks and sheet-music editions up to the present day.
75 Using tunebooks in the Irving Lowens Collection at the Moravian Music Foundation (about 1000 volumes), the study listed 127 separate printings of the Easter Anthem spanning the years between 1787 and 1958.
76 The Complaint, or “Night Thoughts” as it was usually called, was first published in nine separate parts (or “Nights”) between 1742 and 1745. It was subsequently issued in over a dozen different editions by British publishers before 1787. The first American edition was published by Bell in Philadelphia in 1777. See Dictionary of National Biography, XXI, p. 1283, and Clifford K. Shipton and James E. Mooney, National Index of American Imprints Through 1800 ([Worcester]: American Antiquarian Society, 1969).
77 Crawford, Core Repertory, pp. xxiv–xxv.
78 Boston, Independent Chronicle. (See Nathan, William Billings, p. 59.)
79 Boston, Independent Chronicle, April 6, 1797 (a facsimile of the advertisement is in Nathan, William Billings, p. 45). References to Thomas and Holden are to The Worcester Collection, published by Thomas and Andrews, the 5th through 8th editions of which (1794–1803) included the Easter Anthem; and Oliver Holden’s The Union Harmony (Boston: Thomas and Andrews, 1793; 2d ed., 1796) which also contains it.
80 The revised version of the Easter Anthem also appeared in Jacob French’s Harmony of Harmony (Northampton, 1802); Elias Mann’s The Northampton Collection, [2d ed.] (Northampton, 1802); Jonathan Huntington’s The Apollo Harmony (Northampton, 1807), and Stephen St. John’s The American Harmonist (Harrisburg, 1821).
81 The two pieces are also found in some copies of the posthumous edition of PSA (n.p., ca. 1804). See Nathan, William Billings, p. 56.
82 Ibid., p. 59.
83 McKay and Crawford, William Billings, p. 181.
84 See Kroeger, “William Billings’s Music,” p. 326. Daniel Bayley reprinted Tans’ur’s The Royal Melody Compleat (London, 1755 and later editions) as Vol. I of The American Harmony (Newburyport, 1769 and later editions). For a discussion of the complex bibliography of The American Harmony, see Allen P. Britton and Irving Lowens, “Daniel Bayley’s ‘The American Harmony’, a Bibliographic Study,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, LIX (1955), pp. 340–354.
85 See WBI, pp. li, lxi–lxii.
86 A note on the flyleaf gives the owner’s name as Elisha Briggs and a date of September 9, 1773. The music could, of course, have been copied later onto blank leaves bound into the tunebook. However, by 1778 Billings had overcome his earlier difficulties in aligning musical and textual accents, as SMA demonstrates. The NN manuscript also contains other Billings tunes (Brookfield, Chester, Duxborough, and Lebanon) which had been revised from settings found in NEPS; but these settings are not the ones found in SMA, indicating that they were an intermediate stage of revision copied about 1773, the year this edition of The American Harmony was published.
87 The Massachusetts Spy, August 2, 1792.
88 WBII, p. 6.
89 Kettery in Brownson’s Select Harmony ([Connecticut], 1783), Hatfield in Shumway’s The American Harmony (Philadelphia, 1793), and Hebron and St. Peter’s in Pilsbury’s The United States’ Sacred Harmony (Boston, 1799) are examples.
90 For example, Germantown in the MHi Ms, Hacker’s Hall in the Waterhouse Ms, and the anthem “Praise the Lord, O My Soul” in the NN Ms.
91 The only known example of Billings’s musical script is found on the flyleaf of William Tans’ur’s The Royal Melody Compleat, 3d ed. (Boston, 1767) at the Library of Congress: his tune Brookfield (facsimile in Nathan, William Billings, p. 21). Three tunes found in the CtHT-W Ms—Plymouth, New Braintree and Hadley—are in a script with similar traits. See Kroeger, “William Billings’s Music,” p. 331.
92 Sheffield in Appendix I and Raleigh in Appendix II are doubtful on stylistic grounds.
93 William Norman’s father, John, had engraved Billings’s music during the 1780s and printed SH. Isaiah Thomas, who considered purchasing Billings’s music in 1791, was the senior partner in the firm of Thomas and Andrews that published CH in 1794. See McKay and Crawford, William Billings, pp. 164–166.
94 French was a member of Billings’s singing school, held in Stoughton, Massachusetts in 1774. See “Reminiscences” in The Stoughton Musical Society’s Centennial Collection (Boston, 1878), p. 4, for a list of members of the singing school.
95 Crawford and McKay, “Music in Manuscript,” p. 48 and p. 16 of the facsimile, where the tune is called Plymouth.
96 This tunebook, formerly in the personal collection of the late Irving Lowens and recently given to the American Antiquarian Society, appears to be a fair copy intended for publication. Thus 1798 seems to be the date when Sheffield was included in it.
97 The only comparable tune is Assurance (in PSA), also a double fuging-tune, but with fuges on the first and third phrases.
98 The tune was checked against Richard Crawford’s card index of sacred tunebook contents to 1810, which shows no other attributions.
99 These also include St. Peter’s and Hebron in Pilsbury’s The United States’ Sacred Harmony (Boston, 1799).
100 Uxbridge, published as Lesson VI in French’s The Psalmodist’s Companion (Worcester, 1793), is also included in this group.
101 These include Bedford and St. Vincent’s published in Sacred Harmony (Boston, ca. 1788). A variant version of St. Vincent’s was also published in French’s The Psalmodist’s Companion (Worcester, 1793).
102 Notes, XXXIX (December 1982), pp. 334–345.
103 It should be stressed that it is not known if Billings himself actually was responsible for the variants.
104 It is possible that John Norman, who engraved most of the plates for Sacred Harmony, may have taken the piece from Billings, since they had continuing business dealings in the 1780s (see note 92 above).
105 See Kroeger, “William Billings’s Music,” Example 7, p. 343.
106 Ibid., Example 8, p. 344.
107 Ibid., Table VI, p. 342.
108 See, for example, New North in WBII, pp. 264–266, which includes a fuging chorus that Billings never published.
109 SMA, p. , reprinted in WBII, p. 6.
110 For a fuller discussion, see Kroeger, “William Billings’s Music,” pp. 318–334.
111 For a full discussion, see Crawford and McKay, “Music in Manuscript.”
112 The title page of the tunebook identifies its compiler as “WC.” Several tunes in the book are credited to a W. Couch, who presumably compiled the whole. See note 121 below.
113 See note 90 above.
114 The contents of the Waterhouse Ms and MiU-C Ms 2 are substantially the same but the order is different, suggesting the possibility that both were copied at the same time from loose sheets passed around, each copyist taking down the tunes as they became available. This might well have been done at a singing-school or musical society meeting. The large number of unpublished and variant tunes in these Mss strongly suggests that they came directly from Billings. See Kroeger, “William Billings’s Music,” pp. 320–321. On the other hand, the repertory, date, and provenance of MiU-C Ms 3 and RPB Ms argue against a direct connection with Billings.
115 Germantown, Hacker’s Hall and Hatfield [III].
116 Albany, Brattle Street, Victory, and Weymouth.
117 Crawford and McKay, “Music in Manuscript,” p. 45.
118 During these years Billings published PSA, organized and presented a charity concert, edited an issue of The Boston Magazine, and continued to teach singing schools. See McKay and Crawford, William Billings, pp. 113–131.
119 See note 85 above.
120 See WBI, p. li.
121 WBI, pp. 300–301.
122 Several tunes in The Northwestern Harmony give “E. Hartwell’s Collection” as the source. Hartwell’s only tunebook, The Chorister’s Companion, was published in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1815. The manuscript tunebook, which bears no date or provenance, gives the clear impression of being a copy prepared for publication and must therefore have been compiled in 1815 or later.
123 “Continuing” notes are phrase-ending notes in the treble and bass which are held into the following measure while the counter and tenor rest. According to Lemuel Hedge, in his sermon, The Duty and Manner of Singing in Christian Churches (Boston, 1772), pp. 34–35, the purpose of “continuing” notes, when used with lining out of the text, was that “it keeps the music alive, steadies the tune, and helps better to strike the same pitch again.” Billings was firmly opposed to lining out (see CH, p. xviii), and he never used the device in the way Raleigh does. The only example in Billings’s music approaching continuing notes is found in Jordan, mm. 8–9 and mm. 24–25, where the bass holds over into the next measure.
124 NEPS and MM respectively (see WBI, p. 96, and WBII, p. 320).
125 Hallifax was published in SMA (WBII, p. 111); Hadley was adapted as the opening section of Billings’s An Anthem For Christmas (CH, p. 117).
126 See Kroeger, “William Billings’s Music,” pp. 334–345.
127 McKay and Crawford, William Billings, pp. 105–106.
128 In the “Introduction” to WBII, Hans Nathan wrote “the pieces . . . not by Billings are omitted from this edition.” (See this volume, p. xlix.)
129 For example, both say “containing a Collection of Psalm Tunes” in essentially the same style of engraving.
130 While it seems likely that Billings used The Essex Harmony as the source of the borrowed tunes, he could have taken them from other sources, such as Josiah Flagg’s A Collection of the Best Psalm Tunes (Boston, 1764), Daniel Bayley’s A New and Compleat Introduction to the Grounds and Rules of Musick (Boston, 1764 and later editions), as well as several other English and American tunebooks which contain some but not all of the tunes he borrowed.
131 The melody of New Colchester has been similarly altered.
132 Isle of Wight, New Colchester, Old Hundred, St. Ann’s, and St. Martin’s.
133 The second mood of Common Time, indicated by 𝇍, has a metronomic equivalent of 𝅘𝅥 = M.M. 80; the first mood of Common Time, marked 𝇋, is 𝅘𝅥 = M.M. 60. Similarly, 3/4 has a metronomic equivalent of 𝅘𝅥 = M.M. 80, while 3/2, the unit of beat which is a half-note, is 𝅗𝅥 = M.M. 60. See the “Introduction” to WBII, p. xii (reprinted in this volume, p. 1).
134 Bangor, Buckland, New Colchester, Old Hundred, St. Ann’s, and St. Martin’s are in 3 parts; Isle of Wight is in 2 parts.
135 Crawford, Core Repertory, pp. liv and li, proposes Williams’s Putney as a model for Billings’s Brookfield and calls Stephenson’s Psalm 34 “the English prototype of the kind of fuging-tune that took hold in New England.”
136 WBI, pp. xviii–xxviii.
137 CH, p. xxxi.
138 A Compleat Melody, 3d ed. (London, 1736), A New Musical Grammar (London, 1746), The Royal Melody Compleat (London, 1755), and The Elements of Music Displayed (London, 1772) all contain “Rules for Composition.” Although all cover essentially the same material in the same way, A Musical Grammar and The Elements of Music Displayed (both theory textbooks) are much more detailed in their coverage. A Compleat Melody offers a more general exposition than the other two, while The Royal Melody Compleat gives the rules in outline form only. Tans’ur’s rules appear almost verbatim in John Playford’s An Introduction to the Skill of Musick, 12th ed., “Corrected and Amended by Mr. Henry Purcell,” (London, 1694), pp. [135–194]. Thus, the compositional theory of the Anglo-American psalmodists may be traced to the teaching of England’s greatest composer of the seventeenth century.
139 Tans’ur, The Royal Melody Compleat, p. 23.
140 Tans’ur never used the suspension in his compositions and never illustrated its use in any of his theory books.
141 CH, p. xxxi.
143 WBI, p. 256; WBII, p. 80.
144 In PSA (this volume, p. 62).
145 In SH (this volume, p. 177).
146 In CH, p. 136.
147 In CH, p. 105.
148 Thirty-two of 103 minor-key tunes employ the relative major.
149 Forty-six of 174 major-key tunes stress the dominant.
150 Purchase Street, Franklin, Newburn, Oxford, Sturbridge, and New Castle in MM emphasize the relative minor. Only five tunes in PSA, SH, and CH stress the submediant.
151 Of 189 tunes published before 1780, 53 (or 28 per cent) touch on key area other than the tonic; of 79 tunes published after 1780, 40 (or 51 per cent) have a similar emphasis.
152 See WBI, p. xlii, note 82, and p. xliii, note 84, for a further description of the parish-church style in psalmody. See also Temperley, English Parish Church, pp. 190–196.
153 For example, see Beneficence, mm. 4–5 and m. 10 (this volume, p. 150); Vermont, mm. 11–12 and m. 16 (WBII, p. 180–181); and Sherburne, mm. 9–10 (WBII, p. 156).
154 Beneficence, Burlington, Camden, Chelsea, Hartford, Jordan, Moravia, Phylanthropy, and Shiloh.
155 In NEPS five tunes are scored antiphonally; in SMA six; in PSA three.
156 CH, pp. 56, 144, 198, 83, and 97 respectively.
157 Nathan, William Billings, p. 44 (see note 57).
158 Ibid., pp. 60–61 (see note 57).
159 See The New-England Psalm-Singer, p. 15; The Continental Harmony, p. xx–xxi.
160 For more on tempo see David P. McKay and Richard Crawford, William Billings of Boston (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975), p. 241–45.
161 See The Singing Master’s Assistant, Lesson X, p. 16.
162 The introductory matter in Billings’s publications, however, appears with original spelling and punctuation.
163 In SMA (See WBII, p. 10) Billings wrote: “A mark of distinction is set over a note, when it is to be struck distinct and emphatic, without using the grace of Transition. . . . N.B. This character, when properly applied, and rightly performed, is very majestic.” In form the mark of distinction is like a wedge-shaped staccato mark, but in effect it seems more like an accent mark in modern notation. In their discussions of its performance in tunebook prefaces, psalmodists do not suggest that the note over which it is placed is to be sung any shorter than normal. In some cases (see Read 1804, p. 8) the directions are to pronounce the words distinctly and emphatically, but the desired effect seems to have been one of accent rather than shortness of sound. Billings also notes that the customary sliding between notes of different pitch (the “grace of Transition” mentioned above) is not to be used when the mark of distinction is placed over a note.
164 Gillian B. Anderson, “The Funeral of Samuel Cooper,” The New England Quarterly, L (December 1977), pp. 644–659; and her “‘Samuel the Priest Gave Up the Ghost’ and the Temple of Minerva: Two Broadsides.” Notes, XXXI (March 1975), pp. 493–516.