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D. Appleton & Co., have just published
PSALMS OF DAVID,
WITH THE CANTICLES OF THE
MORNING AND EVENING PRAYER,
OCCASIONAL OFFICES OF THE CHURCH,
FIGURED FOR CHANTING,
TO WHICH ARE PREFIXED AN EXPLANATOTY PREFACE,
A SELECTION OF CHANTS,
The object of this work is to facilitate the practice of congregational chanting. For this purpose it will be found to possess the following advantages :
1. The colon of the English Prayer Book is restored. Part of the Titlepage of that book runs as follows: “ The Psalter or Psalms of David, pointed as they are to be said or sung in Churches.” This pointing is the colon which divides each verse of a psalm into two portions. Why it was omitted in the American Prayer Book does not appear, since it is of very ancient usage, and at the same time very useful. It is the help provided by the Church for singing the Psalms in Prose, as by means of it alone the words can to a great extent be properly divided. In the present work the colon is kept in its original place, throughout the canticles and Psalter-except only in a few instances in the Te Deum. This is then a “Pointed Psalter," in the old meaning of the words.
2. An extremely simple method has been adopted of connecting the music with the words. Instead of introducing bar strokes, throughout the verses of a psalm, to correspond with the bars in the chant, figures are employed, which being prefixed to the words or syllables, indicate the particular notes to which
they are to be sung. With the explanations of the system given in the preface, it will be found less difficult, at least for congregations at large, than any yet adopted.
3. A selection of chants is prefixed, calculated for congregations, as well as for choirs. The convenience is thus afforded of the music and the Psalter in the same volume with which the singer is really furnished with “the Songs of Zion.”
4. In the division of the words, a middle course has been taken between the extremes of a mere syllablic and an accented division. The reasons for it are given in the preface. This, however, is a matter in which there is so much room for diversity of taste, that the author has no expectation of pleasing all. Indeed he has found it difficult to please himself. A number of the readings will no doubt be rejected. Some of them are the effect of old associations, from which it was difficult to divorce the ear, and others of a deference for the ancient syllabic method. Some of them have been adopted for reasons which may not be sufficiently apparent_and others again are typographical
But what the particular divisions of the words are, is a minor point, provided we can only arrive at some uniformity on the subject throughout the Church. This is what we want. A worshipper going into a congregation, any where, should be able to unite as readily in this part of the service as in the psalms or hymns in metre. But, at present, there is so great a variety of readings, that one can scarce join in a chant, except in the particular church to which he belongs. Sameness in the music is also desirable ; but this can hardly be had for some time to come ; nor indeed, is it of equal consequence, since the air of a chant is so simple, that it can be caught at once-and the singer is enabled to proceed, if only the pointing be that to which he has been accustomed. Towards such a uniformity the present work professes to be no more than a first step-an attempt in the right direction. Should it be tried in different quarters of the church, it will be subjected to criticism which may lead to something better. Any alterations suggested to the author will be attended to, with a view to an improved edition ; in this way we may at length obtain a “ Pointed Psalter" worthy of being bound up with the Book of Common Prayer.
The whole Psalter thus prepared may be thought superfluous, since for the most part in the Church only the canticles of the morning and evening prayer are chanted. But the chanting of portions of the Psalter is every day becoming more common. The only reason why the Psalms are preferred in the dilution of a frequently táme versification to the comparative original of the prose, is, that in the former, they are more easily sung by the people. Let chanting be made equally easy, for which nothing but practice is required, and the praises of the sanctuary will then consist of the genuine Psalms and Christian Hymns.
W. A. MUHLENBERG.
New-York, October 1, 1847.
THE CANTICLES OF THE MORNING AND EVENING PRAYER,
AND OCCASIONAL OFFICES OF THE CHURCH.
TO WHICH ARE PREFIXED AN EXPLANATORY PREFACE
AND A SELECTION OF CHANTS.
D. APPLETON & COMPANY, 200 BROADWAY.
M DCCC XLVII.
Entered, according to an Act of Congress, in the year 1847,
By D. APPLETON & COMPANY,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern
District of New York.
L. B. evano 3-3-3/
The method of figuring, employed in this work, is adapted to Regular Chants. By a regular chant, is meant a chant which, in the first part, has three notes in the melody, besides the reciting note ; and, in the second part, has five notes in the melody, besides the reciting note.*
The figures in the Canticles and Psalter correspond to these notes :
1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 5 6
One, is the reciting note-two, three, four, the melody, in the first part of the chant. In the second part, one, again, is the reciting note—two, three, four, five, six, the melody.
In learning a chant, it should, in the first instance, be sung with the figures. One
two three four One two three four five six.
0—ne, (dwelling on it, or repeating it several times, to represent the reciting of the words,) two, three, I four || 0_ne, (prolonging it again, to answer to the recitation,) two, three, I four, five, / six.
* A Double Chant is only a regular single chant repeated.