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THE

MUSIC OF THE CHURCH,

IN FOUR PARTS;

CONTAINING

A GENERAL HISTORY OF MUSIC;

INCLUDING AN ACCOUNT OF

HEBREW MUSIC, AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE FITNESS OF INSTRUMENTS,

HARMONY, FUGUING, ANTHEMS, CHANTS, CHOIRS, ETC., IN

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WHITTAKER, & Co.; SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, & Co.;

DE ARDEN, NOTTINGHAM.

1841.

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It is so fashionable for a book to have a preface, that a publication sent into the world without one, looks rather naked, and seems devoid of a necessary recommendation to public favour. In those cases where a reader has patience to go through a lengthy preface, the author has an opportunity of suggesting many considerations, which may dispose him to a more favourable perusal of the work.

The author generally considers his subject important, if not the most important, and beset with difficulties of corresponding magnitude. Apologies for numerous defects are usually made with great generosity; but so much under cover of strong points of excellence, clearly expressed, as to preserve harmless his reputation. And who can presume to find fault with such a procedure ? It is a natural issue of the temperament and feelings of authorship, and is often marked with great sincerity. Nor is it unwelcomed by the reader; as on the whole it serves as a directory, which renders more pleasant and profitable his travel through the work.

But from this course in regard to the present publication, with a slight reserve, I shall dissent, for reasons not worth particularizing to the reader.

In my intercourse with singers, and Christians in eneral, both lay and ministerial, of the principal reliious denominations, I have heard many different pinions expressed ; and have witnessed many practices rafted upon those opinions, on the use of instruments, larmony, fuguing, choirs, and all that is discussed in he third part of this work. I thought if a rule could e formed from a general view of the case, with refernce to the interests of religion, so as to correct extravaance on the one hand, and weaken prejudice on the ther, it would be no contemptible achievement. It is rue such information as was desired, was before the ublic. But, though every commentator on scripture, nd writers on practical divinity, with numerous miscelaneous authors, have touched upon the subject as ccasion offered, yet something in a more methodical nd concentrated form was required. Hence then my ttempt, in the third part of this work. It then ppeared that a sketch of the general history of Music, rith a particular view of that of the Hebrews, would e proper accompaniments, and add to the value of the ndertaking. Hence arose the first and second parts. fut any one knows the intimate connexion subsisting etween metrical compositions, such as psalms and ymns, and the music to which they are put. What en was more natural, than taking a biographical ance at some of the most popular hymnologists, and

passing notice of their effusions, as a concluding ortion of the work ? Such then was the leading idea, and such its developent in the publication before the reader. As to the

· value, either of the design, or its execution, it is not for me to speak. It would be an act of unseemly vanity in me, to expect in the attempt, unexceptional approval. Sure I am, that no character, however adorned by piety, intellect, office, or experience, is sufficient security against opposing opinions, on a subject, of all others, like the one now brought under the notice of the reader.

It will be only necessary to add, that “ THE MUSIC OF THE CHURCH," was not especially written for accomplished professors in the science. Such an intention would have been utterly weak, in a work taking so wide a range of view, in so small a number of pages. Yet, I confess I am not without hope, that, from the plan of the work, and as a book of reference, it will be acceptable even to readers of this class. But it is to those persons of more limited reading and information on the subject of music, both lay and clerical, that the following pages will be mainly serviceable. If in either, or in any case, the reader will be pleased, and directed in the right use of music, the great end of the book will be answered.

THOMAS HIRST.

WATNALL, Nov. 11, 1841.

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