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The performance of English provincial psalmody c.1690-c.1840

Drage, Sally (2009) The performance of English provincial psalmody c.1690-c.1840. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.


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Provincial English Anglican and nonconformist church music, commonly known as psalmody, underwent profound changes during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In 1700 the music in most parish churches was limited to a few unaccompanied metrical psalm tunes, sung slowly and unrhythmically by an apathetic congregation. Attempts at reform led to the introduction of organs and choirs of charity children in towns, and to the growth of a florid, distinctive style of vernacular music in less affluent rural areas. This was often composed and taught by itinerant singing masters and was Performed by a mixed group of singers and instrumentalists. It continued to flourish in country parishes until it was gradually ousted by the Oxford Movement in the mid nineteenth century. Similar developments occurred later in nonconformity with more congregational participation. This thesis discusses the available musical and literary sources and places psalmody in its historical and musical context,before tracing developments within the Anglican and nonconformist traditions. The organisation, size and vocal range of choirs is considered but the main focus is on the use of voices and instruments. The problems of the correct allocation of parts is investigated in some detail, because this has important: performance implications and was further complicated when instruments began to be introduced in the later 1700s. The scoring of large-scale instrumental pieces is also analysed. Finally, the didactic introductions of psalmody tune books are examined since,until the mid eighteenth century,they provided essential performance instructions on tempi, dynamics,ornamentation and voice production. The main purpose, of this dissertation is to gain a better understanding of psalmody during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, in order to inform modern performance and to provide evidence that will stimulate further research. A music anthology and two CDs containing music recordings and a database are included.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: This thesis has accompanying materials which can be accessed through the British Library's EThOS service http://ethos.bl.uk/
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Music (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.522932
Depositing User: Ethos Import
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2012 11:56
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:17
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2043

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