Excellent appendices, including detailed authorial information on each metrical psalm
, attest to Quisland's skills in textual analysis.
The following description of metrical psalm
singing in English parishes provides an example of how local Melbourne Anglicans may have approached congregational singing during this early period:
Duncan,a former manager with the Liverpool Philharmonic, says:``I thought it would be wonderful to test the theory by comparing the fabulous tradition built up by Ken Burton and his award winning London choir, with the wonderful and quirky Gaelic metrical psalm
singing of the Lewis choirs.
THERE is a wonderful verse hidden away in Metrical Psalm
147: Those that are broken in their hearts and grieved in their minds, He healeth, and their painful wounds He tender up-binds.
His favourite correspondent was Charles Burney, to whom he sent, on 16 June 1777, his one observation on a metrical psalm
, which had no fixed harmonic home (he copied the tune): 'Here is a most curious piece of barbarism for you.
The first major English psalter, The Whole Booke of Psalmes by Thomas Sternhold, John Hopkins and others, was first issued in 1562 and was printed with music in over 500 editions, becoming by far the most popular of all English metrical psalm
Hamlin shows how poets found a special applicability in verse 15, taking it as a prayer for inspiration, and how this reading was adapted, outside the metrical psalm
tradition, by Donne and Herbert.
The discordant heterophony caused by unaccompanied congregational singing, in which one line of a metrical psalm
could take 24 seconds, induced wealthier churches to install organs merely to stifle this.
The final chapter, on the sacred music, is something of an anticlimax, for Lawes's metrical psalm
settings and anthems are distinctly unimpressive; in addition, and perhaps somewhat surprisingly for someone who was, among his various royal appointments, a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, very few of his anthems survive with their music sufficiently complete to be performable.
Such was the case with The Psalms of David Imitated (1719), Isaac Watts's attempt to improve upon what he perceived as the wretched paraphrases of earlier metrical psalm
The Protestant interest in middle-class edification and instruction favored the printing of musical manuals and treatises; canticles and spiritual songs suitable for domestic performance; and the official Genevan settings of metrical psalm
translations by Marot, Beze, and others.
Although his scholarly achievement include translation of the Metrical Psalms
into Gaelic and overseeing publication of a Gaelic language Bible, his best known work is The Secret Commonwealth, about Scottish Fairies Kirk was the son of a Aberfoyle minister, and after studying at Edinburgh University and in 1664 taking on the charge at Balquhidder, he followed in his father's footsteps.