Ahlin is well-known for his books, which include Maine Rubicon; The Saint's Daily Assistant: James Lyon, His Life and Meditations; and James Lyon: Patriot, Preacher, Psalmodist
. Maine Rubicon, his descriptive account of downeast settlers during the American Revolution, became especially popular and is now in its fourth printing.
Eighty-six tunes were taken from three British collections, those of Martin Madan (Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes Sung at the Chapel of the Locke Hospital [Boston: West & Blake, and Manning & Loring, 1809; latest British ed., London: Broderip & Wilkinson, 1806]), Aaron Williams (New Universal Psalmodist
[London: author, 1770; 6th ed., London: Longman and Broderip, 1780]), and David Weyman (Melodia Sacra, or The Psalms of David [Dublin: George Allen, 1812, etc.]).
Wesley marked his final tenure at Gloucester with a triumphal return as conductor of the Three Choirs Festival (1865), the publication of his hymn tune AURELIA in the 1868 edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern, and the appearance of The European Psalmodist
(1872), which included 142 original hymn tunes.
Then he gives a counterexample: "Suppose someone were to assert, from Psalm 24, that the earth is founded upon rivers, in order to support the novel and absurd philosophical conclusion that the earth floats upon rivers (14)." It is obvious that "the psalmodist
intends nothing but what men already know and experience daily, namely that the land, raised on high after the separation of the waters, has great rivers flowing through it and seas surrounding it." There is no need to be so literal here or in Psalm 137 in which the same figure of speech is adopted and "the Israelites sing that they were seated upon the waters of Babylon, that is, by the riverside, or on the banks of the Euphrates and Tigris.
Oscar George Theodore Sonneck, Francis Hopkinson, the First American Poet-Composer (1737-1791), and James Lyon, Patriot, Preacher, Psalmodist
(1735-1794) (Washington, DC: H.
Like Link, she also wondered if he was kin to the Boston psalmodist
, William Billings.
Johnson's third and last tunebook was The Western Psalmodist
, (5) printed at the office of the Nashville Union newspaper in 1853.
may not be particularly worth study or performance." Cooke is a respected psalmodist
scholar, his principal work to date being Timothy Swan, Psalmody and Secular Song (Music of the United States of America, 6 [Madison, Wisc.: Published for the American Musicological Society by A-R Editions, 1997]).
I suspect that the many unreported changes made to these pieces are a reflection of an unfortunate attitude toward this music that presents itself in many of the volumes: the certainty of the late-twentieth-century musical editor that the late-eighteenth-century psalmodist
"surely meant something else" other than what he wrote, or simply "didn't know what he was doing." This attitude betrays itself repeatedly in the myriad changes made to the music that are reported in the critical commentaries.
Daniel (1966), Andrew Law, American Psalmodist
by Richard Arthur Crawford (1968), and Music in the Cultured Generation; A Social History of Music in America, 1870-1900 by Joseph A.