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The National Music of America. 45
accounts that are left of it. Rev. Dr. Walter' said of it that it " sounded like five hundred different tunes roared out at the same time." So little attention was paid to time that the singers were often two words apart, " producing noises," continues Mr. Walter, "so hideous and disorderly, as is bad beyond expression."
To turn again to the defenders of the "old way;" here are a few of the "questions of conscience" which they put to their opponents :2
" Whether you do believe that singing in the worship of God ought to be done skilfully ?
" Whether you do believe that skillfulness in singing may ordinarily be gained in the use of outward means, by the blessing of God ?
1 Rev. Thomas Walter, of Roxbury, Mass., who so heartily defied the adherents of the "old way," that, in 1721, he brought out "The Grounds and Rules of Musick Explained " — the first practical American book of musical instruction.
2 Quoted from a tract, entitled, " Cases of Conscience about Singing Psalms, Briefly Considered and Resolved." 1723.