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The National Music of America. 49
plenty of combatants on the side of "the good old way."
The beginning of choirs was less tumultuous, because more gradual. The singing-schools (for many others followed the one which Boston established in 1717) were an important factor in the advance, for the congregations were no longer on the same level of musical ability, or rather weakness; the members who were skilled in music were apt to gather together, without any express command from the minister, and without being assigned to any especial position in the meeting-house. Choirs had therefore crept into some churches before 1750, although there is no official record of the fact. When official recognition was given, the custom had become so habitual that no earnest remonstrance was made, even by the chronic obstructionists.
Here are a few of the earliest edicts regarding New England church choirs: