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The National Music of America. 67
the scene. It will readily be understood, however, that from such seeds as we have described no very bountiful harvest of native compositions could result. The first attempts were rather puerile. The first composer of even local reputation was William Billings.
In 1770 the first book of native composition appeared in the musical field. It was entitled " The New England Psalm-singer : or American Chorister. Containing a number of Psalm-tunes, Anthems, and Canons. In four and five parts. (Never before published.) Composed by William Billings, a Native of Boston, in New England. Math. XXI, 16. 'Out of the Mouth of Babes and Sucklings hast Thou perfected Praise.' James V, 13, ' Is any merry ? Let him sing Psalms.'
"'O, Praise the Lord with one consent, And in this grand design, Let Britain and the Colonies Unanimously join.'