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74 The National Music of America.
That Billings remained poor in spite of his popularity, may be proved by the following appeal, following an advertisement of the publication of one of his works by subscription, (possibly the " Continental Harmony "). The notice is taken from the Massachusetts Magazine of August, 1792.
"Address to the Benevolent of every Denomination. The distressed situation of Mr. Billings' family has so sensibly operated on the minds of the committee as to induce their assistance in the intended publication."
Billings is said to have been the first to introduce the violoncello in New England churches, a great step toward the eventual introduction of the organ. He was also probably the earliest to introduce the pitch-pipe to " set the tune."
From all the accounts of Billings we believe him to have been a great music-lover, an enthusiast, honest in his convictions, but uncouth in expression and utterly untrained