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The National Music of America. 75
in the school of music which he undertook to compose, the most dignified and difficult school of any.
Yet we are not of those who despise his "woodnotes wild," nor are we disposed to jest at his honest love of an art of which he stood only upon the threshold. He was the right man in the right place. A good composer in the higher forms would have utterly failed to appeal to the American public of that time. William Billings broke the ice which was congealing New England's music, and America owes him a great debt of gratitude spite of his few thousand errors of harmony.
After him there came a long procession of similar composers. Andrew Law was of higher education and had more practical knowledge; Jacob Kimball deserted legal study for music, was less original than Billings, and died in the poorhouse; Samuel Holyoke opposed the fugue tunes; Daniel