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The National Music of America. 273
was a connecting link between the ancient psalmody and the modern orchestral and choral composition, in America.
After Billings, Holden, and others of that ilk, there came a set of composers who still leaned toward the music of Congregationalism, but added to this a degree of culture and knowledge of the laws of composition which was absent from the works of their American predecessors. Chief among these one can mention Lowell Mason (born at Medfield, Mass., Jan. 8, 1792), whose collections of church music led to a higher taste than would have been possible with the music-books mentioned in Chapter III. His own compositions were simple but well-constructed, and received the commendation of even the great Hauptmann.1 As a teacher, Lowell Mason had a great influence upon the musical advancement of the country and
1 Matthew's " Hundred Years of Music in America," p. 42.