The National Music of America - online book

The Sources & Factors Influential In Forming America's Music.

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The National Music of America. 55
musical cause with an excellent translation of the Psalms for vocal purposes, burst forth in fierce diatribes when the organ was inau­gurated, and denounced the wickedness of Boston roundly, in his Thursday lecture.1
There is inferential proof that the Puri­tans did not bother themselves with instru­mental music of any kind. Henry M. Brooks, in his " Olden-Time Music," says (p. 33) :
" An examination of the earliest * inventories ' in the Probate Office of Essex County fails to find record of any musical instruments appraised in the estates settled therein. While every pot, skillet, gridiron, article of wearing-apparel, old chair and table, bed, bolster, and pillow, silver spoon, pewter dish, bushel of corn, indeed articles of the most trifling nature, are carefully enumerated, no lutes,
1 The weekly " lectures " in Boston were of the nature of prayer-meetings, and the address was not at all differ­ent from what we to-day would call a sermon. As regards the singing of psalms, Cottton Mather thus expresses himself: " The singing of psalms is a supplicating of God himself, wherein by humble prayer we beg the par­don of our sins." Dr. Cotton Mather was the most voluminous writer in the colonies, his publications amounting to three hundred and eighty-two works I
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