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The day glides swiftly o'er their heads,
Made up of innocence and love;
Their nightly minutes gently move.
"body of voices, the contrast between the trebles,
tenors, and basses, the sudden breaking out in dif'ferent parts of that long line, some voices from 'their distance merging into silence, others unexpectedly swelling out near at hand, produced an entire and delicious novelty in the art, and such 'as might, by a great master of effect, be turned to infinite account.'
Some musical professors have loudly condemned the introduction of modern music into our churches, and would confine us to the dull and dismal tunes of the last century: but the human voice is not to be restricted to intervals so uncouth and bare. These old fashioned people would level our psalmody, as they think, to the comprehension of the most illiterate, by limiting it to the simple changes of harmony. These may form the first lessons of the schools, but they are not the first lessons of the vulgar: it requires an ear of nicer powers to distinguish these changes of harmony, than to catch the pleasing strains of melody. If we consult the most ancient specimens, the psalmody of the Jews, we find it graced with a flowing ease, scarcely equalled in modern times* · The sagacious Whitfield found out, a hundred years ago, that it was by this power of song that he drew such crowds around him; and a melody, which is in itself beautiful, is more intelligible to the unlearned, than that of a more monotonous cast. The voice, in passing from
* Vide Sacred Melodies, page 9.
one interval to another, feels for those stepping stones described in page 127, by which it not only moves with greater ease, but with greater certainty. It is only in the works of the moderns that we find these melodies, which are the natural offspring of the human voice.
SINGING AT SIGHT.
Many persons who enjoy music have much pleasure in taking a part, in pieces which they know; but having little acquaintance with notes, hesitate in joining in those compositions which are new to them. The difficulty in singing by notes lies in this—that the singer is not able to find the corresponding sound in his voice; whereas upon an instrument, he has only to touch the right stop or key, and immediately it is produced. As the mechanical action of the voice is hidden from us, we can only gain a knowledge of the relative distances of sound by referring to an instrument. For this purpose the piano-forte is the best adapted, as on that instrument the sounds are fixed. The eight notes of the scale run in the same order as a peal of eight bells; and we may gain some idea of their relative dis