top of page
  • Writer's pictureTim Braithwaite

English Psalm Singers ‘Tearing with their Throats one Wretched Stave into an Hundred Notes’: (1708)

‘Then out the People yawl an hundred Parts,

Some roar, some whine, some creak like the Wheels of Carts;

Such Notes the Gam-ut yet did never know,

Nor num’rous Keys of Harps’cals in a row.

Their Heights or Depths cou’d ever comprehend,

Now below double A re some descend:

‘Bove E la squealing now ten Notes some fly,

Streight then as if they knew they were too high

With headlong hast down Stairs they again tumble,

Discords and Concords, O how thick they jumble;

Like untam’d Horses, tearing with their Throats

One wretched Stave into an hundred Notes.’


Elias Hall, The Psalm-Singer's Compleat Companion (London, 1708).

The image below is entitled ‘Choir and Orchestra (A Choral Band)’ and is a sketch by John Hamilton Mortimer made in 1776.


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page