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.