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  • Writer's pictureTim Braithwaite

John Crompton on Suitable Voices for the Countertenor Part (1778)

‘Suitable voices for the middle, or counter part are rather difficult to find; but let no-one, for that reason, attempt it with a feigned voice, however there is but few wanted in comparison with the number who engage in other parts, and better quite omitted than not performed with a natural voice; therefore let a voice be chosen with great care, it should be soft, clear and very manageable, for this part may be compared to a thread run through the whole, and anything harsh, rough or grating, rends the music all to pieces.’


John Crompton, The Psalm Singer’s Assistant (London: G. Bigg, 1778).

The image below is a 1787 advertisement for a performance of Handel’s Messiah at Westminster Abbey which included 800 performers, printed in The Daily Universal Register, 30 May 1787.


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