Sacred Harmonic Society [stub]

J. N. Harrison, T. Brewer
1848 The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular  
Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the mid--seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non--commercial purposes. Read more about Early Journal
more » ... out Early Journal Content at http://about.jstor.org/participate--jstor/individuals/early-journal--content. JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not--for--profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. THE MUSICAL TIMES. THE MUSICAL TIMES. which is extolled the greatness of God's power in bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt. In the twentieth verse we read-" And Miriam, the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea." This statement contains two facts, namely-that women were thus early associated in acts of religious worship; nor could it have been an innovation upon ordinary custom, for all the women could not have gone out after Miriam with instruments, unless they had been previously instructed in the use of them: and the second fact is, that music had so far improved as to combine instrumental with vocal,--a very important advance. Trumpets and the timbrel are the only instruments mentioned during the life of Moses. God commanded him to make (Numbers, x.) two trumpets of silver, of a whole piece, for the purpose of calling the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps. The next mention is in Joshua-(vi. 4)-the ram's horns; but we incline to suppose that these ought to be regarded as military signals rather than as musical instruments. The next musical incident recorded is purely vocal-the exquisite song of Deborah and Barak-(Judges, v. 1). Jeptha's return from the contest with the children of Ammon, crowned with victory, is the next period. We are told that his daughter went out to meet him with timbrels and with dances-(Judges, xi. 34). From this date, until the time when Saul was chosen king, we hear no more of music, except the trumpet in military expeditions; although, perhaps, it may be inferred from the mention of dances in the last chapter of the book of Judges. It is frequently mentioned during Saul's reign, and its influence and effect illustrated by the successful efforts of David when Saul was troubled with an evil spirit from the Lord-(1 Sam. xvi. 15, seq.) During the prosperous reign of David, the temple service was established and supported with much magnificence, and almost every instrument known in Scripture history is mentioned somewhere in the book of Psalms; and vocal performances are also clearly defined in all their varieties--choruses, chief, or solo singers, &c., &c. Both vocal and instrumental music were greatly improved by David, " whose genius for that science," as Dr. Burney observes, "and his attachment to the study and practice of it, as well as the great number of musicians employed by him for the performance of religious rites and ceremonies, could not fail to extend its influence and augment its perfections." We are informed that "David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord on all manner of instruments, made of fir-wood; even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals"-(2 Sam. vi. 5.) He appointed four thousand Levites to praise the Lord with instruments, which he made to praise therewith-(1 Chron. xxiii. 5); and the number of such as were instructed and cunning in song was two hundred fourscore and eight, leaving an immense instrumental majority. The harp used by David was portable; for we read that he " danced and played before the ark"-(2 Sam. vi. 14). During the reign of Solomon, which may justly be termed magnificent, we gather very little musical information. We are told that " lie spake three thousand proverbs, and his songs were a thousand and five"-(1 Kings, vi. 32); and he himself says-" I gat me men-singers and four voices, with separate accompaniment for the Organ or Pianoforte. Price 5s. each. Missa de Venerabili Beda.
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