Sunday, November 16, 2014

Merely possessing a tolerably good ear

In the preface to his 1803 tune book, titled David's Harp, Englishman William E. Miller indicated he didn't think much of us composers who are "destitute of scientific knowledge."
Many persons, destitute of scientific knowledge, and merely possessing a tolerably good ear, think themselves qualified to compose hymns, set them to music, and have them performed in their chapels; but these compositions only expose their authors to ridicule, by the meagre style of their poetry, and the frivolity and indecency of their music.
A number of these effusions of folly and ignorance have lately been brought over from America, which expose an important part of the worship of God to the merited censure of the judicious, and to sorrow of the truly pious, while some of the best hymns and most appropriate tunes in the English language are laid aside, and nearly forgotten.
Oh, well...

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