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THE PSALTER AND CANTICLES
MORNING AND EVENING SERVICE
The Church of England:
SET AND POINTED TO
THE GREGORIAN TONES,
ORGANIST OF MARGARET CHAPEL, ST. MARYLEBONE.
TITI I PREFACE
ON ANTIPHONAL CHANTING,
THE REV. FREDERICK OAKELEY, M.A.
FELLOW OF BALLIOL COLLEGE, OXFORD, PREEENDARY OF LICHFIELD, AND
MINISTER OF MARGARET CHAPEL.
Præoccupemus faciem Ejus in confessione, et in psalmis jubilemus Ei.
Music is now so generally cultivated, especially in the middle and higher ranks, and it is plainly so great an object to turn, where we can, even the harmless fashions of the time into a religious channel, that no apology shall be made for an attempt which supposes a pretty extensive knowledge, at least of the musical notes, and aims at enlisting it in the service of the Church.
The special advantage, then, to which this little book lays claim, in comparison with some other useful publications of the same kind, is that of bringing under the reader's eye the notes of the chant in the same point of view with the words of the Psalm or Canticle which are set to them, so as to enable any one, who can read music, to connect the words with the chant at a glance ; whereas, without the presence of the notes, even a quick and experienced ear requires time to possess itself of the tune, and still more of the precise mode in which the words are to be accommodated to it. And thus, it is believed, that persons desirous, and fully capable, of taking part in the psalmody of the Church, often lose half a Psalm, or more, in trying to make out how they are to join in it.
So far as the present little work proposes to remedy this serious inconvenience by means of point
ing, it is essentially the same with others which are already in circulation, though with some minor changes, even in this respect, of which an account shall presently be given. But in the synoptical arrangement of the music and words, it is, to the best of the writer's belief, singular, with the exception only of a work which has been published with the title of “Cantica Vespera ;” and which, as it originally suggested the idea of the present undertaking, would also have superseded its necessity but for the circumstance of its being unsuited to the Anglican Service.
So much having been said upon the general object of the volume, it is proposed to occupy the remainder of this preface with a very brief sketch of the history of Antiphonal Chanting ; which, however incomplete, will not, it is hoped, be wholly without interest to the general reader.
The earliest recorded specimen of antiphonal chanting is that of the song of victory recited alternately by the companies of Moses and Miriam after the passage of the Red Sea.
On this occasion, there appear to have been two quires, the one of men, led by Moses, the other of women, led by Miriam. The song of “Moses and the children of Israel” having been concluded, Miriam and her attendants “ answered them,” repeating the burden of the strain, “Sing ye to the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea.
Another instance occurs in 1 Sam. xviii. 7, where, on David's return from the slaughter of Goliath, the women who came out “ from all the cities of Israel singing and dancing to meet King Saul with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music, are said to have “ answered one another as they played,” saying,
* Exod. xv. 1. 21.
“ Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands." These are evidently corresponding verses, or clauses of the same verse, such as those in the Christian Service in which the Priest and people mutually take part.
Nothing is directly said in Scripture of the manner in which psalmody was performed in the Temple worship prior to the Captivity. The choral regulations, however, seem to have very nearly resembled those of the Church at present, in involving, for instance, two orders of chanters besides the priests ; the singers,”
,” who were sometimes of the tribe of Levi, (ecclesiastics, and sometimes of the other tribes, (laics,) and their “sons," who, being of invariable number, *
were probably boys under their direction. There would seem also to have been two corresponding quires, robed in white, with a “principal,” or precentor. Thus we read (2 Chron. v. 12) of the “ Levites which were the singers,” who,“ with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets." And the 12th chapter of Nehemiah, which contains an account of the restoration of the Temple worship after the ancient model (see verses 45 and 46), speaks of the “ two companies of them that gave thanks in the house of God;" while, in the preceding chapter of the same Book, we read of "Mattaniah, the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer.” (Nehem. xi.,17.) Moreover, at the solemnity of laying the foundationstone of the second Temple, it is evident that the 136th, or some similar Psalm, was performed antiphonally by the several divisions of the quire. For it is said that, “ when the builders laid the foundation of
* i Chron. xxv. 8, &c. See Bedford's Temple Service.