Canadian Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational Church Music Prior to 1925

The full text of this article is copyright © 1995 by Bruce Reginald Harding
excerpted from
Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational Worship in Canada to 1925
by Thomas Harding and Bruce Harding (Toronto: Evensong, 1995)
Copies may be ordered from Evensong Worship Resources

Visit the Canadian Hymnology resource page for more links and information

When the first Presbyterians, Methodists and Congregationalists arrived in British North America, they brought with them a rich musical heritage--a heritage that was a vital part of their worship life. As the colonies developed, eventually uniting as the Dominion of Canada, the musical traditions of Canadian Protestants also evolved, influenced by their American neighbours and by their continuing ties to Britain.

Metrical Psalters in English, Early Psalm Tunes

The Calvinist leanings of early English and Scottish Protestants resulted in a virtual ban on hymn texts of human composition. Psalms and scripture canticles were considered the only worthy vehicles of church praise. Following the lead of the French court poet Clément Marot, Thomas Sternhold, royal groom to Henry VIII and Edward VI began creating metrical translations of the psalms in the 1540s, in a 14-syllable metre subdivided into eight syllables followed by six. (1) Many more metrical translations were written on the continent during the Marian exile (1554-58) and the first official complete metrical psalter in English, the Whole Booke of Psalmes, was published by John Day in 1562. This collection came to be known as Sternhold and Hopkins, after the principal contributors.

In Scotland the poetic merits of Sternhold and Hopkins were questioned almost immediately, leading to the eventual adoption of the Psalms of David in Metre (1650; known thereafter as the Scottish Psalter), an adaptation of a metrical translation by Francis Rouse. The Whole Booke of Psalmes remained in use in England, however, until a royally-sanctioned publication by Nahum Tate and Thomas Brady, the New Version of the Psalms of David (1696), began to gain in popularity. Sternhold and Hopkins became known as the Old Version, Tate and Brady as the New. (2)

As with the origin of the common metre in the early metrical psalm translations, the origins of the early psalm tunes remain obscure. (3) The tune collections issued in England by Este (1592) and Ravenscroft (1621) were very influential, and a common corpus of tunes soon developed. In Scotland, through the course of various psalters with tunes appended in 1615, 1625 and 1635, a set of common tunes became canonized. The twelve tunes of 1615 were: OLDE COMMON TUNE (known as OXFORD in England), KINGES TUNE, DUKES TUNE, ENGLISH TUNE (LOW DUTCH or CANTERBURY), FRENCH TUNE, LONDON TUNE (CAMBRIDGE), THE STILT (YORK), DUNFERMLING TUNE, DUNDIE TUNE (WINDSOR), ABBAY TUNE, GLASGOW TUNE and MARTYRS TUNE. All but one of these continued in common use in Presbyterian churches until the mid-19th century (4) and six are still included in hymn collections today. (5) Other important tunes appeared in successive psalters. For ELGIN in 1625 and WINCHESTER (now WINCHESTER OLD) in 1635.

A collection of tunes issued in Massachusetts in 1698 sheds light on what was in common use among the Puritans (or Congregationalists as their descendants later came to be known) of New England. (6) Earlier, also in response to the perceived deficiencies of Sternhold and Hopkins, a new translation of the psalms had been compiled and issued by the Puritans, the Bay Psalm Book (1640). The 1698 edition included an appendix of tunes which the compilers considered suitable for use: OXFORD, LITCHFIELD, LOW DUTCH, YORK, WINDSOR, CAMBRIDGE SHORT (a 6686 version of LONDON), ST. DAVID'S, MARTYRS, HACKNEY (ST. MARY'S), 119TH PSALM TUNE SECOND METER, PSALM 100 FIRST METER (OLD 100TH), PSALM 115 FIRST METER (OLD 113TH) (7) and PSALM 148 FIRST METER. (8) This list taken together with the twelve Scottish tunes of 1615 establishes a relatively well-defined picture of the tunes in common use in the Old World and the New in the latter half of the 17th century. (9)

The Old Way of Singing, Lining Out

By the mid-17th century a style of unison, unaccompanied singing of the psalms without leadership had evolved in dissenting churches. This style was known as "the Old Way of Singing" or the "Common" or "Usual" way. (10) An extremely slow pace gradually became the norm. As late as 1787 a whole note in psalm singing was defined as being "as long as one can conveniently sing without breathing." (11) More adventurous precentors and members of the congregation would amuse themselves by ornamenting or "gracing" held notes. In time, individual congregations would often have completely different versions of the same melody! (12)

The Old Way of Singing was further complicated by the practice of "lining out" the psalms, first adopted by the Westminster Assembly in 1644:

That the whole Congregation may joyne herein, every one that can reade is to have a Psalme book, and all others not disabled by age, or otherwise, are to be exhorted to learn to reade. But for the present, where many in the Congregation cannot read, it is convenient that the Minister, or some other fit person appointed by him and the Ruling Officers, do reade the Psalme, line by line, before the singing thereof. (13)

Over time, what was clearly intended as a temporary measure became a hallowed tradition, especially associated with Scotland. (14) Millar Patrick has described the qualifications necessary for a psalm leader or precentor:

The only equipment required was some ability to read, and a voice full and resonant enough to make itself heard over the efforts of the congregation to find and follow the tune. Sometimes the leader was barely literate, and was capable of perpetuating grotesque errors of pronunciation. The number of tunes he knew depended much upon his ability to remember and reproduce what he had heard others sing. (15)

Precentors eventually became men of considerable power in both church and community, with their own desk in front of or beside the pulpit, although usually not as high. Both the Old Way of Singing and the practice of lining out the psalms continued until the emergence of the Regular Singing movement in the 18th century.

Regular Singing, the Singing School Movement and Fuging Tunes

Around 1720 a group of New England Congregationalists, following the lead of their Independent counterparts in London, began to call for a change in sacred music. The "Regular Singing" movement, as it came to be known, advocated singing psalms according to the rules of the Gamut, teaching people to read musical notation rather than singing by ear. (16) Singing schools were gradually introduced throughout the American colonies, often conducted on a temporary basis by itinerant musicians. Such schools typically met two or three evenings a week for a four to six week period, culminating in a final concert to display what had been learned. After mid-century, many tunebooks were published, often by the singing school instructors themselves.

Tunebooks invariably began with an instructional preface outlining the rudiments of music, followed by an often quite personal selection of psalm tunes harmonized in two to four parts. A selection of longer pieces (anthems) was usually included at the end for more advanced learning. By 1775 even rural areas were being influenced by this movement. (17) Eventually most congregations had a song leader with some degree of musical training, and instruments such as the bassoon and the bass viol (the Presbyterian "kirk fiddle") were often employed to keep the singers on pitch.

The original intent of the singing school movement was the enhancement of congregational psalmody. Soon, however, these groups became more elitist, demanding more challenging, elaborate music. (18) Hence the development of the fuging tune.

Temperley has shown that fuging tunes evolved first in English Anglican parishes without organs, and spread from there to Congregationalist and Baptist congregations in England and North America. (19) A tune is defined as fuging if, "in at least one phrase, two or more voice parts enter non-simultaneously, with rests preceding at least one entry, in such a way as to produce overlap of text." (20) LENNOX (Example 1) was, according to Richard Crawford, the most frequently reprinted American fuging tune. (21) A simple pentatonic melody suggests folk influence, five-measure phrases reveal a link to the gathering-note tradition of psalm singing, and the counterpoint in the fuging section is repetitive and static:

Example 1: LENNOX, from Sacred Harmony (Toronto, 1838)

Example 1: LENNOX, from Sacred Harmony (Toronto, 1838)

Another popular tune, RUSSIA (Example 2), shares many features with LENOX. Here a sequence involving parallel octaves between the tenor and bass provides the foundation for the fuging section:

Example 2: RUSSIA from Sacred Harmony (Toronto, 1838)

Example 2: RUSSIA from Sacred Harmony (Toronto, 1838)

Fuging tunes reached their peak in popularity between 1760 and 1800, both in England and America, after which time a new reform movement caused a decline in their use. They continued to appear in tune collections until the late 19th century, however. (22)

The Expansion of Psalmody: Isaac Watts and the Scottish Paraphrases

Isaac Watts (1674-1748) has long been considered the "Father of English Hymnody." Before Watts, hymns played an insignificant role in worship, but he publication of Hymns and Spiritual Songs in 1707 sparked a revolution in English hymnody. During the next hundred years, Watts' hymns were almost universally accepted in the Independent churches, the Wesleys followed Watt's lead in making hymns a central part of Methodist worship, and hymns eventually gained equal footing with the psalms in Anglican worship. Hymns by Watts such as "Jesus shall reign where'er the sun" and "When I survey the wondrous cross" have become a treasured part of our musical heritage.

Watt's hymns were not the only influential part of his creative output, however. Like others before him, Watts felt that the psalms did not adequately express the Christian ethos: must be acknowledged..., that there are a thousand Lines in it [the Book of Psalms] which were not made for a Church of our Days, to assume as its own.... I would rejoyce to see a good part of the Book of Psalms fitted for the Use of our Churches, and David converted into a Christian: But because I cannot persuade others to attempt this glorious Work, I have suffer'd my self to be persuaded to begin it.... (23)

Watts' The psalms of David imitated in the language of the New Testament was published in 1719. The two books together became known as Psalms and Hymns, and continued to influence Congregational psalmody until well into the 19th century.

By the mid-1700s, Watts' Psalms and Hymns were also circulating widely in Scotland, instigating a call for an official Presbyterian collection of hymns and scriptural paraphrases. An overture to the General Assembly in 1741 led to the publication in 1745 of a small collection of Translations and Paraphrases for the consideration of individual presbyteries. (24) No official sanction was given to this collection, however, since presbyteries chose not to respond. The matter remained unresolved until the publication of another Translation and Paraphrases in 1781. (25) This collection was authorized for use "in the meantime" while presbyteries were considering it. (26) Although no final decision was ever reached, the collection was gradually adopted in many Presbyterian churches, opening the door for the eventual acceptance of hymns during the 19th century.

Methodist Hymnody

Methodism was born during the 18th century musical revolution created by the Regular Singing movement. John Wesley did not like the Old Way of Singing, remarking in Select hymns with tunes annext that "this drawling way naturally steals on all who are lazy." (27) However, neither did he like the elaborate Anglican choral tradition of his day, a tradition that had taken music out of the hands of the people and placed it in the hands of professionals. (28) Wesley's ideal was the singing of the Moravian Brethren he first heard during his ocean crossing to America in 1735, communal singing involving simple chorale melodies.

Charles Wesley wrote over 5,500 hymns while John Wesley worked as a translator of hymns (at least 30 from the German), editor and compilor. Within a generation Methodists became known both in Britain and America for their singing, to such a degree that the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote in 1760: "Something must be done to put our psalmody on a better footing. The Sectarists gain a multitude of followers by their better singing." (29) During the first Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1774, John Adams wrote of his visit to a Methodist meeting: "The singing here is very sweet and soft indeed; the first [finest] music I have heard in any society, except the Moravian, and once at church with organ." (30)

The thousands of hymns written and compiled by the Wesleys were sung to a variety of music. The old psalm tunes continued to be used (many Wesleyan hymns were written in common metre to facilitate singing with already familiar tunes), but a new corpus of music also emerged, one that reflects the mileau of the 18th century. The major tune sources are A Collection of Tunes Set to Music as They are Commonly Sung at the Foundery (1742), Hymns for the Great Festivals (1746), (31) and Select hymns with tunes annext (1761). (32) Temperley has given a good description of the 18th-century Methodist style of tune:

It is derived from secular art music of the period or of a slightly earlier time. Typically there is a bass that suggests continuo realization, with an elegantly ornate melody, often in parallel thirds. The cadences are in the galant style, sometimes including intermediate ones in related keys. A particular feature of English Methodist singing was the contrast allowed between men's and women's voices, found as early as 1753 in George Whitefield's Selections for the Tabernacle. Often a phrase of text is sung antiphonally, first by women and then either by men or by men and women together. Sometimes the parts intended for women alone were only indicated by the word "soft" or "piano" above the staff.... This expressive device shows both the great proximity of English Methodist hymnody to the conventions of art music and also a contrast with the American Congregationalist performing tradition, which seems to have been that everyone sang as loud as they could all the time.... (33)

The ornate character of many Methodist tunes is quite striking. CAMBRIDGE (Example 3; not the same as the psalm tune CAMBRIDGE) has a rather unvocal melody, with wide-ranging leaps and many ornaments.

Example 3: CAMBRIDGE, from Select hymns with tunes annext (London, 1761)

Example 3: CAMBRIDGE, from Select hymns with tunes annext (London, 1761)

SALISBURY remains in use today, in a slightly modified form, as EASTER HYMN (Hymnary 105). FRANKFORT is a 3/4 time version of the modern WINCHESTER NEW (Hymnary 16). A slightly later tune, DYING THIEF (Example 4), began appearing in Methodist collections around 1800 (known today as RICHMOND [Hymnary 14]).

Example 4: DYING THIEF, from Union Harmony, 2nd ed. (St. John NB, 1816)

Example 4: DYING THIEF, from Union Harmony, 2nd ed. (St. John NB, 1816)

 The antiphonal contrasts and Italian operatic idiom are quite clear, especially in the phrase which is no longer sung, measures 11-15. Other tunes which survive today, often in simplified form, include: DERBE (Hymnary 573), HELMSLEY (Hymn Book [1971] 393), LEONI (Hymnary 25), MORNING HYMN (529), MOSCOW (240), OLD 23RD (272), ST. BRIDE (265) and SAVANNAH (292).

Even in Select hymns with tunes annext, which is essentially Wesley's attempt to simplify congregational singing, the art music influence is clear. In the section "The Gamut, or Scale of Music," instructions for ornamentation are given:

There are several Graces in Music, but the most principal is a Trill; which is the shaking of two distinct Notes easily upon one Syllable, as long as the Time allows, always beginning with the upper, thus it ought to be used on all descending Prick'd Crochets; and always before a Close; also on all descending sharp'd Notes; and on all descending Semitones; but none shorter than Crotchets.... (34)

Following these instructions the amount of ornamentation would be significant, with trills in virtually every phrase. Overall, Methodist music of the period is sophisticated, requiring a fair amount of musical ability to perform.

North American Singing Style, the Development of "Scientific Music"

Early 19th century sources portray a rather interesting picture of singing in North America. In 1846 The Bangor [Maine] Billings and Holden Society was organized to revive "old-fashioned singing." (35) A reviewer in the Boston Courier praised the style of singing evidenced at the Society's first concert, "which was quite different from that of the present day throughout.... I was happy to find that the rich nasal sound of forty years ago is not yet forgotten, and that the practice of beating time with the hand still exists." The reviewer was particularly pleased with the "strong voices and peculiar intonations" of the Bangor ladies. (36)

A similar style of singing is suggested by Jane Hopper's recollection of her Primitive Methodist mother's singing of the tune BALERMA (Hymnary 180): "[It] was like no tune on earth; full of all kinds of little wailing bars, going from the minor to the major scale at any moment; but her voice always trembled at the word 'trembling,' and seemed to go down hill a couple of times to the end of the verse. She invariably sang it the same way, queer as it was...." (37) Although this latter description could be of a very personal interpretation, the possibility exists that this style of singing had been learned in a congregational setting.

Finally, a set of "Ironical Rules for Singing at Church" was published in the Portland Advocate:

1. A man who sings at Church, should always in so doing, make a noise as loud as common thunder, and not bury his talents in a napkin; the more of a good thing the better.

2. If he sings tenor, he should always sing through his nose as well as his mouth; he takes wind in at both passages, and why not send it out at both?

3. The nasal twang is so much the better, because it resembles the hautboy stop on the organ.

4. Besides it is doing equal and exact justice, to make the mouth and the nose both officiate at the same time.

5. If he sings bass let him sing it with a vengeance, and if he cannot sing right, let him sing wrong; but by all events put his shoulder to the work.

6. He should never trouble himself about correctly pronouncing the words of the psalm, or hymn, 'words are but wind,' and not only so, who can pronounce the words with his nose!

7. But if the singer chooses to pronounce the words, he should do it with a flourish and a sort of whirlwind in the mouth; in this manner they become magnified and circumvolved and beautifully confused; there is no danger in all this; for they will all get into perfect order again by the time they have travelled once around the meeting house. (38)

The tunes and harmonisations of American composers such as Billings and Holden were considered crude; and, in a purely technical sense they were--full of parallel fifths and octaves, often solely pentatonic, with little sense of harmonic movement and many chords lacking thirds, etc. These were not highly trained composers but practical people who saw a need for church music and filled it, learning musical skills as they went along. The popularity of such indigenous American music was being questioned, however. Many American composers began to look to European musical fashions and European music theory as an alternative. Simple tunes such as OLD 100TH were held up as "ancient music"--examples of the best in church music--and new tunes were written with similar aesthetics in mind. The tide was turning, and European tunes and musical styles began to dominate American tunebooks. (39)

The most famous proponent of this reform was Lowell Mason, a Boston educator and musician. Mason's work as a tunebook compiler and writer about music was phenomenally influential. (40) By the 1850s, virtually all church music published in America bore the mark of the Mason school. The term "scientific music" became widely used in church music circles to denote well-constructed music (meaning music written by educated musicians). Whether strictly appropriate or not, titles such as "Professor" came to be commonly used by musicians. The movement led to the virtual extinction of American folk hymnody and a legacy of tunes adapted from European chant and art music, such as ANTIOCH (Hymnary 55), HAMBURG (208) and original tunes such as Mason's ARIEL (43) and BETHANY (321).

Presbyterian Church Music in Canada

Presbyterians emigrating from the American colonies or from Scotland and England brought with them their beloved psalm tunes and the practice of lining out. The diary of Ely Plater of York for Sunday, 23 January 1803, reads:

...after Dinr. was over, the Girls wishing to go to meeting which was to be holden in the eveng at Mr. Cooper we started in both Sley's and got down in good time the Minister was of the Church of Scotland and gave us a very good discourse--there was three psalms sung the two last was sung by Mr. Ward in which Mr. Hewd & me assisted him.... (41)

The 19th century would see significant developments in Presbyterian "church praise," however, including the introduction of instruments (fifes, flageolets and the "kirk fiddle") and church choirs, an expanding repertoire of psalm tunes, and eventually the introduction of hymnody and the organ.

American singing school masters were a part of Canadian life from the beginning, though at first only tentatively. One of the earliest was James Lyon, a Presbyterian minister from Princeton who arrived in Halifax in 1765 to serve the dissenting congregation there, moving on to Onslow Township a year later and finally to the Pictou area in 1768. Prior to his ordination Lyon had been active as a singing school master and had published a tunebook, Urania, in Philadelphia in 1761. It is likely that he brought copies of this book with him to Nova Scotia and used it in worship there. Lyon was eventually called to the pulpit at Machias, a settlement on the coast of Maine, in 1772. (42)

Like the later Canadian tunebooks published from 1801 until mid-century, Urania was produced in the American oblong-octavo open-score format, often called "longboy," with the melody in the tenor voice. (43) Only four of the 70 psalm tunes in the book are still in use today: ST. ANN'S (Hymnary 409), OLD 100TH, LONDON NEW (646), and HANOVER (21) which Lyon designates as "The 149th Psalm Tune." Others were well-known tunes of the time, including WINDSOR, WESTMINSTER (not the WESTMINSTER of today) and WELLS.

Urania includes 12 anthems and closes with 14 hymn tunes with full texts underlaid (placing these last reflects the relative novelty of the hymn genre). Two of these hymn tunes are in use today: SALISBURY and the tune for "God save the Queen" (which Lyon refers to as "Whitefield's"). All 14 appear to be of 18th-century origin, many of them from the collection Harmonia Sacra (c.1760). (44) The inclusion of hymn tunes in a collection published by a Presbyterian is explained in Lyon's preface addressed "To The Clergy of every Denomination in America." (45) As the title page indicates, the volume is "peculiarly adapted to the use of Churches and Private Families," this latter intention providing Lyon with the excuse to include hymns. (46)

For Presbyterians, the metrical psalms were virtually sacred texts. Evidence of this is found in the curious Scottish custom of writing practice verses to learn the psalm tunes, thereby saving the actual psalm texts for the sanctity of worship. The earliest surviving Canadian tunebook is actually a small handwritten volume of this type, dated 1813. (47) The book contains 12 tunes written in elaborate letter notation: FRENCH, LONDON, YORK, DUNDEE, ELGIN, DUBLIN (or IRISH [Hymnary 138]), ABBEY, MARTYR'S, DAVIDS, NEWTON, MARYS and SAVOY (actually OLD 100TH). Each is accompanied by a short verse such as the following under MARTYR'S:

A snowey breast a sparkling eye

I never will admire

But she thats Blest can make me chaste

And with her I'll retire.

Aside from its delightful texts, this little book is invaluable for the evidence it provides concerning psalm tunes and educational practice in Upper Canada in the early 19th century. The notation itself demonstrates that alternative methods of music teaching were in use. Not surprisingly, most of the tunes are those of the 1615 Scottish Psalter. (48)

Despite the best efforts of singing school masters, early 19th century Presbyterian singing could be quite dismal. One commentator wrote of a service in St. Catherines ON:

At the conclusion of the service, the clergyman gave out a hymn, which was sung by a party of young men who sat in the church gallery. The sound of a miserably played flute and a cracked flageolet, united with the harshness of the voices, produced a concert both disagreeable and ludicrous. (49)

Despite its critical tone, this description (written by a visitor from Scotland with a poor opinion of the colonies) provides important information on Presbyterian musical practices in Upper Canada in the 1820s. Note the presence of a gallery choir, the use of instruments, and the (seeming) lack of singing by the congregation.

That Presbyterian churches in British North America were in a time of musical transition is noted by William Lyon MacKenzie.

At issue was the "Scots version of the Psalms and Paraphrases" versus the "Psalms of Dr. [Isaac] Watts." Referring to the (secessionist) Presbyterian Church of York, Mackenzie wrote in the Colonial Advocate (December 22, 1825):

We could wish, as this is the only Presbyterian Church in or near York, that the Scots version of the Psalms and Paraphrases were used during one part of the day and the Psalms of Dr. Watts' on the other. The Americans and English prefer the latter, the Scotch, and perhaps the Protestants from the north of Ireland the former.... As we are met here from various parts of the globe we respectfully submit to our elders whether it would not be advisable to introduce not only the versions but also the tunes which the presbyterian in America as well as in Scotland and Ireland are best accustomed to.

A letter to the editor published in the Advocate in 1828 was even more pronounced in tone:

Our greatest annoyance arose from the tunes and psalmody:--[The tunes produce a fine stage effect, but being removed ninety degrees from the sweet and simple melodies in use in Europe, the congregation can no more join in singing "to the praise and glory of God" than if they were deaf and dumb. The old and solemn tunes of other years are laid aside to make way for airs better fitted for the playhouse than a presbyterian reformed congregation; and the substitution of Watt's independent version of the psalms in use in the north of Ireland and Scotland, compleats our musical misfortunes, and makes us feel as if in a strange land. The associations connected with the psalms we have oft sung and learnt by heart in our earlier and happier years can never be effaced by a more harmonious version, even if accompanied by a band, a fife, and new tune as uncouth as if newly imported from Italy by Madame Catalani.]-- At last however the singers struck up Coleshill, and altho the independent psalmody was continued, the change was, on the whole, for the better. (50)

Watts' psalms were adopted by many of the more liberal Presbyterian congregations, both in the New World and the Old. This conservative versus liberal debate concerning texts, tunes and the use of instruments in worship would haunt the Presbyterian churches in Canada for years to come, however, eventually leading to bitter battles within the church courts.

Although instruments were in relatively common use in Canadian Presbyterian churches from early in the 19th century, organs did not appear until mid-century. The high cost of pipe organ manufacture had kept them out of all but the largest churches, and even then predominantly in those with liberal American membership. (51) By mid-century, however, rapid technological advances made possible the production of low-cost reed organs. (52) Suddenly, organs were available to small congregations throughout North America.

Frederick Rennie cites the installation of an organ in First Presbyterian, Brockville ON in 1855 as the critical moment in what came to be called "the great organ controversy." (53) The Synod declared:

...that the introduction of instrumental music in public worship is not approved or permitted by this Church.... All Presbyteries [should] take order that no such innovation be introduced in any of the congregations within their bounds; but to take steps, so far as practicable, to encourage and cultivate the harmonious exercise of vocal praise. (54)

Two years later the Brockville Church finally complied with this order. (55) In 1860 the Synod ordered the Session of St. Andrew's Church, Toronto, to remove their organ from the sanctuary. The Session refused to comply, however, and the debate continued for almost 20 years with pamphlets and church periodicals taking sides in the dispute. (56) A central issue in the controversy was the aid rendered to congregational singing by the support of an organ versus the silencing of congregational praise in favour of professional musical performance. (57) Eventually the General Assembly of the Canada Presbyterian Church opted, in 1872, to allow individual congregations to decide for themselves. (58) Gradually organs were introduced throughout the country. (59)

Antipathy to hymns in Canadian Presbyterian churches was often as strong as the opposition to organs. Officially Canadian Presbyterian church praise included only the psalms and paraphrases, until events in Scotland began to affect the Canadian scene. In 1851 the Hymn Book of the United Presbyterian Church was published in Scotland, sparking a controversy in Canada. (60) The conservative Ecclesiastical and Missionary Record trumpeted a warning:

Several sections of the visible Church use, in the worship of God, hymns of mere human authority.... One of the first steps in the defection of those churches which have departed from the faith once delivered to the saints, has been the superseding of the words of the Holy Ghost and substituting the words of man in the worship of God. There is cause for alarm, for the purity and stability of the Church, that disregards scriptural worship. (61)

The Canadian Presbyter, on the other hand, called for a Free Church hymn book, specifically mentioning the merits of the United Presbyterian book. Since hymns and hymn collections were already in use in some congregations, the Presbyter argued that those of poor quality could be avoided by introducing a standard Canadian collection. (62) Two Canadian volumes were issued in the 1860s, Hymns for the Use of Sabbath Schools in Connection with the Canada Presbyterian Church (1862) and Hymns for the Worship of God (1863). The definitive collection was not issued until after the union of 1875, however: the Hymnal of the Presbyterian Church in Canada (1880).

The 1890s and early 1900s saw the rapid development of music within the Presbyterian Church in Canada. The most important single influence was that of Alexander MacMillan. (63) Coming from Edinburgh to serve mission fields in Manitoba and the Northwest in 1885, MacMillan returned to Canada permanently in 1887. In 1892 he was appointed to the committee charged with revising the 1880 hymn book. The appointment suited MacMillan well, allowing him to pursue his interests in music and worship, subjects he had studied in Edinburgh. A call to participate in a joint hymn book project proposed by the three Presbyterian Churches of Scotland resulted in MacMillan and Daniel J. Macdonnell, chair of the music subcommittee, being sent as Canadian delegates in 1894. Macdonnell's untimely death from pneumonia left MacMillan as the sole Canadian representative. When he returned to Canada, still only 30 years of age, MacMillan was appointed Macdonnell's successor.

Despite all the effort put into the join hymn book project, the Canadian church ultimately rejected the first draft due to a lack of selections from the paraphrases and lack of evangelistic hymns. Instead a Canadian volume was issued in 1897, the Presbyterian Book of Praise. MacMillan continued his work on hymnody for the rest of his life, eventually becoming full-time secretary of the Committee on Church Praise, 1914-1925, and continuing in a similar capacity in The United Church of Canada after union. (64)

Methodist Church Music in Canada

Methodism and music have always been intertwined in popular understanding. Hymn singing continued to be a support for many Methodists as they laboured to build a new life in a strange land. During the heyday of Canadian Methodism, one observer noted:

What has made the Methodist Church the most extensive of all denominations? Because it surpassed all others in heartiness of singing. The Methodists all sing. I have travelled up and down the land, I have seen many strange and curious things, but I never yet saw a Methodist that could not sing. They sing with their throats. They sing with their hands. They sing with their feet. Set a Methodist man and his wife down in the middle of a Western prairie, and they begin to sing; and in a short time on one side of them comes up a meeting-house, and they keep singing until up comes a whole conference. (65)

Music was truly the heart and soul of Methodism, carrying it through the pioneering years and into the modern age. (66)

One of the first singing school master to permanently immigrate to the British North American colonies was Stephen Humbert. Humbert founded the first Methodist congregation in St. John NB in 1791, established a singing school (announced in the St. John Gazzetter and Weekly Advertiser, November 11, 1796), and published Canada's first English-language book of music, Union Harmony, in 1801. The printing of three subsequent editions (1816, 1832, 1840) testifies to the popularity of Humbert's book. (67)

Similar to Lyon's Urania in a number of ways--longboy format, with theoretical introduction, etc.--Union Harmony had one significant additional feature. Though the fuging tune was fading in popularity south of the border, out of 229 selections in the second edition (1816) of Union Harmony, 89 are fuging tunes (over a third of the volume). Humbert devoted a considerable portion of the preface or "Advertisement" to a defense of the genre:

Objections have been made by some compilers of devotional musick against the use of fugueing tunes in divine worship. It is allowed that injudicious performers have abused that species of composition through ignorance in the performance of good musick, and the introduction and too frequent use of fugueing tunes not properly composed for the solemnities of worship. But it is nevertheless believed that fugueing musick, when judiciously performed, will produce the most happy effect, without the least disorder of jargon, especially when it is considered we do not sing to please men, but the Lord. If those who are hearers, while others are performing that part of divine worship, were as assiduous to learn Sacred Musick, as they too generally are the giddy amusements of the day, we should have less hearers and more performers of this animating part of divine worship; and whole assemblies might join to confess how amiable and pleasant it is to "Sing unto the Lord with the spirit and with the understanding also."

The popularity of Union Harmony suggests that Humbert knew his market well (New Brunswick and Nova Scotia being perhaps a bit "behind the times" in terms of congregational singing style and repertoire in the early 1800s). There is also evidence in the same edition of British Wesleyan influence as well. (68) Selections 200 to 213 are quite different musically from the other pieces in the book, bearing the musical stamp of the English Wesleyan style and probably being derived from an English collection, the New Harmonic Magazine (London, 1801). By the early 19th century links with American Methodism had been largely severed in the Maritime colonies and it is not surprising that Humbert would cater to the increasing British presence in the area.

The 4th edition (1840) of Union Harmony provides a further comment on the state of singing in Maritime Methodism. In the section entitled "Introduction to the Grounds of Music," Humbert wrote:

Sounds on the base should be full, on the tenor bold and manly, (not effeminately, as in the present practice of modern times, by females) the counter soft, yet firm, and the treble smooth and delicate.

Humbert was arguing for a return to the practice of tenors only on the melody. It would appear that the British influence continued to affect congregational singing, so that by mid-century sopranos were beginning to sing melody rather than harmony.

A major influence on Methodist music was the camp meeting movement. Arising simultaneously in the British North American colonies and in the United States early in the 19th century, camp meeting music was fervent and lively judging from extant accounts such as the following from an 1856 revival at the Peel and Wellesley mission in Canada West:

They had no instrument, but they could take all the parts of a tune. They had some Old Country music with fugues, and they could all modulate their voices, or sweep in volume that carried all the congregation in one burst of song. (69)

Some camp meeting music was quite complex. (70) The hymn "All hail the power of Jesus' name," to the American tune CORONATION (Example 5), was a long-standing favourite in Canada, both in camp meetings and regular worship. (71)

Example 5: CORONATION, from Union Harmony, 2nd ed. (St. John NB, 1816)
Example 5: CORONATION, from Union Harmony, 2nd ed. (St. John NB, 1816)

CORONATION commonly included a middle section in which the alto and tenor (melody) drop out temporarily on "Bring forth the royal diadem" before returning for "and crown him Lord of all." Another favourite was the tune ST. PAUL (Example 6) with its "short rolling bass written in near the end" in which the melody is temporarily silent, allowing for a bass solo. (72)

Example 6: ST. PAUL, from Sacred Harmony (Toronto, 1838)

Example 6: ST. PAUL, from Sacred Harmony (Toronto, 1838)

Another common feature of camp meeting hymns was the chorus, often improvised as necessary. Dorothy Farquharson provides a general description:

They were naive, crude and spontaneously coupled to a hymn. They were catchy, short, rousing and repetitive. The texts were shallow in thought, seldom poetic or overly sentimental, but always vigorous. The words were limited to a few categories: heaven and pilgrimage there, love and praise to Jesus, world rejection, forgiveness and grace. Ejaculations or "shouting words" such as Hallelujah, Save, Yes, Remember Me, and Will You Go were an important part of the refrains. (73)

A hymn of this type, with a nautical flavour popular at the time, is cited by Jane Hopper:

The Gospel ship has long been sailing,

Bound for Canaan's peaceful shore;

All who wish to sail to glory,

Come, and welcome, rich and poor.

CHORUS: Glory, glory, hallelujah!

All her sailors loudly cry;

See the blissful port of glory

Open to each faithful eye.

Come, poor sinners, get converted,

Sail with us o'er life's rough sea;

Then with us you will be happy,

Happy through eternity.

CHORUS: Glory, glory, hallelujah!... (74)

Camp meetings were emotional events, filled with fervent preaching, soul-saving, and a good measure of hearty singing.

By the 1830s, however, Methodist singing in Upper Canada had, with exceptions, reached a low ebb. An editorial in the Christian Guardian lamented:

Time was when the Methodists were much admired for the melody for the melody and uniformity of their singing, but at present it is much to be regretted that a very great deficiency is apparent among them in this important part of divine worship; so much so that it has become frequently the subject of remark: and for our part, we confess that we would prefer no singing at all, rather than that which is generally performed in many of our congregations.

The writer continued:

We would by no means be understood as recommending the absurd practice of some churches and congregations, of having a few persons chosen as singers to perform that exercise alone, while the others sit and look on as though it were only their business to be amused by the performance of others. (75)

This situation led to the publication, in 1838, of the first officially-sanctioned Wesleyan Methodist tunebook in British North America, Alexander Davidson's Sacred Harmony. (76) In the Preface Davidson wrote:

[An] evil...exists in the want of uniformity in singing throughout our extensive Connextion. When tunes are acquired only by the ear, or through the medium of different publications, it is quite impossible that all will sing the same tunes alike; and the necessary consequence is anything but harmony. By providing a standard work...each members of our Congregations, wherever he may enter one of our sanctuaries, will be able to join his melodiously celebrating the high praises of his REDEEMER GOD.

Four sample selections from Sacred Harmony were offered to the public in the March 7, 1838 issue of the Christian Guardian (LYDIA, LONDON NEW [Hymnary 646], MOUNT PLEASANT and IRISH [138]), (77) probably representing a cross-section of tunes in use at the time to show potential purchasers of the tunebook that old favourites would be included. Other Methodist tunes mentioned in surviving records include PORTUGAL, DUNDEE, WELLS, CHINA, MEAR, CORONATION, MARTYN, HAMBURG and WEST'S, (78) tunes of wide-ranging origin from both America and Britain with a considerable pre-Methodist influence. A considerable amount of common ground can be seen between this list and that of the Presbyterians at that time.

Sacred Harmony was widely used throughout Upper Canada over the next 30 years, eventually reaching 15 editions. (79) The official sanction of a largely personal collection of tunes had musical consequences for Canadian Methodism, however. Since 1792 various editions of the Methodist Discipline had argued against the singing of fuging tunes in Methodist worship, yet a sizable selection appeared in Sacred Harmony. (80) Even "O for a thousand tongues" was set to a fuging tune, FULGENTIUS (Example 7). (81)

Example 7: FULGENTIUS, from Sacred Harmony (Toronto, 1838)

Example 7: FULGENTIUS, from Sacred Harmony (Toronto, 1838)

Elaborate Handelian tunes with trills and dynamics are also present and, in the concluding 15 pages, figured bass for instrumental accompaniment. Sacred Harmony may well have encouraged uniformity in Methodist hymnody, but it also encouraged the growing trend to elitist professionalism.

Organs and choirs were introduced gradually into Methodist worship, opposition to their use usually centring on their tendency to usurp the singing role of the congregation. The Guardian lamented the prominent role of an organ in an English Wesleyan chapel:

Here it will be seen Sunday is the day for a performance--a performance on a wind instrument; we are told of "pedal pipes," and "diaphason pipes"; the instrument is "inferior to none in the country"; then we hear of "neighbouring amateurs," of [the organist] showing "high talents," and of him and his choir "inviting the attention of the congregation": and all this in a Methodist Church on the Lord's day, when the people are met to worship God in spirit. What! are octaves, and bellows, and fingers, the agency for convicting and converting sinners? (82)

Similar opinions continued to appear in the pages of the Guardian for years:

It [the choir] has done a miserable work--it has well-nigh destroyed congregational sings. It has given us a substitute. And what a substitute it is! Solos, duets, quartetts, and a ceaseless succession of new tunes, many of them executed after the most approved operatic style. The congregation sits by and silently witnesses the performance. That might do well enough for an opera house, but it ill befits God's sanctuary. (83)

Despite such concerns, however, by the 1860s organs and choirs were practically universal in Canadian Methodist worship.

The period after mid-century also witnessed a veritable explosion in Methodist musical publishing activity. The Canadian Church Harmonist was issued in 1864 to replace Sacred Harmony as the official Wesleyan tunebook. (84) A Collection of Hymns (1874) was issued to replace Wesley's own Collection of 1780. (85) The Wesleyan Methodist Hymn Book (1880) and accompanying Methodist Tune Book (1881) were adopted by the larger church after the Methodist union of 1884. (86) Finally the Methodist Hymn and Tune Book was issued in 1894, a combined hymn and tune book in the modern fashion. (87)

As elsewhere in the English-speaking world, the evangelical campaigns of Dwight Moody and Ira Sankey had a tremendous impact on Canadian churches. Sankey's collections Gospel Hymns, Sacred Songs and Solos, and others, sold widely in Canada from the 1870s on. The Methodist Book Room began carrying these collections along with those by other Americans, and issued many of their own. The Dominion Hymnal (1883) was followed by the Canadian Hymnal (1889), (88) later replaced by the New Canadian Hymnal (1916). Other collections include the Canadian Musical Fountain and Revival Singer (1870), the Wave of Sunday School Song (1875), the Great Awakening (1886), and many more. The successor to the camp meeting chorus hymn, gospel song had its greatest impact on weeknight prayer meetings and Sunday evening services. (89)

Two noted Canadian evangelical teams were Crossley and Hunter and the Whyte Brothers. H.T. Crossley edited Songs of Salvation (1887), "as used by Crossley and Hunter, in evangelistic meetings, and adapted for the Church, Grove [i.e. camp meeting], School, Choir and Home." (90) The cover carried a picture of Metropolitan Methodist (now United) Church, Toronto. John M. whyte and D.A. Whyte published three collections: Sing Out the Glad News (1885), Songs of Calvary (1889), and Battle Songs of the Cross (1901). John Whyte was one of the most prolific hymn and tune composers in Canadian musical history, with about 200 to his credit. His texts and music are clearly in the gospel idiom, with vivid imagery and simple harmony such as his "The Dripping of the Blood" and "The Crimson Stream," both from Battle Songs. (91) All four volumes were published and sold by the Methodists.

Congregationalist Church Music in Canada

Few records remain concerning the early development of Congregationalist music in British North America. The diary of Simeon Perkins of Liverpool NS, however, provides one brief glimpse in the entry for February 23, 1777. Perkins speaks of a Mr. Amasa Braman:

Spend the evening at Mr. Joseph Tinkham's singing psalm tunes. I have for about six weeks attended all the evening I could conveniently, on a school for that purpose, taught by Mr. Amasa Braman, a gentleman that came here from Halifax the beginning of winter. His residence is at Hampstead [Hempstead], on Long Island. He's a native of Connecticut, and graduated at Yale Colledge. (92)

Braman did not last long in Nova Scotia, Perkins noting on April 21, 1778:

It is reported that Mr. Amasa Braman, who has resided here about 16 months, is absconded, and gone off this morning.... This Mr. Braman came here from Halifax, and says he belongs to Long Island. Has kept school, and taught singing, and practised the Law. He is gone away in debt.

Braman did leave one musical legacy. Perkins records the results of an important congregational meeting shortly before Braman left:

Thursday, March 19th, 1778,--... We have a meeting concerning coming into some regulations about singing in the Congregation. We voted to sing without reading, and choose 4 gentlemen to lead on the tenor, viz. Deacon Nath Freeman, Nathan Tupper, junr., Perez Tinkham, John Nickerson. On the bass, Joseph Tinkham, Lothrop Freeman, Joseph Freeman, Peleg Freeman. (93)

Lining out was abandoned in favour of choral leadership, a practice that was to become increasingly common over the years.

The next Congregationalist reference comes almost 70 years later. A broadsheet of hymn texts published for the opening of Zion Congregational, Montreal (February 8, 1835) provides a typical cross-section of hymns by Watts and others but without indicating tunes. (94) When Congregationalist newspapers began publishing in the 1840s and 50s, choirs are mentioned frequently enough to suggest they were already fairly common. (95) Organs were in place in Carleton PEI in 1842, (96) First Congregational, Toronto, 1855, (97) and a new organ in Brantford ON in 1866 replaced a melodeon in use "for several years past." (98) By the 1870s organs were undoubtedly quite common.

Other musical aspects receive notice during the 1860s and later. Plans for the reform of psalmody flourished for a time in the leading churches of Toronto, including changes in congregational singing practices and the use of a numeric notational system. (99) By this time it seems that the British influence had prevailed and the melody is assumed to be in the soprano. (100) Organs and melodeons were generally accepted as beneficial in leading singing. (101) Despite attempts at reform, however, the practice of having a minister or precentor read the hymn before singing was still relatively common, though by now more a custom than a necessity. (102) Tunes mentioned in the Canadian Independent that appear to be well-known in Congregational churches include: GREENVILLE, CORONATION, OLD 100TH, DUNDEE, MELCOMBE (Hymnary 207), ST. ANN'S, BOYLSTON, ARNOLD (645), BALERMA, MARINERS (304), PISGAH, PORTUGUESE HYMN (ADESTE FIDELES, 47), SILVER-STREET, ANTIOCH (55) and HARWELL. Many of these appear in the context of examples of old tunes to be avoided or treasured tunes now gone. (103)

With a few minor exceptions Canadian Congregationalists did not publish hymn collections. (104) By the 1850s churches were using a variety of books with little uniformity. (105) Two collections eventually prevailed: the American Sabbath Hymn Book and the British New Congregational Hymn Book (1859). (106) Late in the century a British revision was issued, the Congregational Church Hymnal (1887). A concerted effort was made at the conference level to introduce this hymnal in all congregations, with a considerable measure of success. (107) By the time of union in 1925 it was in use in the majority of Canadian Congregational churches.

The Twentieth Century

By 1925 organs and choirs were firmly entrenched in Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational worship, to the point that people could scarcely remember otherwise. (108) The "cathedral" churches of these denominations were among the leading centres of music in the country, with elaborate music programs involving multiple choirs, orchestras, quartettes and soloists. (109) Evening services, especially, had become virtual musical concerts. (110) Even smaller churches were capable of regularly employing special music in worship. (111)

Curiously, in spite of the impetus towards church union, both the Methodists and Presbyterians chose to revise their hymn collections during the First World War. The Methodist Hymn and Tune Book was published in 1917, the Presbyterian Book of Praise in 1918. Some members felt that they could not wait for union, that a new hymnal was needed immediately:

We welcome this decision [to revise the Hymn and Tune Book] from the bottom of our hearts, for we believe it to be altogether in the interests of our church. There has been long delay in this matter, owing to the proximity of church-union, we are told. There is great cause for satisfaction that in the meantime we are to set our own house in order as fully as possible. (112)

By the early 20th century the three denominations shared a considerable common repertoire of hymns and tunes. Though a union hymnal had been proposed, and the Presbyterian and Methodist committees did meet jointly, the differences between the two traditions proved to great to bridge:

In comparing the work of the two committees, we found that the Presbyterian Book of Praise would contain over one hundred psalms and the Methodist Hymn Book less than ten. The Methodist book would have over eighty of Wesley's hymns--ours between twenty and thirty. (113)

The 1917 Methodist and 1918 Presbyterian books had 357 hymn and psalm texts in common (out of 656 for the Methodists and 809 for the Presbyterians), (114) yet the Presbyterian committee concluded that "should a united church be the result of the present negotiations it will require a number of years of interchange and development of church life together before one common book representing the whole people could be prepared." (115) Indeed, denominational loyalties continued to plague the United Church committee as it compiled the 1930 Hymnary. (116) It would be many years before the members of the new church truly felt "united" in matters of hymnody. Perhaps if the Presbyterians and Methodists and waited just a bit longer, this problem might, at least partially, have been alleviated.

Patterns of church music in the three founding denominations of The United Church of Canada changed radically over the course of a relatively brief span of time. Beginning with strong denominational traditions, the three churches shared, by the time of union, many hymns and tunes in common, and choirs and organs had become almost universal. The Canadian churches were not alone in this revolution. Changes in Canadian church music followed those of the United States and Great Britain, the powerful influence of the American churches resulting from the Loyalist immigration during the late 18th century gradually being replaced by British influence during the successive waves of emigration from the "old country" in the first half of the 19th century. American influence continued, however, particularly in the gospel hymn movement and the development of the reed organ.

Presbyterian practices changed the most, Presbyterians moving from a vociferous anti-instrument, psalms-only tradition to becoming a major force in Canadian musical life. Yet all three denominations sacrificed much of their heritage. All three had begun as protestant (as in protesting) churches, who wished to return to a simpler musical tradition with the congregational voice central in the praise of God. Over the years, however, the concern for the quality of music in worship gave rise to a much more professional approach to church music, with choirs and organs prominent and congregations largely abdicating their responsibility in praise. We can hardly imagine worship today without church musicians. One wonders, however, whether we are not missing out on the glorious sound of a cappella voices united in sacred song.

End Notes

1. In later psalters separated into four lines (8686) and known as Common Metre.

2. The radically different natures of these translations can be seen in the following examples from Psalm 23:

Sternhold & Hopkins 1562
My Shepherd is the living Lord,/nothing therefore I need:
In pastures fair near pleasant streams/he setteth me to feed.

Scottish Psalter 1650
The Lord's my shepherd, I'll not want./He makes me down to lie
In pastures green: he leadeth me/the quiet waters by.

Tate & Brady 1696
The Lord himself, the mighty Lord,/vouchsafes to be my guide;
The shepherd, by whose constant care/my wants are all supplied.

3. There is a striking similarity between WINCHESTER OLD and a section (chapter 8, second half, treble part) of Christopher Tye's Acts of the Apostles (1553), a common metre translation and simple musical setting of a portion of the book of Acts (cf. Maurice Frost, English and Scottish Psalm and Hymn Tunes c. 1543-1677 [London: Oxford University Press, 1953] #103 and #302). Other psalm tune phrases appear in this work suggesting a common melodic vocabulary in use at the time. Nicholas Temperley has suggested that some psalm tunes may have originated as harmonies to other tunes (cf. Temperley, "The Old Way of Singing," Journal of the American Musicological Society 34 [1981] 529-32).

4. Cf. Erik Routley, The Music of Christian Hymnody (London: Independent Press, 1957) 46. GLASGOW TUNE appears to have fallen into disuse.

5. The Hymnary of The United Church of Canada includes ABBEY (652), DUNDEE (652), DUNFERMLINE (40), FRENCH (176), MARTYRS (668) and YORK (630).

6. This collection was the first music published in North America.

7. Misnamed as the 115TH PSALM TUNE, an error that appeared in the English source for this collection, John Playford's A Brief Introduction to the Skill of Musick (1654). Cf. Richard Appel, The Music of the Bay Psalm Book, I.S.A.M. Mono-graphs 5 (New York: Institute for Studies in American Music, 1975) 4.

8. Cf. Hymnary: OLD 100TH (6), OLD 113TH (10), ST. DAVID'S (674), ST. MARY'S (127).

9. These early tunes have a number of features in common. Written in the old modal system which preceded tonality, many defy categorization according to major or minor key (cf. MARTYR'S). Angular melodic contours and wide ranges are common (cf. ST. DAVID'S and ST. MARY'S). Although altered over the years to conform with changing conceptions of rhythm, many of the tunes in their earlier forms defy attempts to interpret them according to strict metrical concepts.

10. For a detailed discussion cf. Temperley, "The Old Way of Singing" 511-44.

11. William Taas, The Elements of Music (Aberdeen, 1787) 34, cited in Temperley, "The Old Way" 523. As psalm tunes were normally printed in a combination of whole notes and half notes (a whole note actually equalling our half note), this was a slow pace indeed!

12. Robert Rennie describes this practice: "[An interesting characteristic of Presbyterian psalmody was] the precentor's practice of 'gracing' the singing of the psalm through the addition of unauthorized shakes and quavers to the tune very much as the spirit moved him. Such ornamentation was copied in turn by the congregation at will, and the result must have been sheer cacophony. The tune was hardly identifiable amid the graces that smothered it, although many precentors tried to protect themselves through displaying the name of the tune boldly, if rudely, printed on a cardboard set in front of their desks" (cf. Rennie, "Spiritual worship with a carnal instrument: the organ as an aid or obstacle to the 'purity of worship' in Canadian Presbyterianism, 1850-1875," M.Th. thesis, Knox College [1969] 57).

13. "Of Singing of Psalms," A Directory for the Publique Worship of God Throughout the Three Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1644).

14. In light of the fact that the Scottish delegates at Westminster had actually opposed of lining out, it seems ironic that the practice continued so much longer in Scotland than in England.

15. Four Centuries of Scottish Psalmody (London: Oxford University Press, 1949) 130.

16. The Gamut was a widely-used system found in many tunebook prefaces which involved teaching people to sing by using four solmization syllables: mi fa so la. In this system a C major scale (C D E F G A B C) would be rendered fa so la fa so la mi fa. This system was thought to be simpler to understand than the hexahordal system (ut [do] re mi fa so la) in use in continental Europe at the time (cf. Robert Stevenson, Protestant Church Music in America [New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1966] 21).

17. Cf. Stevenson 21-31.

18. The formation of church choirs was a direct result of this movement.

19. Cf. Nicholas Temperley, "The origins of the fuging tune," Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle 17 (1981) 1-32.

20. Temperley and Charles Manns, Fuging Tunes in the Eighteenth Century (Detroit: Information Coordinators, Inc., 1983) viii.

21. Richard Crawford, The Core Repertory of Early American Psalmody, Recent Researches in American Music 11 and 12 (Madison WI: A-R Editions, 1984) xli.

22. The Choir (Halifax, 1887) is the last Canadian book I have found to contain fuging tunes.

23. "The Preface,"Hymns and Spiritual Songs (London, 1709), reprinted in Selma L. Bishop, Isaac Watts: Hymns and Spiritual Songs 1707l-1748 (London: Faith Press, 1962) lii-lv.

24. Of the 45 pieces included, over half are by Watts and his follower, Phillip Doddridge (cf. Louis Benson, The English Hymn: Its Development and Use in Worship [Richmond VA: John Knox Press, 1915] 148).

25. Known hereafter as the Scottish Paraphrases. Famous examples of texts from this collection can be found in the Hymnary 54, 60, 269, 446.

26. Benson 150.

27. Select hymns with tunes annext (London, 1761) was Wesley's definitive tune collection. A list of instructions for congregational singing appears on the final page.

28. Wesley wrote in his journal (August 9, 1768): "I began reading prauers at six, but was greatly disgusted at the manner of singing; (1) twelve or fourteen persons kept it to themselves, and quite shut out the congregation; (2) these repeated the same words, contrary to all sense and reason, six or eight times over; (3) according to the shocking custom of modern music, different persons sung different words at one and the same moment; an intolerable insult on common sense, and utterly incompatible with any devotion" (cited in Fred Graham, "John Wesley's choice of hymn tunes," The Hymn 39.4 [October 1988] 30).

29. Cited in the Oxford Companion to Music (10th edition, 1970) 631.

30. Cited in James Warren, O for a thousand tongues to sing (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Francis Asbury Press, 1988) 74.

31. This collection was edited by John Frederic Lampe rather than Wesley, the more elaborate nature of the music probably reflecting Wesley's lack of editorial control.

32. Commonly known as Sacred Melody, this collection was re-issued in a harmonized version as Sacred Harmony in 1780.

33. Nicholas Temperley, "Stephen Humbert's Union Harmony, 1816" in Sing out the glad news: hymn tunes in Canada, CanMus Documents 1 (Toronto: Institute for Canadian Music, 1987) 82.

34. A crochet is the British term for a quarter note.

35. William Billings (1746-1800) and Oliver Holden (1765-1844) were well-known American composers of fuging tunes and anthems.

36. Reprinted in "Old Fashioned Singing," The World of Music (Claremont NH) 4.24 (1847) 94.

37. Jane Hopper, Old-Time Primitive Methodism in Canada (1829-1884) (Toronto: William Briggs, 1904) 76. The connection between the Hopper and Boston Courier citations is made by Stephen Blum in "The fuging tune in British North America," Sing out the glad news 119-20.

38. Reprinted in the Christian Guardian (9 January 1830) 64.

39. Cf. Richard Crawford, "'Ancient Music' and the Europeanizing of American Psalmody, 1800-1810" in A Celebration of American Music (Ann Arbour: University of Michigan Press, 1990) 225-55.

40. The Canadian Church Harmonist (Toronto, 1864) lists Mason along with composers such as Handel, Haydn and Mozart on its title page.

41. Cited by Edith Firth in The Town of York, 1793-1815, Publications of the Champlain Society 5 (Toronto: Champlain Society, 1962) 248.

42. Cf. Richard Crawford, "Preface," in James Lyon, Urania (reprint of 1761 edition, New York: Da Capo Press, 1974) i-iii.

43. The British vertical-octavo format, with the melody in the treble, prevailed after mid-century. Cf. John Beckwith, "Introduction," Hymn Tunes, Canadian Musical Heritage 5 (Ottawa: Canadian Musical Heritage Society, 1986) vii.

44. Cf. Crawford, "Preface," Urania xxix-xxxv.

45. Collections specific to a particular denomination are a later phenomenon; in Canada, principally after 1850.

46. In a section entitled "Of the Graces in Music" in the Theoretical Introduction, and echoing the instructions of John Wesley, Lyon advocates a more conservative approach to psalm tunes than to other music: "The Trill or Shake is used on all descending prickt Crotchets; on the latter of two Notes on the same Line or Space; and generally before a Close. The other Graces are seldom used in plain Church-Tunes, but are very proper in Hymns & Anthems." Even following these instructions, however, psalm tunes would contain a fair number of trills.

47. Found in the Collection of the Norfolk County Historical Society, Eva Brook Donly Museum, Simcoe ON.

48. The foregoing section based on Dorothy Farquharson, "O for a thousand tongues to sing": a history of singing schools in early Canada (Waterdown ON: published by author, 1983) 45-48. Facsimiles of SAVOY and MARTYR'S from this book are printed in Beckwith, Hymn Tunes, 6c and 8d.

49. John Howison, Sketches of Upper Canada (Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1821) 134-5.

50. (24 January 1828). Mackenzie added the following comment: "Without intending any reflection upon the very respectable and exemplary young gentlemen who guide the music, we may say, that if they would now and then substitute Dundee, Elgin, Martyrs, St. Davids, Irish, Portugal, Stroudwater, the old hundred, or any other well known plaintive or solemn air in place of the jig and strathspey measures with which they regale 'The Fancy,' one very considerable portion of the congregation would feel greatly obliged" (cf. the Hymnary 632 for STROUDWATER).

51. MacKenzie mentions an organ in the American Presbyterian Church, Montreal, in 1831 (cited in Rennie 71, following Robert Campbell, A History of the Scotch Presbyterian Church, St. Gabriel Street, Montreal [1887] 752).

52. Between 1840 and 1858, 39 patents for reed organ technology were issued by the US Patent Office, including an 1856 patent on mass-production techniques (cf. Barbara Owen, "Reed Organ," New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments [1980] 222-3).

53. Cf. Rennie 75. The intense emotions raised by the issue are epitomized by the following account of the immediate pre-organ days in Brockville: "It being utterly impossible to secure an organ, the best substitute was a bass viol. On Sunday the hymn was given out when, to the horror of one of the elders, there arose the loud and clear notes of what he considered an enormous fiddle. Rising from his pew he proceeded in great haste to the gallery, grasped the bow from the hands of the astonished musician, breaking it across his knees and at the same time muttering, 'We'll have nane of the devil's playthings in the House of God'" ("A Congregational History, First Presbyterian Church, Brockville" [1966], cited by Rennie 70).

54. Alexander Kemp, Digest of the Minutes of the Synod of the Presbyterian Church of Canada (Montreal: John Lovell, 1861) 63.

55. Cf. Kemp 64-6.

56. Two important pamphlets are The organ question: statements...for and against the use of the organ in public worship, in the proceedings of the Presbytery of Glasgow, 1807-08 (Toronto: Lovell & Gibson, 1859) and George Christie, The use of instrumental music in the public worship of God (Halifax: James Barnes, 1867).

57. Cf. The Presbyterian (Montreal, March 1966) 67: "If the organ will remedy this state of things [the lack of singing in worship], by all means let us have it.... If, on the contrary, an organ, or a choir, is to usurp the place of the congregation, is to be made means of showing off how elaborately and artistically the Psalms or Hymns of our Church can be trilled forth in the ears of the people, listening to voices from an organ loft as they would to an opera, then banish both. Better the rudest accents of praise from the lips of the most uncultured than this pretence."

58. Cf. Rennie 205-8.

59. Cf. Thomas Harding 25-6 for further dates and information.

60. The United Presbyterians were the most liberal in the matter of hymnody. Eventually, however, all three branches of Scottish Presbyterianism issue definitive hymn collections: the Church of Scotland's Scottish Hymnal (1871), the United Presbyterian's Presbyterian Hymnal (1877), and the Free Church Hymn Book (1882).

61. 8.3 (January 1853) 42.

62. Cf. 1 (November 1857) 297.

63. Cf. N.Keith Clifford, "The contribution of Alexander MacMillan to Canadian Hymnody" in William Klempa ed., The burning bush and a few acres of snow: the Presbyterian contribution to Canadian life... (Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1994) 159-81.

64. Clifford (p.161) cites MacMillan's United Presbyterian (i.e. liberal, Anglican-influenced) background, together with his exposure to the Oxford Movement while in Scotland in 1894, as the major causes of his catholic and liturgical biases throughout his career in Canadian hymnody.

65. "Congregational Singing," Canada Christian Advocate 23.43 (November 6, 1867). 

66. A foreign observer noted, however: "The inconsiderate habit...of singing hymns and psalms upon almost every occasion.... In Canada, the custom even more generally prevails, and is practised among almost every religious persuasion; though I find by the methodistical part of the community its observance is appropriated to a larger share...than by any other. The stranger, who is not accustomed to a continuous series of psalm singing, must not take for granted that...such is practised, either for the express purpose of communing with the spiritual Author of all consolation, or sounding the depth of His praises on high, for such is not in anywise the case; the music appertains solely to...the lessening of bodily inconveniences... compelling the resources of the mind to take share in the burthen of the operations. The furrowed frill that binds the fair neck of the lady cannot be laid across the symmetrical restrictions of the italian iron without an hymn--the gesticulations of the churn-dash are ineffectual without an incantation--and the querulous sigh of the bellows, resigns its claim upon ignition, bereft of doxology" (C.H.C., It Blows, It Snows [Dublin: P.W. Brady, 1846] 135-6).

67. Cf. Barclay MacMillan, "Tune-book imprints in Canada to 1867: a descriptive bibliography," Papers of the Bibliographic Society of Canada 16 (Toronto, 1978) 46-8. Union Harmony must have received a wide reception as James Dawson, a Pictou NS singing master, referred to it in the advertisement for his own projected Harmonicon in 1832: "The collection of Church Music called the Union Harmony, having long been out of print, is now exceedingly scarce. The subscriber, under the impression that a new publication, embracing all the best Tunes of that excellent collection, together with a judicious selection from the other books of similar character is much wanted, proposes publishing such a work, as soon as the number of subscribers shall be such as to indemnify him for the expense" (Yarmouth Telegraph [January 20, 1932] 4). Although Dawson did not receive enough subscriptions to publish his own volume until 1836, the third edition of Union Harmony appeared in 1832.

68. This discussion follows Temperley, "Stephen Humbert's Union Harmony, 1816" in Sing Out the Glad News 78-84.

69. Hopper 213 (cf. Dorothy Farquharson, "Camp Meetings: their history and song,"

Canadian Methodist Historical Society Papers 5 [1987] 70-87). Farquharson provides an informal survey of the camp meeting musical genre.

70. A Selection of Camp-meeting and Revival Hymns (Stratford ON, 1863) includes a hymn called "Camp Meeting" to the tune LENOX. The hymn vividly describes the camp meeting singing experience (cf. Farquharson 81).

71. This hymn and tune are mentioned in a camp meeting description in William Withrow, Life in the Parsonage (cited in Farquharson 72-3). The text and tune are still found together in the Hymnary 46 (alternate).

72. From the Canadian tunebook Sacred Harmony (cf. Farquharson 78, quoting from John Carroll, Case and His Co-Temporaries [1867]). This is not the same tune as ST. PAUL in the Hymnary.

73. Farquharson 76.

74. Hopper 206-7.

75. (May 5, 1833) 118-19.

76. Cf. J.William Lamb, "Canadian Methodism's first tunebook: Sacred Harmony, 1838" in Sing out the glad news 91-118 for a general study of Sacred Harmony and its mileau.

77. The first two were published in standard musical notation, the second two in shaped-note notation, representing the two different editions of Sacred Harmony being offered.

78. Cf. Guardian (December 1, 1847) 26, (February 4, 1857) 69, (September 24, 1873) 308, and Hopper 104-5.

79. John Beckwith (Hymn Tunes 43) estimates that 10,000 copies of Sacred Harmony were printed, Lamb (p.118) suggests a figure as high as 30,000!

80. The relevant section was: "15. The preachers are desired not to encourage the singing of fuge tunes in our congregations. 16. We do not think that fuge tunes are sinful, or improper to be used in private companies: but we do not approve of their being used in our public congregations, because public singing is a part of divine worship, in which all the congregation ought to join" (The Doctrines and Disciplines of the Wesleyan methodist Church in Canada [Toronto, 1836] 68-9).

81. One of four tunes included for this hymn.

82. (August 17, 1842) 170.

83. (September 24, 1873) 308, quoting from the Pittsburg Advocate.

84. David's theoretical introduction was largely retained, although fuging tunes played a much less prominent role. LENNOX, for example, was reduced to a homophonic setting (compare Example 8 with Example 1):

Example 8: LENNOX, from Canadian Church Harmonist (Toronto, 1864)

Example 8: LEN[N]OX, from Canadian Church Harmonist (Toronto, 1864)

85. The book contains words only, but with an index suggesting suitable tunes for each text.

86. The Tune Book was the first Canadian Methodist tunebook in the British octavo format, with four parts on two staves and melody on top. The fuging tune was virtually eliminated, with RUSSIA (Example 9) retaining only a vestige of its fuging nature, for example:

Example 9: RUSSIA, from Methodist Tune Book (Toronto, 1881)

Example 9: RUSSIA, from the Methodist Tune Book (Toronto, 1881)

87. The hymns remained the same as in the 1880 book; the tunes, however, were revised.

88. Revised and enlarged in 1901.

89. First Congregational Church in Ottawa voted to adopt a Moody and Sankey collection for its Sunday evening services in 1886 (cf. the Congregational Record 1.4 [February 1886] 2). A month later it was reported that: "The adoption of the Sankey collection of hymns at the Sunday evening services has proved a success. The attendance has been larger and the singing heartier. The congregation is always best pleased when it can join readily in every piece that is being sung" (Record 1.5 [March 1886] 2).

90. Title page.

91. The Whytes had a degree of international fame. The 1890 edition of the popular American collection The Finest of Wheat (the title page lists it as the 54th edition!) includes "the Whyte Brothers of Canada" among the list of evangelists for which it was compiled, in company with such famous American evangelists as William J.Kirkpatrick (copy in author's personal collection).

92. The Diary of Simeon Perkins, 1776-1780 (Champlain Society, 29), edited by H.A. Innis (Toronto: Champlain Society, 1948) 141. Perkins was a Congregationalist who converted to Methodism in 1791. 

93. p. 186.

94. Montreal-Ottawa Conference Archives (The United Church of Canada), Zion Congregational Church Fonds (7/z10/12/1).

95. Cf. "Russeltown--Ordination--Formation of a Christian Church," The Harbinger 1.8 (Montreal, August 15, 1842) 115; Robert Young, "Piety in Church Choirs," Harbinger 2.5 (May 15, 1843) 68.

96. Although not in a proper meeting house (cf. H. Wilkes, Letter to the Harbinger 1.11 [November 15, 1842] 163-6).

97. "First Congregational Church, Toronto," Canadian Independent 1.17 (March 5, 1855) 133.

98. "New Organ at Brantford," Independent 13 (1866/67) 225-6.

99. "Two plans for church music," Independent 13 (1866/67) 149-55, 205-7.

100. Judging from the musical examples provided and the following comment: "Undoubtedly, if our object was to form a choir only, we must reject every male voice from the number of those who sing the melody" (p.150).

101. Pp.152, 154.

102. Cf. W.F.C., "The psalmody fever," Independent 13 (1866/67) 244.

103. List compiled from 1.6 (October 2, 1854) 47; 13 (1867) 78, 206-7; 14 (1867/68) 319; 25.10 (March 13, 1879) 4; 29.32 (February 10, 1881) 2-3. OLD 100TH, DUNDEE (or FRENCH) and BOYLSTON appear most frequently.

104. Church Psalmody (Quebec, 1845) was compiled by direction of the Congregational Union of Eastern Canada and contained selections from "Dr. Watts's Psalms and Hymns and the Congregational Hymn Book," both of which were difficult to acquire (cf. Preface). A later collection, Hymns of Praise (Montreal, 1873), was compiled and issued by a committee from Zion Church. It was published in at least two editions but seems to have been adopted only in Quebec (cf. the Independent 19 [1872/73] 8-10, 400; 20 [1873/74] 60; 21 [1874/75] 94). Neither book seems to have survived for long.

105. Cf. the Independent 5 (1858/59) 297: "Many [churches] are dissatisfied with the book, or books, now in use; churches feel a difficulty in making a selection from the many rival claimants, new and old, for their favour.... The Presbyterian or Wesleyan, wherever he goes, is sure to find the same book of Psalmody in use among his brethren. We would it were so with us."

106. Cf. the Independent 19 (1872/73) 8.

107. Cf. the Congregational Record 1.5 (June 15, 1892): "During the Union meetings Mr. Thacker, representing the Congregational Union of England and Wales, showed the various editions of the new 'Congregational Hymnal,' and urged its use. Several ministers who are using it spoke highly in its favour, and a resolution was passed recommending it to the churches. This is the hymn book we [Calvary Church, Montreal] have just voted to adopt" (Montreal-Ottawa Conference Archives, Westmount Park United Church Fonds [7/WES/33/5).

108. The minister of Emmanuel Congregational, Montreal preached a quite remarkable sermon in 1908 on "The Religious Value of Music": "...[the organ] is unique in its capacity of speaking to the deeper, higher elements in the soul of man. Now it is quite possible for an play in such a manner at the opening of a service that, however worried men and women may be as they come to church the sweet, solemn, inspiring strains of the organ will...hush and quiet the soul." "[If] it is possible for one man--the minister--to voice the prayer of a congregation," he argued, "why should it not be possible for a body of singers to express the praise of a congregation? ... A choir of the right sort can and may be the mouthpiece of the congregation in pouring out its sorrow, its joy, its petitions, and its praise..." (cf. Emmanuel Church Outlook 1.11 [December 1908] 4 in the Montreal-Ottawa Conference Archives, Westmount Park United Church Fonds [7/WES/15/4]).

109. According to an article in the Conservatory Quarterly Review (1.1 [November 1918] 19), nine of the 12 "Notable church and concert organs of Toronto" were in Presbyterian and Methodist churches.

110. An order of worship for January 5, 1913 (evening service) at Grace Methodist, Winnipeg lists an amazing 15 hymns, an organ solo, anthem, two vocal solos, two duets, two male quartets, a [mixed] quartet, a chorus, and a "duet and chorus." Time was even found for prayer, scripture, sermon and offering (the order does, however, mention that this was a special service) (cf. Manitoba Conference Archives [Winnipeg] Grace Church Fonds, file "Selected service bulletins" [F.4, Box B]).

111. Some of the earliest Presbyterian services in Fort George [Prince George] BC were enhanced by an organ and choir or quartette (cf. British Columbia Conference Archives: The records of Knox United Church, Prince George BC, Record of Services [1910-1913], handwritten volume).

112. "A new Methodist hymn-book," Grace Church Bulletin 1.8 (April 1911) 1 (Manitoba Conference Archives, Grace Church Fonds [F.4, Box B]).

113. Acts and Proceedings of the Presbyterian Church in Canada (1915) 253. Clifford summarizes the problems (pp.162-3). See also the "Report of the Committee on New Hymn and Tune Book," Journal of the Methodist General Conference (1914) 192-4.

114. Clifford 162.

115. Acts and Proceedings (1915) 253.

116. For the controversies involved in the Hymnary process see Thomas and Bruce Harding, Patterns of Worship in the United Church of Canada, 1925-1960, Chapter 2 and Clifford 165-71.