U S I C.
A Collection of the most esteemed Psalm Tunes, ancient and modern ; selected-and harmonized for Four Voices, With a separate Accompaniment for the Organ, interspersed with a few Original Compositions. By C. BRYAN, Organist, Bristol.
No part of the Church service is usually performed in a more slovenly manner than its singing. There is no lack of good materials of every sort, from the sober and simple psalm tunes of Revesescemer and Witaar.e, to the more elaborate and magnificent compositions of FUR. CELL, CROFT, GIBBONS, and others, whose church music is not surpassed by that of any age or country ; but the manner in which those mate- rials are employed is usually very bad, sometimes passable, rarely good. In parochial churches, either the clerk exercises his solitary and Stento- rian lungs, or a choir of brats' male and female, are screaming in unison, equally to the annoyance of the audience. Great pains are often taken to procure good organists, but the singing is left to shift for itself. No in Cathedrals is it much better. The ample endowments of the Church ought to furnish choirs sufficiently numerous to give effect to its music, but these are often either grossly perverted or applied with the most rigid parsimony. It is not to the credit of those who preside over our Metropolitan Churches, that the best singing of this class should be heard in Catholic or Dissenting Chapels. Yet so it is, and we see no chance of amendment.
Mr. BRYAN'S Collection contains those psalm tunes which have been heard in all our parish churches for the last century, and which are to be found in almost every existing publication of a similar kind. On this account, we think these might have been spared, and their places filled with original compositions ; especially as the few specimens which the work contains evince correct taste, and display the sound musician. The tunes are all harmonized for four voices. Seldom does it fall to our lot to hear them thus sung; but we can safely recommend Mr. BRYAN'S arrangement to such choirs as possess the means of giving them their true effect.