Catalog of the Musical Works of William Billings

Hardcover | September 1, 1991

byKarl Kroeger

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William Billings (1746-1800) was the most important native-born composer of the American colonial and Federal eras. He wrote hundreds of choral compositions, which were set to sacred or devotional texts for use by church choirs, singing schools, and musical societies. Extremely popular in his own time, Billings's music was denigrated during the nineteenth century when European styles governed American musical tastes. In the twentieth century his genius was recognized, and his music is widely sung and studied. Originally published in six "tunebooks," the 338 extant pieces were issued in a scholarly edition by the American Musicological Society and The Colonial Society of Massachusetts as The Complete Works of William Billings (4 vols., 1977-1990). The present catalog complements the Complete Works by serving as a guide to its contents and providing a wealth of additional data. Included for each composition are exact title; text source; first line; technical information on length, meter, key, and melody; manuscript sources and contemporaneous reprints; bibliography and modern recordings. An extensive list of works cited is followed by five indexes providing access to the material in the catalog by first line of text, Billings's anthem titles, text sources, musical form (tune types), and musical incipits. The catalog provides for Billings's music information similar to that found in Schmeider's listings for Bach and Koechel's listings for Mozart.

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William Billings (1746-1800) was the most important native-born composer of the American colonial and Federal eras. He wrote hundreds of choral compositions, which were set to sacred or devotional texts for use by church choirs, singing schools, and musical societies. Extremely popular in his own time, Billings's music was denigrated d...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:184 pages, 9.56 × 6.28 × 0.77 inPublished:September 1, 1991Publisher:GREENWOOD PRESS INC.

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:031327827X

ISBN - 13:9780313278273

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?William Billings (1746-1800) was a significant Boston music teacher/composer who published six major collections and various miscellaneous smaller volumes totaling no fewer than 338 works. His collections are reprinted in the four-volume Complete Works of William Billings. This catalog serves as an excellent supplement and facilitating aid, with appropriate indexes, to The Complete Works and provides important information taken from the commentaries therein, as well as additional information on reprints, recordings, and selected literature. Kroeger divides Billings's works into two principal types: psalm- and hymn-tunes and anthems, with typical entries noting location, source of text, tune type (with numerically coded incipit), reprints, manuscripts, and literature. In the section headed "Books and Articles," however, Kroeger does not cite the most recent editions of Edith Borroff's Music in Europe and the United States (2nd ed., 1990), H. Wiley Hitchcock's Music in the United States (3rd ed., 1988) and Daniel Kingman's American Music (2nd ed., 1990); page numbers cited do not necessarily correspond with these later editions. In the catalog, "Canon of 4 in 1" (no. 45, p.. 16), Chase 143 does not appear in the 1987 edition (cited on p.. 126). Also, Chase 119 (f) should be added to "Connection" in the "Literature" section (no. 58, p.. 21). Despite these minor oversights, Kroeger has compiled a thorough, well-organized work that is recommended for all libraries holding collections on early American music.?-Choice