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West Gallery Forum

This Forum has been set up for members of the West Gallery Music Association and any others who are interested in the music, the literature (starting with Thomas Hardy!) and the social life and times during which musicians played and sang in the galleries - usually at the west end - of our country churches. It is hoped that, in time, this may become the forum for debate on scholarly and not-so-scholarly matters. Please use this space wisely, and within the accepted bounds required for such a discussion group.

To write a new message, use the "Post Message" button below. To post an answer on one of the message threads, use the button at the bottom of the message to which you are replying. Please note that "anonymous" or impersonal emails are discouraged, and may be removed.

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Burgiss 'A Hymn for Christmas Day'
Ros Clements, Sun Sep 22 12:45pm
In a set of choir books from St. Bartholomew, Horley Parish Church, Surrey is a setting of 'A Hymn for Christmas Day' attributed to 'Burgiss'. There are several other pieces by William Burgiss in the collection, which can be found in his published books, but no sign of this particular piece. The setting starts with a... more


Thomas Chilcott
Francis Roads, Tue Aug 27 12:33pm
I have received an enquiry about one Thomas Chilcott, b.c1698, and became organist of Bath Abbey. Apparently some of his music has survived, and my enquirer wants to know if there is any in the WG genre. Here is a quote from her email: "There were Chilcotts in a village my family came from. And I came across a... more

  • Help with tracing tunes, please
    Edwin Macadam, Mon Jul 15 2:19am
    Trying to help Steve Marini in tracing the last few unrecognised items in the American Cashaway manuscript he described at an earlier WGMA meeting. Dated pre-1770, the contents, especially the Gamut, are based on English books of the time which found their way to America, and the music is both English and American. We ... more


    Knapp's Dorchester
    Francis Roads, Fri Jun 21 9:51am
    If you want to hear a mainstream church choir singing Knapp's Dorchester, play this video https://youtu.be/X183FOpUFGk . It's about two minutes in from the start.


    Lantern
    Francis Roads, Tue Jun 18 12:50pm
    I have a lantern suitable for use by folks who like to go out on Christmas Eve in period costume singing carols. I have no further use for it. Would anyone like it?


    The Consort; journal of The Dolmetsch Society
    Francis Roads, Fri May 31 10:07am
    People might be interested to know that The Consort, the journal of the Dolmetsch Society, has published my article entitled "The Origins of West Gallery Music." This is intended to complement Rollo Woods' article published in the previous issue, which dealt only with music from 1740 onwards. My article explores... more


    Long list of WG carols
    Clark Kimberling, Fri May 24 3:53pm
    In Rollo Woods, "Good Singing Still: A handbook on West Gallery music", 1995, on page 66, the author describes his first-line index of WG carols that "currently contains over 530 items" with source, location, name of tune, and any special notes. Is the list accessible, somewhere?

  • Psalmody website
    Edwin Macadam, Tue Apr 16 2:09am
    It came to my notice recently that www.psalmody.co.uk no longer can be found on the web, and is up for sale, as presumably its owner is no longer able to maintain it. Modern technology has moved on considerably, and anyone using Windows 7 is soon going to have problems when it comes to the software used, such as... more

  • Music booklets
    Francis Roads, Wed Apr 10 5:17pm
    I am decluttering my house, and have decided to pass on or recycle my collection of music booklets from WGMA weekend gatherings, Three Quires Day, and Halsway Manor weekends. They would be a useful resource for anyone wanting to chronicle these events, or who needs more repertoire. If you are interested, I can email... more


    Oh What Unbounded Goodness
    Eve Higgs, Mon Apr 1 10:40am
    Hi Am hoping to source the original ms for 'Oh What Unbounded Goodness'. Any suggestions? Thanks, Eve


    WG Thomas Hardy Connection
    Eve Higgs, Tue Jan 29 4:57pm
    Has anyone done any research into the Thomas Hardy West Gallery Music connection and in a position to write it up for publication with full academic references? The Hardy Society Journal Editor has invited an appropriate submission to which details of the forthcoming residential autumn sing at Sidmouth can be appended ... more


    Martin Madan's Denmark
    Francis Roads, Tue Jan 22 10:53am
    LGQ has a version of Denmark setting the text "O God, who by thy start didst lead"; an anonymous hymn based on the collect for Epiphany Sunday. Our version is musically substantially different from the original, which sets the text" Before Jehovah's awful throne". It has a complete new movement in the minor key, and... more

  • Bb parts for some Red Book pieces
    Pete John, Tue Jan 8 11:03am
    Amongst Bristol Harmony's rehearsal list for this term are three Red Book pieces for which I do not have Bb parts, namely 40 [Gilgal] and 114 [Saratoga] in D, and 130 [Wrestling Jacob] in A. While I'm willing to transpose as I play if I have to, granted the number of accidentals I'd be relieved, and very pleased, to... more

  • Videos
    Francis Roads, Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:27am
    I've nee asked to find a vido of a quire singing a tenor-led piece, and if possible a score of the same piece. Any help, please?


    Trafalgar Day
    Francis Roads, Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:34am
    Thanks for all the suggestions for Rogationtide music. Now I need something for Trafalgar Day. Any ideas, please?


    Music for Rogationtide
    Francis Roads, Tue Jul 3, 2018 10:54am
    Has anyone any suggestions for WG music for Rogationtide? This is when the church prays for a good harvest. The usual harvest psalms of 65, 104 and 136 spring to mind, but has anyone any other ideas?

  • No Subject
    Anonymous, Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:54pm
    A setting of Ps 143 OV appears as a MS addendum opposite p. 43 of William East's The Voice of Melody (1748)in the library of the Royal College of Music, London. "James Coles his book 1750" appears on the front cover. Wigtoft is a village in Lincolnshire, near Boston. The HTI does not list the piece. Does anyone know... more


    Serpent c.1830 to be auctioned
    Anonymous, Fri Jun 8, 2018 10:35pm
    A keyless English serpent c1830 associated with St Mary's Luxborough, Somerset, is being auctioned by Gardiner Houlgate on 15th June. It formed part of the instrument collection of my late husband, Maurice Byrne and he bought it in 1962. His notes indicate that it had been lent to the church by the Vicary family who... more

  • Charlotte Tune
    Francis Roads, Mon Mar 5, 2018 12:07pm
    I am trying to identify a tune whose Temperley code is 13167 11232 17655. In the HTI this refers me to Tune #4713, which is Edward Harwood's tune Liverpool, and has a totally different Tune Code. Charlotte tune is SM, in C, and in Common Time, and sets James Montgomery's hymn "Sow in the morn thy seed". It is on page... more

  • Trying to contact Mike & Charlotte Bailey
    SUE ALLCOCK, Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:40pm
    I am trying to contact Mike/Charlotte Bailey to enquire about ordering a copy of Good Singing Still The email link on the publications page doesn't work for me. I have tried the listed phone number (01962 7133992) but a female voice informed me this was a wrong number. I hesitate to write to their address in case they ... more


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