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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.

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Mixed psalm verses
Francis Roads, Tue Feb 14 5:03pm
The subjoined text for Psalm 1 appears in Henry Playford's The Divine Companion (Edition 3, London 1707, page 1). Verse 1 is from Miles Smyth's paraphrases, and verses 2 and 4 are NV. The other verses I have not been able to identify. I have never come across such verse mixing before; has anyone else? And can you... more

  • Bowman, C18 minister and hymn composer
    David Welch, Thu Feb 2 9:51am
    I have spotted in the latest Early Music (vol 44 pp 77-88) an article on a Norfolk minister that could be of interest to WG folk in the eastern counties. From the Abstract, Thomas Bowman produced "several hymns" but his "musical talent was slender". He died in 1792, but only two of his tunes have reached HTI, this in... more

    Psalm paraphrasers
    Francis Roads, Sun Jan 8 12:58pm
    In researching Playford's Divine Companion, I have found psalm paraphrases attributed to Dr. Flexman, and Drummond (no forename given.) Can anyone identify these people please?

  • West Galleries near Carshalton?
    Francis Roads, Mon Jan 2 5:43pm
    I have been asked to run a West Gallery workshop in the Carshalton area. My contact would like to use a church with a suitable west gallery. Does anyone know of one anywhere near Carshalton?

    Hymn parody
    Francis Roads, Sat Oct 8 10:22am
    David Owen Norris wants to know if anybody can identify this hymn parody; who wrote it, and of which original is it a parody. This is the first of six verses; I can send the remainder to anyone who is interested. Ye who have hearts aloud rejoice, For Oligarchy trembles Like boxes in a theatre From shouts at Keans... more

  • Psalm 117 paraphrase
    Francis Roads, Tue Oct 4 10:35am
    Please can anyone identify this paraphrase of Ps 117? It is set by an anonymous composer in Playford's Divine Companion (London 1701) O all ye nations record the praises of the Lord: Ye people through the universe your maker's praise rehearse. For he to us great kindness shows, and mercies large bestows, His constant... more

  • Early Welsh Tunes
    cbrowo, Tue Aug 2 9:50am
    I have been looking at a Welsh book from the 1790s. This is in two parts (neither the melody) and without words. Amongst lots of familiar English tunes there are Welsh ones. 1. On some of the Welsh tunes the metre is given as WM. Is this something other people have encountered? If so what does it say about the metre... more

  • Workshop leaflets
    Francis Roads, Sat Jul 23 4:57pm
    Thw WGMA has a new publicity leaflet, aimed at interesting outside bodies in holding a West Gallery workshop. It is hoped that quires will want to have these available at performances, along with our usual publicity leaflet, and to look for other opportunities to distribute them. Files for copying can be downloaded... more

    Text identification
    Francis Roads, Tue Jun 14 11:10am
    Does anyone recognise this text? Google Books isn't very helpful. Hark! how the saints in lofty strains With songs the throne surrounds. Hark how they fill the starry plains, With an immortal sound.

  • Quire Music
    Sylvia, Mon May 30 11:44am
    I am running a course in West Gallery Quire singing for Canterbury U3A - How can I get sheet music please?

  • Reel-to-reel recording
    Francis Roads, Tue Apr 26 10:51am
    I have received an offer of a reel-to-reel BBC recording of Hardy's Harvest WGMA meeting at Puddletown on 23rd September 1990. Clearly this is an important achive which we should receive gratefully, but, does anyone have the technology to transfer a reel-to-reel tape recording to a more modern format, preferably... more

  • Red Book settings
    Peter John, Fri Apr 22 10:27am
    Many thanks to all who replied to my plea. Thanks to you Bristol Harmony now has two more user-friendly settings for our enjoyment. Best, Pete

    Portrait settings of Red Book pieces?
    Pete John, Wed Apr 20 9:29am
    Bristol Harmony would be very glad of pdfs of Red Book pieces 44, "Hail smiling morn" and 76, "Funaral". Any guidance as to who we might approach for these would be much appreciated. We've already explored Roding Music and the LGQ repertoire. All contributions gratefully received!

  • tae and brady psalms
    anne.willis@zen.co.uk, Sun Apr 3 3:31pm
    I suspect the droppping of Tate and Brady was a gradual thing. Our church acquired a new vicar, William Henry Jones, in 1851. He had attended the Surrey Chapel (Methodist/Congregational but used BCP) in his youth, and would have been well acquainted with Methodist hymnody. He was at Magdalen Hall, Oxford with Thomas... more

    Tate and Brady metrical psalms
    Josephine Pentney, Fri Apr 1 5:54pm
    Does anyone have any information about when (in general, it would have varied from parish to parish)the 'new' psalter of Tate and Brady went out of use in church services? I know that Hymns Ancient and Modern first appeared in 1861, ironically the same year that Thomas Hardy was given, by his mother, a copy of the... more

  • William Matthews
    cbrowo, Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:31am
    Thank you to everyone for your help. The manuscript pieces I have, both Tranquility and Chatsworth, are versions of the pieces you found. Clearly my detection skills need improvement. More practice needed. Chris Brown

    Letter in The Independent
    Francis Roads, Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:44am
    LGQ member Adrian West had the following letter published in The Independent on Thursday 21st January: Boyd Tonkin (article, 16 January) deplores the "depressive drone" of "God Save the Queen". No doubt he is referring to the tune usually used, whose unknown author has understandably shunned publicity. But it does not ... more

  • William Matthews 1759-1830
    cbrowo, Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:27pm
    Has anyone done any work on William Matthews (b. Ilkeston, Derbyshire, England, 1759; d. Nottingham, England, 1830)? I have come across two tunes attributed to him and am trying to confirm the attribution. Chris Brown

  • new group
    lindsaydowding, Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:29am
    We live in Spooner Row, Norfolk, small village about 15 mins. from Norwich. Some limited experience of West Gallery Music ( have done a couple of residential courses at Benslow in Herts.) and a lot of enthusiasm for it. Great interest in Hardy/ Dorset (have lived there) and a wish to start a village quire. We have... more

    Christmas Hymn
    cbrowo, Tue Jan 5, 2016 10:02pm
    Looking through an 1830's manuscript I came across a tune called "Christmas Hymn". Labelled PM it has six lines of 10 syllables. At the top it says "Hymn 85th". Has anyone any idea what the words would have been and where they were published as Hymn 85? Thanks

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