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BOSTON GLEE BOOK,
CONSISTING OF AN EXTENSIVE COLLECTION OF
GLEES, MADRIGALS, AND ROUNDS;
SELECTED FROM THE WORKS OF THE MOST ADMIRED COMPOSERS.
Together with many New Pieces from the German,
ARRANGED EXPRESSLY FOR THIS WORK.
BY LOWELL MASON AND GEORGE J. WEBB.
· J. H. WILKINS & R. B. CARTER, AND G. W. PALMER & CO.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1838,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.
The singing of Glees, in this country, has heretofore been mostly confined to cities and large towns, beyond which these compositions have been but little known. But the rapid progress of musical education for several years past, has already begun to create a demand for this description of vocal music; a demand which it is hoped may increase, until throughout the land, the hours of relaxation and amusement shall become vocal with songs, cheerful, tender, and patriotic. To supply this demand, to some extent, is the object of the present publication; which, it is hoped, may aid in removing two principal obstacles that have heretofore prevented the general introduction of Glee singing:"
1st. The cost attending a supply of this kind of music. This, which has heretofore been very great, will now be much reduced; and "THE BOSTON GLEE BOOK" will furnish, at an expense so small as to bring within the reach of individuals and choirs, a large collection of the most popular and pleasing secular vocal music in parts.
2d. The objectionable character of the words. It is to be regretted that much beautiful music is associated with poetry so unmeaning and frivolous, or of a tendency so positively injurious, as to prevent its use by those who wish to preserve a pure imagination, or a conscience void of offence. In order to retain some popular pieces of music, it has been necessary either to alter the text, or to furnish new words altogether. It is believed that the present work is free from any thing impure in sentiment, or exceptionable in morals. Bacchanalian subjects have been, of course, excluded, as inconsistent both with correct moral principle and with public opinion. A few pieces are designed for male voices only; but as most music parties very properly consist of Ladies and Gentlemen, it has been thought best to adapt the book in general to the four usual parts, Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Base.
The music contained in this book is intended to be strictly vocal-hence a separate accompaniment, which would have much increased the price, was thought to be unnecessary. Besides, any person who can play music of this description, in such a manner as to assist the singer, can play with ease from the vocal score. But while the accompaniment of a Piano-Forte, or of other instruments, may be of advantage, or even necessary to inexperienced performers, no person, who claims to be a Glee singer, will require instrumental aid; and a Glee or Madrigal, properly performed, should always be senza stromenti.
Many of the pieces, although originally written for a single voice on each part, may be sung with pleasing effect in chorus; and especially be rendered highly interesting, by the variety afforded by alternate solo and chorus passages.
Perhaps no species of musical composition has been so much cultivated in England, as Glees; hence the number published in that country is very great. It has been the aim of the Editors to select from the materials before them, as pleasing a variety as possible; including Madrigals from the old authors, as well as compositions from the more modern Glee writers. Many pieces from the German will be found interesting and entirely new: the translations of the words and arrangement of the music having been made expressly for the present work.
To the lovers of vocal music, this book is respectfully inscribed, in the hope that it may be the means, both of affording them new delight, and of greatly multiplying their number.