Singing at home

Death’s Alarm

During the Other Book portion of Monday night’s singing, Lucas presented a beautiful tune that he found in a 1914 tune book, Beauties of Harmony: lovely harmonies, and a nice interplay between the voices.

The music Lucas gave us was a photocopy of a typeset score (that is, a score printed from musical type, not an engraved score). That meant the words did not align with the notes. The class gave the tune a good reading, but it was not easy to figure out what words went with what note. The score Lucas gave us attributes the tune to “West,” whom I take to be Elisha West. Therefore, it would be a simple matter to find a solution to this problem by looking in Two Vermont Composers: The Collected Works of Elisha West and Justin Morgan, ed. Karl Kroeger, from the series of books Music of the New American Nation: Sacred Music from 1780 to 1820 — except that I don’t have access to that book.

So here’s my solution to the problem — based on what the notes show, in mm. 11-13 the words should line up differently for each voice:

Deaths Alarm. C.M.

And someday I’ll get access to a library that owns the Collected Works, and check my solution.