A. Merril Smoak, Jr., Round Note Tunebooks, 18th & 19th Century

The Hymn Book and Tunebook Collection of A. Merril Smoak, Jr., DWS.

Round Note Tunebooks, 18th & 19th Century

Presented by Haaswurth Books

Atwill, Thomas H. The New-York Collection of Sacred Harmony, containing The necessary Rules of Music with a variety of Psalm & Hymn Tunes set Pieces & Anthems, Many of which are Original: Compiled for the use of Worshipping Assemblies & Singing Societies, From the most approved Ancient & Modern Authors. Albany: Printed by the Author, (ca. 1803).  [8981]

The book is covered in a calf or buckskin wrapper, sewn to itself in a zig-zag pattern over the paste-downs. The covers appear to be card and not wood. Oblong 13.25 cm (5 1/4 x 8 1/4 inches), lacks all free end papers. VIII., 1-72, 81-104. Defective: lacking the 4 center leaves. Fair. Hardcover.

6 leaves of manuscript music in round notes sewn in at back, with the tunes Cambridge, Ascension, China, North Salem, Watchman, Exhortation, Littleton, and Savannah.

"Published according to Act of Congress."

The first edition was "Engraved for the Editor, by Abner Reed, Lansingburg, 1795," with viii., 104 pp. A second printing was issued in 1802, using the same plates. Reed was also the engraver of this tunebook, identified at the bottom of the Index page.

The Second Edition (1804) had a new title, "The New York & Vermont Collection of Sacred Harmony..." It also had new pagination: viii., [9]-15, [1], 112. It has this prefatory note: "Hitherto known by the title of the 'New-york Collection', since it has been printed by the Author's own hands, have induced him to present to the public this second Edition enlarged and corrected..."

The printing offered to you here has the same page numbers as the 1795 & 1802 printings, uses the same plates, with the change in the imprint to "Printed by the Author." Since the 1802 printing had the Lansingburg imprint, and the Second edition of 1804 has a changed title & pagination, and with the note by Atwill that he had been printing copies "with his own hands," we deem this an 1803 printing, unrecorded. This printing is not in Britton & Lowens, American Sacred Music Imprints, 1698-1810, where the first & second editions are recorded in detail.

The Index claims that the following tunes included here were "never before published." Andover, Addison, Amanda, Brookfield, Boston, Etna, Gratitude, Hillsborough, Millennium, Messiah, Poughkeepsie, Pardoning-Grace, Pomfret, Ripton, Sounding Joy, Suffering Saviour, Spain, Troy, Torringford, Pobsfield, Westpoint, Warren, and Anthem from Isa. 1st.

Thomas H. Atwill (1760-1814), b. Pittsfield, MA; d. Rutland, VT. "A contract [dated Feb. 9, 1801] between the firm of Thomas and Thomas (Isaiah Thomas's branch in Walpole, New Hampshire) and Thomas H. Atwill for the printing of Atwill's New York and Vermont Collection specified that Atwill pay the firm $600 over the period of a year for 4,000 copies of his work. He was also required to furnish the paper! Since this tunebook was printed from engraved plates, supplied by Atwill, and not music type, the $600 figure apparantly represented only the labor and binding costs." - Karl Kroeger, Isaiah Thomas as Music Publisher, American Antiquarian Society.

Benham, Asahel. Federal Harmony: containing, in a familiar manner. The rudiments of psalmody, together with a collection of church music; (most of which are entirely new). Middletown: Moses H. Woodward, 1794?. [9391]

Leather spine with plain paper boards, lacks about 2/3 of the board front and back, oblong 11 cm, (4 1/2 x 7 5/8 inches). 7-10, [9]-16, 15-58 (engraved plates). DEFECTIVE: lacking all free end papers, title page [1], blank [2], introductory note [3], and Index [4]. That is, it lacks the first 2 leaves and the free end papers. The correct paging is [4], 7-10, [9]-16, 15-58. Pages 15-58 are engraved music, and there is engraved music in columns on pp. 8-10. Poor.

Without the title page it is impossible to tell if this edition is the 4th (1794), the 5th (1795), or the 6th (1796), as all have the same pagination. All three were published in Middletown by Woodward. See nos. 92-94 in Britton, Lowens, & Crawford, American Sacred Music Imprints, 1698-1810.

The music is in four parts with round notes.

"All editions of Federal Harmony display garbled paging...in the second and all later editions of the work there is a gap between the first four pages and the rudiments (as if p. 5-6 were missing), and an overlap after the second typeset group, with pages 15 and 16 (left unnumbered in the second and third editions but numbered thereafter) being followed by pages 15 and 16 of the music." - ibid.

Asahel Benham (1754-1803), b. New Hartford, CT; buried at Wallingford, CT. Benahm was a composer and singing-master in New England and as far south as Carlisle, Pennsylvania.



Benham, Asahel. Social Harmony: containing, First, The Rudiments of Psalmody made easy. Second, A Collection of Modern Music, calculated for the use of Singing Schools and Worshipping Assemblies; By Asahel Benham, Author of Federal Harmony. Published according to Act of Congress, [1801]. First Edition, Second Issue. [8984]

Leather spine, plain paper over card, oblong 12 cm (4 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches), lacks about a third of the front board. First three leaves tattered at fore-edge with some loss of text. (1)-4, 9-60.  Defective: lacking "Rudiments," pp. 5-8. All engraved music pages present. Fair. Hardcover.

Preface ends, "Wallingford, September 6, 1798."

95A (p. 166) in Britton, Lowens & Crawford. The 60 pp. identifies this as the second issue of the first edition, with the four additional p. "printed from plates originally used for Woodruff, Devotional Harmony [1801]. Therefore this issue was first published in 1801 or later...Not in Evans or Shaw-Shoemaker (no copy on Readex)."

"Benham's Social Harmony was printed several times, but with only one change in date and one change in musical content, and with no indication of edition number. Copies take three forms: a 56-page issue with a preface date 6 Sept. 1798, a 60-page issue with the same preface date, and a 56-page issue with a preface date 6 Sept. 1799. The music on pages 17-56 of all versions is printed from the same engraved plates, the 60-page issue merely adding four new pages of music at end." - ibid.

P. 17 identifies the engraver as C. Beecher.


Cole, I. P. [compiler]. Cole's Pocket Edition of Psalm and Hymn Tunes, containing Most of the Tunes used in the Different Churches. (copy-right secured). Albany: I. P. Cole, (1836). Sixth Edition. [8980]

Leather spine with printed paper over card, oblong 9.5 cm (3 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches), front cover detached, lacks the front & rear free end papers. 10, 300, (2), text complete. Foxing, some stains. Good. Hardcover.

Cover title varies: Cole's Pocket Edition of Psalm and Hymn Tunes, containing Most of the Standard Music used in the different Churches throughout the Country; to which is prefixed, A Brief Introduction to Vocal Music. Seventh Edition. Albany: Printed, Published and Sold by Hoffman & White, No. 71 State-Street and Sold by I. P. Cole, No. 80 State-Street, 1836.

Isaac Packard Cole is listed in Philadelphia directories for 1821-24, in New York City directories for 1827-34, and in Albany, N.Y., directories for 1834-37.


Forbush, Abijah. The Psalmodist's Assistant: containing An Original Composition of Psalm and Hymn Tunes; together with A Number of Favourite Pieces from different Authors. To which is prefixed, An Introduction to the Grounds of Music. Boston: Manning & Loring, 1806. Second Edition. [8983]

The original binding sometime covered in deer or calfskin, folded over the boards and sewn with twine, connecting the sides over the paste-downs. The original binding may be seen to be covered in blue paper over wooden boards. Text block now separated from binding. Oblong 14 cm (5 1/2 x 8 3/4 inches), lacks the front free end papers, text block shaken. (1)-iv.), [iv. misnumbered as v.], [5]-107, (1). Text is complete. Music is four parts with round notes. Fair. Hardcover.

The first edition was published in 1803, with 67 pp. This second edition has 100 selections. Most are composed by Forbush, with other compositions by William Eager, Samuel Babcock, Abraham Maxim, Jeremiah Ingalls, Abraham Wood, Daniel Belknap, Oliver Holden, Benjamin Holt, and Timothy Swan.

Abijah Forbush (1779-1845), a native of Massachusetts, and "a composer, [who] published only his own music in the first edition of his only tunebook, then added pieces by other composers to the second." - Britton, Lowens & Crawford, p. 275.


Gould, N. D. Juvenile Harmony: containing Appropriate Hymns and Music, for Sabbath Schools, Sabbath School Anniversaries, and Family Devotion. Boston: Gould, Kendall and Lincoln, 1837. [8975]

Blue printed wrapper with paper backing, crude sewn repair over spine fold, front nearly detached. Oblong 10.5 cm (4 1/4 x 9 inches), 36 pp., text complete. Some ink scribbles, small stains, creases, turned corners. Good. Stiff wraps.

The music has three parts, round notes.

Nathaniel Duren Gould (1781-1864), b. Bedford, MA; d. Boston, MA. Gould was a singing-school teacher and tunebook compiler. "He studied vocal music with Reuben Emerson. He organized his first singing school in Stoddard, N.H. (1798). He then formed the New Ipswich military band (1804), and was conductor of the Middlesex (Mass.) Musical Soc. (from 1805). From 1819 he lived mainly in Boston, where he was active as a teacher of vocal music and chirography. He publ. 8 anthologies for singing-school use, including National Church Harmony (1832; 4th ed., 1836)." - J. Ingalls, N. D. G. 1781-1864 (thesis, U. of Lowell, MA, 1980).

Nettleton, Asahel; Jocelyn, N. & S. S. Zion's Harp; or a New Collection of Music, Intended as a companion to "Village Hymns for Social Worship, By the Rev. Asahel Nettleton". Also, Adapted to other Hymn Books, and to be used in Conference Meetings & Revivals of Religion. New-Haven: Engraved & Published by N. & S. S. Jocelyn, 1824. First Edition. [8973]

Red leather spine with gilt lines, plain paper over card, printed title on slip pasted to front, front cover detached. Small oblong, 7 cm (2 3/4 x 5 inches), engraved title page and plates, with 36 leaves, 33 of which are music. 3 parts, round notes.

Endorsed by Nettleton. "Gentlemen - I have been favoured with a copy of the small collection of Music, designed to accompany the Village Hymns. It is neatly executed, and exactly meets my own and the wishes expressed by many of the friends of Zion." - Asahel Nettleton. Printed on the copyright page.

Each tune begins with the first line of one of Nettleton's Hymns. One of two states of the engraved title page known, this copy with the scripture verse on each side of the vignette with "Village Hymns...Asahel Nettleton" within quotation marks.

Rippon, John. A Selection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes, from the best Authors, in three and four parts; adapted principally to Dr. Watts's Hymns and Psalms, and to Dr. Rippon's Selection of Hymns; containing (in a greater variety than any other volume extant) the most approved Compositions which are used in London, and in the different Congregations throughout England: Also, many Original Tunes never before Printed; the whole forming a publication of Above Three Hundred Tunes. London: Sold by Mr. Rippon, and may be had at the Vestry of his Meeting-house, in Carter-Lane, Tooley-Street, [1795]. Fifth Edition, Enlarged. [8988]

Full calf, front detached, rear cover loosening, oblong 11 x 25 cm (4 5/8 x 9 3/4 inches). xx., [288], (4) pp., last leaf of Index detached. The engraved music is in round notes. The index has old brown ink X marks, as well as some places in the music. The pages are not numbered; after the introductory matter (xx.) there are 24 groups of 6 leaves, or 288 pp., plus 4 pp. Index. Good. Hardcover.

No date, with ESTC suggesting 1795, see their citation no. N49947. The explanations of musical terms and metres are in letterpress; the scores are engraved.

"Five years after publishing his text anthology, Rippon issued a companion tunebook...As in the collection of texts, it was his objective to provide better materials for worship and to unite Baptists in a common repertory...In compiling the tunebook, he had the help of Robert Keene (dates not known), precentor of the Carter Lane congregation, and Thomas Walker (1764-1827), a prominent professional musician." - Music & Richardson, "I Will Sing the Wondrous Story", p. 59.

John Rippon (1751-1836), English Baptist minister & hymn-writer, "one of the most popular and influential Dissenting ministers of his time." Educated for the ministry at the Baptist College, Bristol, "in 1773 he became Pastor of the Baptist church in Carter Lane, Tooley Street (afterwards removed to New Park Street), London, and over this church he continued to preside until his death, on Dec. 17, 1836...His most famous work is his Selection of hymns for public worship, which appeared in 1787...In 1791 he published a Selection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes...Dr. Rippon performed an important service to Baptist Hymnody, and also, it is said, gained for himself 'an estate' through its immense sale." - Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology.

The Salem Collection of Classical Sacred Musick; in three and four parts: consisting of Psalm Tunes and Occasional Pieces, Selected from the Works of the most eminent Composers; Suited to all the Metres in general use. To which is prefixed, An Introduction to Psalmody. Boston: Printed by Manning & Loring, for Cushing & Appleton. Sold at said Cushing & Appleton's Bookstore in Salem; by Thomas & Whipple, Newburyport; and by all the principal Booksellers in the United States, 1806. Second Edition, improved and revised. [8986]

Recently professionally rebacked in brown leather, original marbled boards retained, new paper title label with date on front, new end papers. Oblong 10.5 x 27.5 cm (4 1/8 x 10 3/4 inches). Ex library, with perforated name stamp on the tp and "An Introduction to Psalmody" leaf. Older oval blindstamps on a few leaves (same institution). One leaf of introductory material with about a third of the leaf cut or torn away, the piece is present and laid in and could be carefully restored. vi., (2), (i.)-(xvi.), 17-135, (1). Text complete. Very good. Hardcover.

No. 451 in Britton, Lowens, & Cushing. "90 compositions, incl. 2 set pieces, for 3 & 4 voices w. figured bass; full text. The music is in round notes.

The Village Harmony: or, Youth's Assistant to Sacred Musick; consisting of Psalm Tunes and Occasional Pieces, selected from the works of the Most Eminent Composers. To which is prefixed, A Concise Introduction to Psalmody. Newburyport: E. Little & Co. | C. Norris & Co. Printers, (1813). Eleventh Edition, Corrected and Enlarged. [8982]

The original binding had a leather spine and plain blue paper over wooden boards. Sometime repaired with another piece of leather over the spine, plain white or oatmeal paper folded over the covers and pasted to the inside paste-downs. Binding now all of one piece, but separated from the text block, which is shaken; small piece of clear tape on outer paper. Oblong 13 cm (5 x 9 inches), "Ira Fullers Property" in brown ink on ffep. (2), (1)-315, (3). Text block shaken with some loose leaves, complete. Fair. Hardcover.

Advertisement written from Exeter, January 1813.

First published in 1795 (111 pp.), this round note tunebook went through 17 editions by 1819 (over 300 pp.). No author or compiler is printed on any of the imprints, but it is known that Henry Ranlet, the publisher of the first six editions, the co-publisher of the seventh, and who signed the Advertisement on the fifth, was directly involved.

"The newspaper advertisement of the first edition...(30 July 1795) indicates that Ranlet received the help of active psalmodists in bringing it out..." Britton & Lowens, American Sacred Music Imprints, 1698-1810, p. 592.

[Walker, Thomas]. Walker's Companion to Dr. Rippon's Tune Book; being a Collection of above Two Hundred and Eighty Favourite and Original Hymn Tunes and Pieces, (None of which are in his Selection,) In Sixty-two Measures, - Adapted for the Organ, Piano Forte, &c. To which is prefixed, An Arranged Index of the Tunes, exhibiting at one view, Suitable Hymns to such Peculiar Metres as are in Dr. Watts, Rippon, Collyer, Lady Huntingdon, Mr. Wesley's and Albion Chapel Hymn Books. London: Printed for and Sold by J. Walker | J. Haddon, Printer, 1828. Ninth Edition, with Supplements. [8987]

Oblong tree calf binding bordered in gilt, 11.5 x 25 cm (4 1/2 x 9 3/4 inches), front joint cracked and weak, rear one is fine. (20), 252 pp. Contents complete and very good. Good. Hardcover.

Thomas Walker (1764-1827), remembered as a prominent English musician [see Music & Richardson, p. 59] who, along with Robert Keene, helped the Baptist minister John Rippon to compile his tunebook. Walker continued to add to Rippon's tunebook through his second, third, and fourth editions, before issuing his own supplement here. You will notice that Walker states in the title that none of the tunes herein are contained in the editions of Rippon's own tunebook.

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