WALTER, Thomas. b. Roxbury, Massachusetts, 13 December 1696; d. Roxbury, 10 January 1725. Walter, a Congregational minister and school teacher, is known primarily for The Grounds and Rules of Musick (1721), the earliest American tunebook of which copies have survived.
Walter was the second son of Rev. Nehemiah Walter (1663-1750) and Sarah Mather Walter (1671-1746); Sarah was the sister of Cotton Mather* and daughter of Increase Mather (1639-1723). These three ministers were among the fifteen eminent signers of ‘A Recommendatory Preface’ of Grounds and Rules (Shipton, p. 24), which exhorted that ‘the main Concern of all may be to make [the singing of these Songs of the Lord] not a meer...
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