West Gallery music

‘West Gallery music’ has become the accepted name for a distinctive kind of sacred music that developed in rural England and flourished in Britain and its colonies from ca. 1700 to the late 19th century. Unlike the music of cathedrals and collegiate churches, it was written for, and frequently by, people with no formal training in music, who followed local traditional practice and their own instincts in performance and composition. Because organs were rare (and harmoniums not invented), from ca. 1750 many country churches recruited a small band of local instrumentalists to support the singers. The space needed was frequently provided, in Anglican churches at least, in a gallery at the west...

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