(fl Castleton, Derbys., 1723–53). English psalmodist and ?composer. In 1723 he published the first edition of A Book of Psalmody in conjunction with John Barber. A second edition, by Robert Barber alone, followed in 1733, and a third, entitled David’s Harp Well Tuned, in 1753. He also published The Psalm Singer’s Choice Companion in 1727. A Book of Psalmody enjoyed a good deal of popularity in the north Midlands. It was similar to other parochial collections, and most of its contents were derivative. The second edition, however, had a remarkable feature: it included, as well as chants for the canticles, a complete musical setting of Morning Prayer, litany and ante-communion on cathedral lines, but for alto, tenor and bass only. Barber made it clear on the title-page that this was designed for ‘our Country Churches’. He thus brought to its logical conclusion the trend begun by Henry Playford, who published anthems for parish church use in ...
(b Wareham, Dorset, 1698–9; d Poole, Dorset, bur. Sept 26, 1768). English psalmodist. He was a glover by trade, and bought several properties at Poole, thus becoming one of its 60-odd burgesses. He was parish clerk of St James's, Poole, for nearly 40 years, and trained the choirs in several Dorset churches. He was a difficult personality, to judge from lines written by Henry Price (a land-waiter in Poole Quay) and quoted in Grove's Dictionary (5th edn) and also by Frost and Daniel.
Knapp compiled two collections of parish church music, both of which became widely popular: A Sett of New Psalm-Tunes and Anthems (eight edns, 1738–70) and New Church Melody (five edns, c1752–64). They contain didactic introductions, psalm tunes, hymns and parochial anthems, in four parts with the tenor leading. As well as music taken from earlier collections, they contain a good deal of Knapp's own composition. One of his psalm tunes, ‘Wareham’, is a classic of its period and is still well known; another, ‘Spetisbury’, survived at least until the second supplement to ...