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date: 08 March 2021

Knapp, Williamlocked

  • Nicholas Temperley


(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 ...

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