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date: 25 August 2019

Beesly, Michaellocked

  • Sally Drage

Extract

(bap. Sunningwell, Oxon., June 23, 1700; d after 1758). English psalmodist and singing teacher . He was a farmer's son. One of the first itinerant singing teachers to engrave and print his own music, he was arguably the ‘father’ of the fuging-tune, which became popular in England and America during the late 18th century. A psalmody book, apparently produced in the mid-1720s, has not survived, but four later publications, all undated, make a substantial contribution to our knowledge of country psalmody. The different editions had identical titles, but the use of separate engraving plates meant that contents could vary according to the purchaser's requirements. The music, which Beesly collected but may not have composed, exemplifies the bare harmony and unresolved dissonance of much early Gallery music. Although a few previous examples exist, his claim that the 20 new psalm tunes were ‘Compos'd with veriety of Fuges after a different manner to any yet extant’ is fully justified; his tune to Psalm viii was widely reprinted....

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R.M.A. [Royal Musical Association] Research Chronicle
Journal of the Royal Musical Association