Under the Greenwood Tree: A Rural Painting of the Dutch School

Under the Greenwood Tree: A Rural Painting of the Dutch School

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Under the Greenwood Tree: A Rural Painting of the Dutch School

Under the Greenwood Tree: A Rural Painting of the Dutch School

Read FREE!

Excerpt

This story of the Mellstock choir and its old established west-gallery musicians, with some supplementary descriptions of the like officials in 'Two on a Tower,' 'A Few Crusted Characters,' and other places, is intended to be a fairly true picture, at first hand, of the personages, ways, and customs which were common among such orchestral bodies in the villages of fifty years ago.

One is inclined to regret the displacement of these ecclesiastical bandsmen by an isolated organist (often at first a barrel-organist) or harmonium player; and despite certain advantages in point of control and accomplishment which were, no doubt, secured by installing the single artist, the change has tended to stultify the professed aims of the clergy, its direct result being to curtail and extinguish the interest of parishioners in church doings. Under the old plan, from half a dozen to ten full-grown players, in addition to the numerous more or less grown-up singers, were officially occupied with the Sunday routine, and concerned in trying their best to make it an artistic outcome of the combined musical taste of the parish. With a musical executive limited, as it mostly is limited now, to the parson's wife or daughter and the school-children, or to the school-

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