Music for church services

Preces and Responses

The William East Quire is often asked to take part in church services using music from the gallery-music period. This is not as straightforward as you might think: there seem to be very few musical settings for Matins and Evensong. For example, I've found just one (unison) setting of the Preces and Responses in John Arnold's Compleat Psalmodist (1761; 5th edn).

As a compromise, we use Tallis's four- and five-part settings from Boyce's Cathedral Music, Vol. 1 (1788; 2nd edn), arguing that (a) William East republished Tallis's music, (b) the gallery-music choirs had aspirations to sing cathedral music, as evidenced by references to 'as sung in Cathedrals' on the title pages sold them by the itinerant singing masters (e.g. East, 1750, Voice of Melody, Book 2).