THE VILLAGE COMPILATION OF SACRED MUSICK
Boston: J. T. Buckingham for the Author, 1806. FIRST EDITION. Quarter Leather. Oblong 4to: a-t4, vii, , 10-152pp. Quarter sheep over paper covered wood-ply boards. A few splotches to front cover, light rubbing to extremities, minor and typical spotting to edges; front hinge mostly split and leather starting 2" from tail, still sound with sturdy cords, tidemark to rear cover and free endpaper but no farther, light crease to FFEP. Consists of 153 tunes, including 56 Belknap original compositions of which 20 appear here for the first time; additional composers include S. Bender, Ezra Goff, and Zedekiah Sanger. VERY GOOD. VERY GOOD. Item #1294
Daniel Belknap (1771-1815) was a farmer and mechanic by trade, and a choir-master and musician by passion. A tunesmith of some contemporary notoriety, this was the fourth and final compilation of his original works, all of which sold well (allegedly, by Belknap's account in the preface) but like all early-American songbooks, precious few survive (Steele, xv)––WorldCat lists 14 copies. Belknap modestly offered these compositions of "sacred harmony" first, order to "collect the thoughts, sooth the passions, and expand the soul for receiving religious impressions." Additionally, he collects many odes and anthems of the towns neighboring his own Framingham, such as Camden, Harlem, Shrewsbury, etc. Leads with "A Concise Introduction to the Grounds of Musick." Notably includes Belknap's tribute to his lodge, "A View of the Temple––A Masonic Ode."