In spite of the current upsurge of interest in the field of rural\ud church music in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries,\ud there is surprisingly little exhaustive material dealing with one\ud particular area of the country. Research from the early part of this\ud century covers the West Country and Sussex, and the concensus has\ud always been that these areas were the strongest in the tradition of\ud local psalmody. This dissertation attempts to redress the balance by\ud considering the choir-band in the Eastern Counties (the East Midlands,\ud East Anglia and Mid-Anglia). The county of Northamptonshire is given\ud particular consideration, and may be considered to be a 'typical'\ud English county; this may show that this genre of music is very much\ud more widespread than was formerly thought.\ud The thesis describes the state of the late eighteenth-century Church,\ud and discusses the role of music in the service, the situation of the\ud choir-band and methods of payment. Examples of local psalmody in\ud Northamptonshire are given, and the instrumentation of the choir-bands\ud is studied, by reference to sources such as churchwardens' account\ud books. Conclusions are drawn about instrumental trends, dispersion and\ud influence. The lasting significance of the choir-band movement is also\ud considered
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