Kittery (William Billings)

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  • (Posted 2023-12-15)  CPDL #78248:       
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2023-12-15).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 50 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transcribed from Massachusetts Historical Society Ms. S-290, ca. 1790. This version is most similar to the 1783 publication.
  • (Posted 2016-07-27)  CPDL #40552:        (LilyPond and MIDIs)
Editor: Jon Arnold (submitted 2016-07-27).   Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 129 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Added piano reduction and 3 additional verses not published by Billings but from same source as 1st verse. Suggest printing so that page turn is after page 2 due to repeats. ZIP contains Lilypond notation file and rehearsal MIDIs for each part.
  • (Posted 2014-06-26)  CPDL #32320:       
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2014-06-26).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 33 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Oval-note edition. Based on the publication of the tune in William Billings' The Suffolk Harmony, Boston: 1786.
  • (Posted 2014-04-23)  CPDL #31753:     
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2014-04-23).   Score information: Letter (landscape), 1 page, 31.27 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Note shapes added (4-shape).

General Information

Title: Kittery
First Line: Our Father who in heaven art
Composer: William Billings
Lyricist: Tate and Bradycreate page
Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: Sacred   Meter: 86. 86 (C.M.)

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1783 in Oliver Brownson's Select Harmony
    2nd published: 1786 in The Suffolk Harmony, no. 5, p. 12
    Manuscript ca. 1790 in Massachusetts Historical Society Ms. S-290, no. 9
Description: This tune was first published on p. 17 of the first edition of Oliver Brownson's Select Harmony, 1783, with the title 'Kettery'. However, it must have been written and popularized some years before, because New Kittery (Anonymous), for which it was named, appeared in The Waterhouse Manuscript, copied in 1781 (Crawford and McKay 1974). This makes Brownson's "Kettery" a misspelling, perhaps deliberate. The tune Kittery was republished under the heading 'Kittery. Words from Dr. Watts.' on pp. 12-14 of William Billings' collection The Suffolk Harmony, Boston: 1786. Despite Billings' attribution of the text to Isaac Watts, it originates from A Supplement to the New Version of Psalms, a collection of hymn texts and tunes intended for use with the 'New Version' metrical psalms of Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady, first published in 1700. Hymn Tune Index tune number 4403. The 1790 manuscript copy closely resembles the version in Brownson.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Original text and translations may be found at Our Father who in heaven art.