Read: An Anthem (‘Down steers the bass with grave majestic air’) (ca. 1885)

Mixed choir (SATB), a cappella [English]

Edited by Dean Crocker, 2016

Download a zipped PDF of the score.

To the best of my knowledge, this music is in the public domain in the United States of America. I can not guarantee it to be in the public domain elsewhere. This music is not intended for distribution in any jurisdiction where it is not in the public domain. If you live in an area where this music is still protected under your copyright law, please do not download it!

Previously published in The American Singing Book (second edition), 1786 by Daniel Read (New Haven)

Daniel Read , 1757‒1836. Composer and comb-maker, Read published many songbooks for America’s newly-popular singing societies. He was one the most popular composers of the so-called First New England School. In later life, he rejected his earlier works and attempted to more closely adhere to European musical standards.

Down steers the Bass with grave majestic Air,
And up the Treble mounts with shrill Career;
With softer Sounds, in mild Melodious Maze,
Warbling between, the Tenor gently Plays:
But if th’ aspiring Altus join its Force,
See! like the Lark, it Wings its tow’ring Course…

—Dr. Mather Byles (1707‒1788)

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