excerpt from 'Memoirs of the late Thomas Holcroft: Written by Himself; and Continued to the Time of His Death.' pp. 143-145 (255 words)

excerpt from 'Memoirs of the late Thomas Holcroft: Written by Himself; and Continued to the Time of His Death.' pp. 143-145 (255 words)

part of

Memoirs of the late Thomas Holcroft: Written by Himself; and Continued to the Time of His Death.

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

143-145

type

text excerpt

encoded value

From the little I that day learned, and from another [singing] lesson or two, I obtained a tolerable conception of striking intervals upwards or downwards; such as the third, the fourth, and the remainder of the octave, the chief feature in which I soon understood, but of course I found most difficulty in the third, sixth and seventh. Previously however to any great progress, I was obliged to purchase Arnold’s Psalmody; and studious over this divine treasure, I passed many a forenoon extended in the hay-loft. My chief, and almost my only difficulty, lay in the impenetrable obscurity of such technical words as were not explained […] I was illiterate, I knew the language of the vulgar well, but little more. Perhaps no words ever puzzled poor mortal more than I was puzzled by the words, major and minor keys. […] The hours I spent by myself in mastering whatever belonged to notation, and in learning the intervals, occasioned my progress to be so very different from that of the [other singing students], that it excited the admiration of them all; [singing master] Mr Langham, the great man whom I then looked up to, declared it was surprising. If any part was out, I heard it immediately, and often struck the note for them, getting the start of Mr Langham. If he should happen to be absent, he said that I could set them all right; so that by this, and the clearness of my voice, I obtained the nick-name of the sweet singer of Israel. 

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excerpt from 'Memoirs of the late Thomas Holcroft: Written by Himself; and Continued to the Time of His Death.' pp. 143-145 (255 words)

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