The Easy Instructor

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General Information

Title: The Easy Instructor

Full Title: The Easy Instructor, Or a New method of Teaching Sacred Harmony.

Editors - Compilers: William Little and William Smith

Description: The book that first introduced the four-shape note system used in Kentucky Harmony, Southern Harmony, The Sacred Harp, and many other tunebooks. Edition designations and dates from Lowens (1964) (who also gives detailed descriptions of each edition) and Temperley.

References

  • Condit, Lester. 1946. Bibliographical Notes: Editions of Little & Smith's Easy Instructor. The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 40(3):233-236.
  • Kaufman, Charles H. 1981. Music in New Jersey, 1655-1860: A Study of Musical Activity and Musicians in New Jersey from Its First Settlement to the Civil War. East Brunswick, New Jersey: Associated Universities Presses. Article about William Smith, pp. 143-146.
  • Lowens, Irving, and Allen P. Britton. 1953. "The Easy Instructor" (1798-1831): A History and Bibliography of the First Shape Note Tune Book. Journal of Research in Music Education 1(1):30-55.
  • Lowens, Irving. 1964. "The Easy Instructor" (1798-1831): A History and Bibliography of the First Shape Note Tune Book. Pp. 115-137 and pp. 292-310 in: Lowens, Irving. Music and Musicians in Early America. New York, New York: W. W. Norton and Company. A considerably updated version of Lowens' 1953 paper.
  • Metcalf, Frank J. 1937. "The Easy Instructor": A Bibliographical Study. The Musical Quarterly 23(1):89-97.
  • Temperley, Nicholas. The Hymn Tune Index. Electronic resource from the University of Illinois. Accessed November 2021. [1]

Editions

A. Listed in Lowens (1964)

  • Aa. 1801, Philadelphia – 106 pp., 105 works
  • Ab. 1802, New York – 106 pp., 105 wks
  • B. 1805, Albany – 108 pp., 102 works
  • C. 1806, Albany – 108 pp., 102 works
  • Da. 1807, Albany – 104 pp., 102 works
  • Db. 1807, Albany – 104 pp., 102 works
  • E. 1808, Albany – 104 pp., 102 works
  • F. 1809, Albany – 104 pp., 95 works
  • G. 1810, Albany – 104 pp., 94 works
  • H. 1810, Albany – 104 pp., 94 works
  • I. 1811, Albany – 104 pp., 95 works
  • J. 1812, Albany – 112 pp., 105 works
  • K. 1813, Albany – 112 pp., 106 works
  • L. 1813, Albany – 112 pp., 106 works
  • Ma. 1814, Albany – 112 pp., 105 works
  • Mb. 1814, Albany – 112 pp., 105 works
  • Mc. 1815, Albany – 112 pp., 105 works
  • N. 1815, Albany – 112 pp., 108 works
  • Oa. 1816, Albany – 112 pp., 113 works
  • Ob. 1816, Albany – 112 pp., 113 works
  • P. 1817, Albany – 120 pp., 125 works
  • Q. 1817, Albany – 127 pp., 139 works
  • R. 1818, Albany – 127 pp., 141 works
  • S. 1818, Utica – 127 pp., 127 works
  • T. 1819, Albany – 127 pp., 141 works
  • U. 1819, Cincinnati – pp., 112 works
  • V. 1820, Albany – 127 pp., 141 works
  • W. 1820, Utica – 126 pp., 127 works
  • X. 1822, Albany – 127 pp., 141 works
  • Ya. 1824, Albany – 127 pp., 141 works
  • Yb. 1826, Albany – 127 pp., 141 works
  • Z. 1828, Albany – 127 pp., 141 works
  • AA. 1830, Albany – 127 pp., 141 works
  • BB. 1831, Albany – 135 pp., 153 works

B. At CPDL

Publications using VolumesEditions

1 – Published 1801 – (Little) Philadelphia: Unknown, 105 works, 105 pp.
1.2 – Published 1803 – Part 2 (Smith) Philadelphia: William Smith, 68 works, 64 pp.
2 – Published 1805 – (Little and Smith) by Albany: Webster and Steele, 102 works, 108 pp.
F – Published 1809 – Albany: Websters & Skinner and Daniel Steele, 95 works, 104 pp.
G – Published 1810 – Albany: Websters & Skinner and Daniel Steele, 94 works, 104 pp.
I – Published 1811 – Albany: Websters & Skinner and Daniel Steele, 95 works, 104 pp.
J – Published 1812 – Albany: Websters & Skinner and Daniel Steele, 105 works, 112 pp.
K – Published 1813 – Albany: Websters & Skinner and Daniel Steele, 106 works, 112 pp.
L – Published 1813 – Albany: Websters & Skinner and Daniel Steele, 106 works, 112 pp.
M – Published 1814 – Albany: Websters & Skinner and Daniel Steele, 105 works, 112 pp.
N – Published 1815 – Albany: Websters & Skinner and Daniel Steele, 108 works, 112 pp.
O – Published 1816 – Albany: Websters & Skinner and Daniel Steele, 113 works, 112 pp.
P – Published 1817 – Albany: Websters & Skinner and Daniel Steele, 125 works, 120 pp.
Q – Published 1817 – Albany: Websters & Skinner and Daniel Steele, 139 works, 127 pp.
R – Published 1818 – Albany: Websters & Skinner and Daniel Steele, 141 works, 127 pp.
S – Published 1818 – Albany: Websters & Skinner and Daniel Steele, 127 works, 126 pp.
T – Published 1819 – Albany: Websters & Skinner and Daniel Steele, 141 works, 127 pp.
U – Published 1819 – Cincinnati: J. Pace, 112 works, 112 pp.
X – Published 1822
Y – Published 1824
Z – Published 1828
AA – Published 1830
BB – Published 1831

Works first published in The Easy Instructor

Edn. Year HTI* Title Composer Comments
1 1801 8584 Alvah William Little
1 1801 8585 Amwell Zephaniah Stout
1 1801 8586 Caldwell William Little Also in 1805, 1809
1 1801 8587 Canaan Lewis Edson Also in 1805
1 1801 8588 Carolina N. Little Also in 1805
1 1801 8589 Conajohary Jonathan Huntington
1 1801 8590 Essex Edward Stammers
1 1801 8591 Federal Ode Anonymous
1 1801 8592 Franklin N. Little Also in 1805
1 1801 8593 Hilsborough J. E. Porter Also in 1805
1 1801 8594 Hopewell William Little
1 1801 8595 Indian Bard N. Little Also in 1803
1 1801 8596 Lancaster Aaron Cowling Also in 1805
1 1801 8597 Lisbon Davis
1 1801 8598 Meditation N. Little Also in 1805
1 1801 8599a Middlebury William Little Also in 1805
1 1801 8600 Miflin Davis Also in 1805
1 1801 8601 Nativity N. Little
1 1801 8602 North Orange Julius Caswell Also in 1805
1 1801 8603 Sapphick Ode Johnson
1 1801 8604 Solemnity Ward Also in 1805
1 1801 8605 Solitude Anonymous Also in 1805
 *. The Hymn Tune Index number.

External websites:

Edn. Year HTI* Title Composer Comments
1 1801 8606 Sterling Davis Also in 1805
1 1801 8607 Stillwater Davis Also in 1805
1 1801 8608 Sunday Davis Also in 1805
1 1801 8609 Wastina Ward
1.2 1803 10190 Benham William Smith Smith?
1.2 1803 10191 Golphinton William Smith Smith?
1.2 1803 10192 Lubentia William Smith Smith?
1.2 1803 10193 Mendham William Smith Smith?
1.2 1803 10194 Morgan William Smith Smith?
1.2 1803 10195 Olivet William Smith Smith?
1.2 1803 10196 Spring-Valley William Smith Smith?
1.2 1803 10197 Ulster William Smith Smith?
1.2 1803 10198 Wilberham William Smith Smith?
2 1805 11114 Schenectady Nehemiah Shumway Also in 1809
F 1809 12946 Babel Anonymous
F 1809 12947 Ballstown Nehemiah Shumway
F 1809 12948 Crucifixion Castle
F 1809 12949 Piermont Amos Bull
F 1809 12950 Providence Anonymous
F 1809 12951 Psalm 23 Amos Bull
F 1809 12952 Psalm 29 Amos Bull
N 1815 15259 New Jordan Nehemiah Shumway

Works at CPDL

Edition 1.2 (1803)

Title Year Composer Arranger Lyricist First Line Subgenre Vo. Meter
Brookfield 1770 William Billings Isaac Watts Psalm-tunes 4
Morgan (William Smith (compiler)) 1803 William Smith (compiler) Isaac Watts With songs and honors sounding loud Set pieces 4 86. 86 (C.M.)
Oak's Creek 1795 Nathaniel Billings Isaac Watts Bless, O my soul, the living God Psalm-tunes 4 88. 88 (L.M.)
Olivet (William Smith (compiler)) 1803 William Smith (compiler) Samson Occom On the cold ground methinks I see 4 886. 886
Suffering Savior 1795 Alexander Gillet Isaac Watts Alas, and did my Savior bleed Set pieces 4 86. 86 (C.M.)

Edition 2 (1805)

Title Year Composer Arranger Lyricist First Line Subgenre Vo. Meter
Schenectady 1805 Nehemiah Shumway Isaac Watts From all that dwell below the skies Set pieces 4 88. 88 (L.M.)

Edition N (1815)

Title Year Composer Arranger Lyricist First Line Subgenre Vo. Meter
New Jordan 1815 Nehemiah Shumway Samuel Stennett On Jordan's stormy banks I stand 4 86. 86 (C.M.)