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Singing has always been an important part of American church services. In the eighteenth century, few people owned hymn books, so a leader would "line out," or read the hymn a line or two at a time. The members would then sing it back, sometimes to several different tunes at once. Perhaps in reaction to this confusing sound, singing masters in New England towns taught music, wrote hymns and organized church choirs. Although his singing master told him to give up trying to learn to sing, Justin Hitchcock (1752-1822) of Deerfield, Massachusetts, did not quit and eventually became a skilled musician, leading the church choir and tuning them with this wooden pitch pipe.


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Pitch pipe

creator   Unidentified
date   c. 1790
location   Deerfield, Massachusetts
length   8.25"
process/materials   wood
item type   Communication/Musical Tools and Equipment
accession #   #1886.17.01

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See Also...

Silhouette of Deacon Justin Hitchcock (1752-1822)

Bass Viol

"Remarks and Observations" by Justin Hitchcock

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