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From The Puddleford Papers, or, Humors of the West, H.H. Riley, New York, 1857

The "West" in this case is an imaginary location in what is now called the "Middlewest" and may refer to Indiana.

Pgs 55-56, about 'Aunt Graves' a singer in the choir:
Then, she was a choice piece of melody; there was not another voice like her's in the settlement. It had evidently been pitched from the beginning for the occasion. It possessed great power, was quite shaky, (a modern refinement in music), and could be heard from a half to three quarters of a mile. She has been known to sweep away a high note, and actually take the Puddleford choir off their feet. She rode through the staff of music headlong, like a circus-rider around the ring; and could jump three or four notes at a time, without lessening her speed, or breaking the harmony. She would take any piece of sacred music by storm, on the very shortest of notice. In fact, she was THE treble, aided by a few others who had received their instruction from her.... "

Pgs 59-60; about the choir :
But the hymn was at last given out; and there was a rustling of leaves, and an a-hemming, and coughing, and spitting; and sounding of notes; and a toot on a cracked clarionet, which had been wound with tow, and a low grunt from a bass-viol, produced by a grave-looking man in the corner. Then all rose, and launched forth in one of those ancient pieces of church-harmony, "Coronation"; every voice and instrument letting itself go to the utmost extent. One airy-looking person was pumping out his bass by rising and falling on his toes; another, more solemn, was urging it up by crowding his chin on his breast; another jerked it out by a twist of his head; while one quiet old man, whose face beamed with tranquillity, just stood, in perfect ecstasy, and let the melody run out of his nose. The genius on the clarionet blew as if he was blowing his last. His cheeks were blasted, his eyes were wild and extended, and his head danced this way and that, keeping time with his fingers; and he who sawed the viol, tore away upon his instrument with a kind of ferocity, as if he were determined to commit some violence upon it. But the treble - what shall I say of IT? 'Aunt Graves' was nowhere to be seen, after the parts had got into full play; she put on the power of her voice, and drowned out every thing around her at once; and then, rising higher and higher, she rushed through the notes, the choir in full chase after her, and absolutely came out safely at last, and stuck upon her feet, without injuring herself or anyone else.


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