Wisdom from a great English composer in 1588, replicated here by David Gordon

Preface to Psalms, Sonets, and Songs of Sadnes and Pietie (1588)
by William Byrd (1543[?]-1623)


Why Learne to Sing?
Reasons briefly set down by th'author, to perswade every one to learne to sing.
  First, it is a knowledge safely taught and quickly learned, where
there is a good Master, and an apt Scholler.

  2  The exercise of singing is delightfull to Nature, & good
     to preserve the health of Man.

  3  It doth strengthen all parts of the brest, & doth open the pipes.

  4   It is a singular good remedie for a stutting and stamering in the
     speech.

  5  It is the best means to procure a perfect pronounciation, & to
make a good Orator.

  6   It is the onely way to know where Nature hath bestowed the 
benefit of a good voyce : which guift is so rare, as there is not one
among a thousand, that hath it.

  7   There is not any Musicke of Instruments whatsoever, comparable
to that which is made of the voyces of Men, where the voyces are
good, and the same well sorted and ordered.

  8  The better the voyce is, the meeter it is to honour and serve
God there-with : and the voyce of man is chiefely to bee imployed
to that ende.

“Omnis Spiritus Laudes Dominum” 

Since Singing is so good a thing, I wish all men would learn to sing.

[End of Preface]


Transcription from the original by David Gordon.

The original spelling, line breaks, and punctuation are carefully preserved here.
I have modernized the occasional use of "f" for "s" and "u" for "v",
such as (in #8 above) "honour and ferue God""
or (last line) "I wish all men would learn to fing"


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