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William Billings

William Billings, (1746-1800), American choral composer, is regarded as the father of American choral music and hymnody[?]. Among his compositions is the American Revolutionary War anthem, Chester, which is featured in the New England Triptych by William Schuman. Billings published numerous songbooks, including The New England Psalm Singer (1770) and The Continental Harmony (1794). Lacking formal training in music, Billing created what is now recognized as a uniquely American style. The Stoughton Musical Society[?], formed by former students of Billings, has carried his tradition for over 200 years. The Shapenote method of music notation is considered to be Billing's invention.

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