Since Singing Is So Good a Thing…


Words by William Byrd, 1588
TTBB, piano
Published by Fresh Ayre Music

This piece was written for the occasion of the retirement of Larry Gerber, who was my voice teacher and the director of the Florida State University Men’s Glee Club during my first years there. The text is by the renowned Tudor composer William Byrd, in the introduction to his 1598 volume Psalmes, Sonets, & Songs of Sadnes and Pietie. It struck me as something that Larry would appreciate, as would anyone who has so wholeheartedly made a career of mentoring young and inexperienced singers.

SKU: FAM-0081-03 Category:


Reasons briefly set downe by th’auctor to persuade every one to learn to sing.

First, it is a knowledge easily taught, and quickly learned,
where there is a good master, and an apt scholar.

Second, the exercise of singing is delightful to Nature,
and good to preserve the health of Man.

Third, it does strengthen all parts of the breast, and does open the pipes.

Fourth, It is a singularly good remedy for stuttering and stammering in the speech.

Fifth, it is the best means to procure perfect pronunciation, and to make a good Orator.

Sixth, it is the only way to know where Nature has bestowed the benefit of a good voice:
which gift is so rare, as there is not one among a thousand that has it.

Seventh, there is not any Music of Instruments whatsoever, comparable to that
which is made of the voices of Men, where the voices are good,
and the same well sorted and ordered.

The better the voice is, the meeter it is to honour and serve God therewith:
and the voice of man is chiefly to be employed to that end.

Omnis spiritus laudet Dominum.

Since singing is so good a thing,
I wish all men would learn to sing.
(from the introduction to Psalmes, Sonets & Song, William Byrd, 1588)


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