During the early years of the settling of this country a kind of indigenous singing grew up among the colonists. William Billings was one of the first composers of this breed. He lived in Boston, led singing schools, and reformed the church singing around him. His fuguing tunes set the style for a century of singing as the settlers moved westward. Following in this style, Joseph Funk became one of the foremost musicians of his time. He settled near Harrisonburg, VA, and earned his living as a schoolmaster, farmer, song-leader, collector of hymn tunes and publisher. He devised a system of shaped notes for teaching music which he used in his hymn collection, 'Genuine Church Music,' published in 1832. Later entitiled 'Harmonia Sacra,' it is still in use today in it's 27th edition. The hymns in this album are arrangements from this collection.