William Gifford is known as the composer of one book of psalmody, Twelve New Psalm Tunes In Three Four Five, and Six Parts; with Symphonies and a Thorough Bass, for the Organ, Piano Forte &c. With Two Favorite Christmas Hymns. The book is dated 'Peck Engraver London. 1805.' at the foot of p19 (the penultimate page, and the last page of music, as p20 consists of the texts of the two Christmas hymns).
The twelve psalm tunes in this book are all settings of texts from the 'New Version' metrical psalms of Tate and Brady, while the hymns are 'Come, thou long-expected Jesus' (by Charles Wesley) and 'Rejoice, ye tenants of the earth' (a text written by Gifford himself, and mentioned by Thomas Hardy in Chapter 4 of his novel Under the Greenwood Tree).
The title page of Twelve New Psalm Tunes describes Gifford as 'of South Petherton, Somersetshire': 'Mr. William Gifford, South Petherton' also appears among the subscribers to Twenty-Four Psalm Tunes, the second book of psalmody by the composer Thomas Shoel (of nearby Montacute), published in 1800.
List of choral works
- How blest is he who ne'er consents
- How numerous, Lord, of late are grown
- O come, loud anthems let us sing
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- Twelve New Psalm Tunes, London: (1805)
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