Welcome to Roding Music, a website dedicated to West Gallery church music.
West Gallery music was sung in town and country churches during the period 1700-1850. It is very different to the cathedral repertoire.
We offer a wealth of information about West Gallery music, together with more than 500 scores, available for free download in a variety of formats.
What is West Gallery Music?
West Gallery church music, so described because it was often performed by a band of singers and instrumentalists from a gallery at the west end of a church, was the repertoire of town and country churches from about 1700-1850. It differs markedly from cathedral music, both in style and function. It was written for and in many cases by amateur musicians; professional performance was not usually envisaged. As few local churches had organs at this time, it can always be performed without organ accompaniment.
The style of the music varies greatly. Some is almost as sophisticated as cathedral music, while at the other end of the spectrum there is music which is strikingly different from the cathedral repertoire, with many departures from the conventional canons of classical composition. Some musical progressions may seem strange or even harsh at first hearing.
But whatever the sophistication of the composer, the music is always practical for amateur singers. There are rarely any great technical challenges, and the range of the parts is comfortable. Singers who cannot reach the high soprano or tenor notes in cathedral music will find the West Gallery repertoire a refreshing change.
A Cheeful Noise
This site has over 500 scores available for free download in a variety of formats, including pdf, midi and Sibelius.
The music is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence. This means that you may copy any score for non-commercial use.
All the music is offered free of charge. However, donations are welcomed via the link at the bottom of this page.