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ISME Website History Standing Committee IHME Homepage JOHN WAITE (1807-1868) - THE TONIC NUMERAL METHOD Brief Summary of Waite’s method  The Reverend John James Waite , a minister of the Congregational Church, was born at Gloucester in England. His so-called ‘tonic numeral’ method involved the application of the numerals 1 to 7 on a moveable tonic basis to staff notation as a mnemonic aid for reading pitch. Numerals were ‘figured’ beneath each stave and any chromatic notes were indicated by adding the ‘s’ and ‘f’ respectively for sharp and flat accidentals.  Waite’s publication of a hymn book, The Hallelujah or Devotional Psalmody, published in 1841 in which all hymns had ‘figuring’ under the staff notation (see the example in the figure below), was widely used for congregational singing in England.     An example of Waite’s notation from The Hallelujah (London: John Snow, 1852). Reproduced from B. Rainbow, The Land without Music (London: Novello & Co. Ltd., 1967), p. 182.   Reference Source  Appendix Five ‘The Reverend J. J. Waite’s Psalmody Classes’ in Bernarr Rainbow, The Land without Music: Musical Education in England 1800-1860 and it Continental Antecedents  (London: Novello and Company Limited, 1967), pp.181-183. ISME Website History Standing Committee IHME Homepage Copyright © 2014 History Standing Committee, International Society for Music Education (ISME)