Adoration of the Shepherds. Marinus, pseudonym of Marin Robin van der Goes, engraver, ca. 1599-1639, after a painting by Jacob Jordaens, history and portrait painter, draughtsman, watercolorist, and engraver, 1593-1678. 17th-century engraving. Dayton C. Miller Collection, no. 474/Y. Music Division, Library of Congress
Chadwick labels While Shepherds Watched (1889) a Christmas carol. It consists of three verses set strophically in a homophonic hymn-like style. The text derives from Nahum Tate's Psalter (1702). The vocal part writing is well-crafted in its simplicity, creating subtle dissonances over a bass pedal tone. Such musical craft pervades Chadwick's output in both lengthy and shorter genres.
Chadwick railed against the unschooled output of popular songwriters flooding the market to the exclusion of what he called "true music." In his 1876 paper on popular music reform, he complained about lack of originality in the popular music of the day. "Those who furnish the popular music have not paid, either in money or in mental discipline, the price of true and first-class musicians. . . . We want to get money. We want to get rich. Perfectly laudable desire, but have we any right to forget in our eagerness that we work for art first--not money."