It would astonish and amuse a European stranger to hear these natives sing. They have not the least idea either of harmony or melody; noise is what they best understand, and he that sings the loudest is considered to sing the best. I have occasionally remonstrated with them on the subject; but the reply I once received silenced me for ever after. “Sing softly, brother”, I said to one of the principal members. “Sing softly!” he replied, “is it you, our father, who tells us to sing softly? Did you ever hear us sing the praises of our Hindu gods? how we threw our heads backward, and with all our might shouted out the praises of those who are no gods I and now do you tell us to whisper the praises of Jesus? No, sir, we cannot—we must express in loud tones our gratitude to him who loved us, and died for us!” And so they continued to sing with all their might, and without further remonstrance.
—G. Gogerly, in “The Pioneers: a Narrative of the Bengal Mission,” 1870, quoted in Spurgeon’s Treasury of David.