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Hot Damn Duo Group

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Terrell Thao
Terrell Thao

Hymns And Tunes

There are many hymn tunes which might fit a particular hymn: a hymn in Long Metre might be sung to any hymn tune in Long Metre, but the tunes might be as different as those tunes that have been used for centuries with hymns such as Te lucis ante terminum, on one hand, and an arrangement of the calypso tune used with Jamaica Farewell, on the other.

Hymns and Tunes

Editors bring extensive knowledge of theology, poetry, and music to the process of compiling a new hymnal. They seek texts that are capable of communicating complex theological concepts to lay people, and they strive to partner those texts to tunes which are singable by the non-professional musicians of a congregation.[1]

When editors choose a text for the planned collection, it may already be paired to a tune that supports its meaning, catches its spirit, and allows for congregational participation. This pairing may be used elsewhere, even ecumenically recognized, appearing in many other hymnals. However, if a hymn has been linked to a tune the editors think is not the best partner for it, they can arrange a new pairing. Partnerships of texts and tunes can give special attention to the interpretive opportunities in a text by providing artistic support of the message through its musical setting. Editors must consider whether the important words in the text fall on stressed notes, whether climax points in the ideas correspond with musical climaxes, and whether the tempo for the music matches the style of the text.

Often the author of a text has not composed a setting of that text or otherwise paired the text to a particular tune. It then becomes the editor's challenge to complement that text with a tune for publication. Where the meter of a text is regular, editors can choose an existing tune of the meter that fits the text. Often there is more than just one good possible partner available. The editors may marry a text "X" to a tune they feel is best, with which it appears on the hymnal page, and they may also suggest singing text "X" to an alternative tune that appears elsewhere in the hymnal (sometimes with a different text). If one refers to the hymnal's metrical index, more possible tunes may be found, of the same meter, which might be used for singing text "X".

Editorial skills are evident in the complex credits of some hymns. For the well-loved and great hymn, "All Creatures of Our God and King", the words were written by William H. Draper and first published in 1919, based on a 13th-century text by Francis of Assisi, with further adaptations made in 1987. It is wedded to the tune Lasst uns erfreuen, first printed in the Geistliches Kirchengesangbuch, dated 1623, and is presented with a harmonization by Ralph Vaughan Williams, dated 1906.[3]

The practice of naming hymn tunes developed to help identify a particular tune. The name was chosen by the compiler of the tune book or hymnal or by the composer. The majority of names have a connection with the composer and many are place names, such as Aberystwyth or Down Ampney. Most hymnals provide a hymn tune index by name (alphabetical) and a hymn tune index by meter.

In some instances a particular text and tune have an almost exclusive partnership with each other, such as Reginald Heber's text "Holy, Holy, Holy!" and John Bacchus Dykes's tune Nicaea. In other instances a text may be used with a variety of tunes, such as "O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing" sung to any of Lyngham, Oxford New, Arden, Lydia, Richmond, Azmon, or University. In yet other instances a tune may partner several texts, such as Dix for "As with Gladness Men of Old", "Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies", "God of Mercy, God of Grace", "Lord, to You Immortal Praise", and "For the Beauty of the Earth".

By contrast, in Germany and Scandinavia, tune names were not typically used even when a hymn tune was used for more than one text. The custom in such cases was to use part of the first line of the first text with which the tune was associated as a name for the tune: for example Lasst Uns Erfreuen ("Let us rejoice" / All Creatures of Our God and King), Gelobt Sei Gott ("[May] God be praised" / Good Christian men, rejoice and sing) and Was lebet, was schwebet (O Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness). Renaming of tunes occurs from time to time, when a tune is chosen to be printed in a hymnal. When chorales were introduced in England during the eighteenth century, these tunes were sometimes given English-style tune names.

Typically, worship services in churches and synagogues include hymns which are sung by the congregation, accompanied by organ, or piano, and/or sometimes by guitars or other instruments. Details of performance vary depending on the designated style of the service, or by the hymns themselves. Some hymns specify unison singing, and other hymns are sung in parts (usually soprano, alto, tenor, bass). It is common practice for a congregation to sing all the hymns in unison, but in some traditions part singing is encouraged.

St. Paul encourages Christians to "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Col. 3:16), "[s]peaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." (Eph. 5:19). In 313 AD, the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan, which "... gave the Christians the right to practice religion openly."[9]At that time the language of the people was Latin. Use of Latin continued in the Roman Catholic Church long after it ceased to be the vernacular. By the time of Martin Luther in the early 16th century, the singing was still in Latin but was done by choirs of priests and monks, although the choirs sometimes included a few lay musicians as well.[10]

Hymnals evolved from psalters, in that hymns are songs for the congregation and choir to sing, but go beyond metrical recasting of only psalm texts. In early hymnals, only texts were printed. By the mid 18th century, hymnal editors began marrying particular tunes, by name, to individual texts. A century later, in the 1861 (first) edition of the English Hymns Ancient and Modern, for the first time, the music was printed with its text on the hymnal page. Many marriages from that book became and remain ecumenically endorsed, including those where a tune was composed and appeared in print for the first time in that 1861 edition. Heber's text, "Holy, Holy, Holy" had first appeared in Selection of Psalms and Hymns for the Parish Church of Banbury, 3rd edition, 1826. Nicaea (1861) was written by J. B. Dykes to set it "for the first edition of Hymns A & M."[11]

Luther was a gifted and well-trained musician. He composed and found hymn tunes which were accessible for ordinary people to sing, and "... at the same time he encouraged church choirs to continue the tradition of polyphonic motets within the Lutheran Mass. He used various textures and styles of music in ways which were most appropriate and effective for each."[15]Luther also adapted the music of existing plainsong melodies as hymn tunes. Families enjoyed singing hymns in parts in their homes, for the family's enjoyment and edification, but unison singing was the custom in church.[16]

The earliest English psalters included a few tunes in regular meters, which could be used to sing all the psalms in the psalter. Which tune was sung was determined by the fit of the meter. The Ravenscroft Psalter of 1621 was the first English book which "married," specified by name, which tune should set each text.[5]In that early time of defining text/tune marriages, editors of different psalters sometimes used different names for the same tune. For example, The French Tune, in the Scottish Psalter (1564), is the same tune as Dundee in the Ravenscroft Psalter.

Routley states that metrical psalmody was actually the first English Protestant hymnody. England's Reformation began when King Henry VIII separated the English church from the Catholic Church in Rome in 1532. King Henry's heir was King Edward VI, who ascended to the throne in 1547. Thomas Sternhold (d. 1549), Groom of the Royal Wardrobe at the end of Henry VIII's reign and during Edward VI's, "...began metricizing psalms for the edification of the young new king (ten years old when he came to the throne in 1547: sixteen when he died in 1553)." Sternhold's work paralleled Marot's efforts in the French Court; Sternhold's "...strong puritan strain moved him to replace with sacred songs the trivial secular music that was the Court's normal entertainment; this led him to versify certain Psalms in the ballad metre that would enable them to be sung to tunes already known." (Forest Green, Kingsfold, etc.). The ballad meter, "which Sternhold used very nearly without variation," had 4 iambic lines of 14 syllables, which breaks down to 8686 8686 (our Double Common Meter DCM or CMD). Also, a simpler "half length" tune evolved, now described as common meter (CM = 8686). The English aimed at a Psalter of all 150 psalms, virtually all in ballad meter. Sternhold started the task, writing a total of 37 by the time he died, when John Hopkins took over the work. .... In the year of [Sternhold's] death, a little book without music containing 44 psalms was published, of which 36 were by Sternhold and eight by his collaborator John Hopkins (d. 1570).[20]

Progress on the Psalter was interrupted when King Edward died in 1553, and his elder half sister Mary became queen. She tried to reinstate Catholicism as the State religion. Churchmen whose lives were threatened fled to the Continent, some ending up in Geneva, where they encountered the 1551 Genevan Psalter and the congregational singing which it supported. When Elizabeth I ascended the throne after her sister's death in 1558, the exiled churchmen returned to England, bringing them an Anglo-Genevan Psalter containing all the psalms plus a few tunes to set them,[21]along with their desire to add congregational singing to church services. At that point work continued with the Sternhold and Hopkins Psalter, adding psalms to it from the Anglo-Genevan Psalter. The Complete Psalter was published in 1562 by John Daye. "It is at this point important to remember that all these versions of the Psalter, up to and including 1562, were published for private use. There was not, by 1562, strictly a 'Church of England' that could authorize the use of it in church."[22] 041b061a72


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