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Dr. Vernon Wicker, editor

Hymnology Annual is an international forum on the hymn and worship, and has become one of the most respected journals in its field. Each volume is a substantial contribution to the study of hymnody. You can't find some of these articles anywhere else, and it brings together articles from disparate sources you might never find or hear of. If you want to be knowledgeable about hymnody, this is required reading.

Look below for the contents of each volume, and a synopsis of the articles.

Hymnology Annual, Volume III
(Catalog no. 600-103, $55.00 U.S.)
Contents

Synopsis of articles

Hymnology Annual, Volume II
(Catalog no. 600-102, $55.00 U.S.)
Contents

Synopsis of articles

Hymnology Annual, Volume I
(Catalog no. 600-101, $55.00 U.S.)
Contents

Synopsis of articles

 

Hymnology Annual
Volume Three
Back to top

Theme I­Congregational Singing, Part III Back to top
Chapter One
An Exploration of the Devotional Context in which the Hymn and Worship-song Are Used by Alan Luff
Chapter Two
Beyond 'Alternative' and 'Traditional' Worship by Paul Westermeyer
Chapter Three
Music and the Liturgy by Raymond Warre
Chapter Four
The Language of Hymns: Some Contemporary Problems by J. R. Watso
Chapter Five
Contemporary Issues in Inculturation, Arts and Liturgy: Music by I-to Lo
Chapter Six
Spanish American Hymnody: A Global Perspective by Pablo Sosa
Chapter Seven
Swedish Tradition in Swedish American Hymnals and Songbooks by Gracia Grindal

Theme II­The Hymn and Composers Back to top
Chapter One
Johann Sebastian Bach and the Protestant Hymn in His Time by Walter Blankenburg
Chapter Three
Bach, Handel and the Use of the Hymn in their Vocal Works by Vernon Wicker
Chapter Four
Hugo Distler and the Awakening of Church Music by Gerhard Kappner
Chapter Five
Hymntunes as Themes in Mendelssohn's Works by Gerhard Schumacher

Theme III­Specific Hymns and Genres Back to top
Chapter One
Martin Luther's Hymn "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott" ("A Mighty Fortress is our God") and Psalm 46 by Inge Mager
Chapter Two
"Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten" ("If thou but suffer God to guide thee") by Gottfried Gille
Chapter Three
Gregorian Chant in Our Time by Philipp Harnoncourt
Chapter Four
Biblical Text and Metaphor in Charles Wesley's Hymns by J. R. Watson

Hymnology Annual
Volume Two
Back to top

Theme I­Congregational Singing Today, Part II Back to top
Chapter One
Sacred Sound and Meaning: Theological Reflections on Music and Word in Christian Worship by Richard Viladesau
Chapter Two
The Use and Performance of Hymnody, Spirituals, and Gospels in the Black Church by Portia K. Maultsby
Chapter Three
What is a Good Hymn? by Gerhard Aeschbacher
Chapter Four
Art and Kitsch as a Problem of Hymnology by Andreas Marti

Theme II­The Psalms Back to top
Chapter One
The Psalms as Prayer by Walter Brueggemann
Chapter Two
What Do We Do, When We Sing the Psalms? by Alan Luff
Chapter Three
The Huguenot Psalter by Édith Weber
Chapter Four
The Melodies of the Huguenot Psalter from Their Origin to the Present by Édith Weber
Chapter Five
The Unreasonable Demand of the Genevan Psalms- Remarks on a Forgotten Reformed Heritage by Klaus Bäumlin
Chapter Six
Metrical Psalmody: ATale of the Traditions by Emily Brink
Chapter Seven
On Rhyming David in the North by Arve Brunvoll
Chapter Eight
Congregational Psalmody According to the Lutheran Tradition: Spiritually, Musically, Liturgically by Frieder Schulz

Theme III­Hymns Back to top
Chapter One
Paul Gerhardt's Advent Hymn, "WIESOLL ICH DICH EMPFANGEN" ["Ah, Lord! How shall I meet thee"]. The Hymn and its Roots in Lutheran Theology by Elke Axmacher
Chapter Two
"...in heavenly peace...' Regarding the Christmas Carol "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht" by Hans Musch
Chapter Three
The Huron Carol - "JESOUS AHATONHIA" by Hugh D. McKellar
Chapter Four
The Date of Coverdale's "Goostly psalmes" by Robin A. Leaver
Chapter Five
A Newly-discovered Fragment of Coverdale's "Goostly psalmes" by Robin A. Leaver

 

Hymnology Annual
Volume One
Back to top

Theme I­Congregational Singing Today Back to top
Chapter One
"If they don't sing it, they don't believe it." Singing in the Worship Service. Expression of Faith or Unreasonable Liturgical Demand? by Philipp Harnoncourt
Chapter Two
Theological Dimensions of Mission Hymnody: the Counterpoint of Cult and Culture by Robin A. Leaver
Chapter Three
Hymnody in the Context of World Mission by Mary K. Oyer
Chapter Four
Words and Music in Cross-Cultural Hymnody, an Aspect and a New Song by Gerhard M. Cartford
Chapter Five
Report from Latin America by Gerhard M. Cartford
Chapter Six
Toward Contextualization of Church Music in Asia by I-to Loh
Chapter Seven
Criteria for the Usability of New Hymns in Hymnals by Heinrich Riehm
Chapter Eight
Theological Considerations for Poetic Texts Used by the Assembly by Thomas A. Troeger
Chapter Nine
Poet in the Congregation by Brian Wren

Theme II­Liturgical Renewal Back to top
Chapter One
Music in the Service of Reconciliation by Walter J. Hollenweger
Chapter Two
New Hymns for New Liturgies by Thomas Baker
Chapter Three
Theological Problems of Church Music by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
Chapter Four
Do we Need a New Concept for Church Music Today? by Oskar Söhngen
Chapter Five
Elite - Thoughts to a Trendy, Abusive Word by Andreas Marti
Chapter Six
Church Music in the USA: Steps Toward Renewal of the Worship Service by Vernon Wicker

Theme III­Hymns Back to top
Chapter One
Carols of the British Isles by Alan Luff
Chapter Two
"Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott" ("Come, Holy Ghost, Lord and God"). Regarding the History of a Tune by Konrad Ameln
Chapter Three
"Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen?" ("Ah, Holy Jesus, how has thou offended?") and its Sources by Elke Axmacher
Chapter Four
"Kann uns doch kein Tod nicht töten" ("Now there is no death to harm us"). Paul Gerhardt's Final Words by Christian Bunners

 

 

The Hymnology Annual
An International Forum on the Hymn and Worship
Volume One
Back to top

Theme I­Congregational Singing Today
Chapter One Back to top
"If they don't sing it, they don't believe it." Singing in the Worship Service. Expression of Faith or Unreasonable Liturgical Demand?
by Philipp Harnoncourt

Philipp Harnoncourt's foundational essay on congregational singing moves the reader away from mere matters regarding a narrow choice of hymns or their performance practice to the fundamental question as to why we should sing at all as a church. Further, a number of pertinent theological, physiological and social considerations lead toward a valid basis for a vital expression of our faith through singing in the congregation today.

Chapter Two Back to top
Theological Dimensions of Mission Hymnody:
The Counterpoint of Cult and Culture
by Robin A. Leaver

The following five articles address various aspects of hymnody in non-Western situations and the hymnological process of moving away from a colonialistic view of hymnody to a contextualization of the Gospel. Robin A. Leaver's essay helps us onto an appropriate theological and cultural basis in which a global approach to worship and hymnody can occur.

Chapter Three Back to top
Hymnody in the Context of World Mission
by Mary K. Oyer

Mary Oyer employs examples from Sub-Saharan Africa to lead the reader into purposeful ways of understanding the music and hymnody of another culture.

Chapter Four Back to top
Words and Music in Cross-Cultural Hymnody, an Aspect and a New Song
by Gerhard M. Cartford

Gerhard M. Cartford provides insight into a number of aspects of the inter-cultural experience in reference to hymnody in Latin America.

Chapter Five Back to top
Report from Latin America
by Gerhard M. Cartford

Further access into current congregational singing practice in South America if offered here by Gerhard M. Cartford.

Chapter Six Back to top
Toward Contextualization of Church Music in Asia
by I-to Loh

I-to Loh deals with developing the principle of contextualization in hymnody by means of the form and statement of certain published hymns from the Orient over a period of time.

Chapter Seven Back to top
Criteria for the Usability of New Hymns in Hymnals
by Heinrich Riehm

Pastor Heinrich Riehm presents just one "chapter" in the exacting process for planning the new German Protestant hymnal, a process which has been in operation since publication of the previous hymnal (1950). That particular procedure deals with new hymns. Although the demands in formulating any hymnal anywhere are unique, at least some principles here should be helpful to others facing a similar challenge.

Chapter Eight Back to top
Theological Considerations for Poetic Texts Used by the Assembly
by Thomas A. Troeger

Theological and linguistic challenges for the contemporary hymntext poet come to light in the following article by Thomas H. Troeger, whose hymntexts are found in countless new English-language hymnals. The rigorous demands upon the poet as artist and servant are considerable and the responsibility quite exacting.

Chapter Nine Back to top
Poet in the Congregation
by Brian Wren

The definition of the hymn for the contemporary context is articulated by the poet-theologian, Brian Wren. His process for arriving at a valid hymnic statement currently is presented as a test for anyone writing or using a hymn.

Theme II­Liturgical Renewal

Chapter One Back to top
Music in the Service of Reconciliation
by Walter J. Hollenweger

The first of two contributions from Great Britain regarding the liturgical renewal was written by the Swiss theologian, Walter J. Hollenweger. His article, which admonishes the church to employ music in a caring manner that includes people in various sectors of society and at different levels of musical proficiency, is finding broad acceptance also in its [Swiss] German version. (See Musik und Gottesdient, XLIV/1 [1990], 5-15.)

Chapter Two Back to top
New Hymns for New Liturgies
by Thomas Baker

The second entry from Britain regarding the renewal comes from the pen of the Dean of Worcester, the Very Reverend Thomas Baker. He helps us see the potential role of new hymns within new liturgies. For all persons outside Britain, it is important to realize that the British hymn "explosion" had already been in process for a number of years at the time this article was written. Especially in the American situation, where the "explosion" began years later, the principles articulated here should be an aid to insight and understanding.

Chapter Three Back to top
Theological Problems of Church Music
by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

The following article by the prolific theological author, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, is a statement on the role of church music in the liturgical renewal as seen from within the central European context.

Chapter Four Back to top
Do we Need a New Concept for Church Music Today?
by Oskar Söhngen

In Oskar Söhngen's treatment of basic theological and musical aspects of the church music situation in Germany from the 1930's through the 70's, the church musician's work is seen as having a strong artistic dimension - and a convincing case is made for the purposeful church concert - while the worship service and the life in faith are at the heart of the entire endeavor.

Chapter Five Back to top
Elite - Thoughts to a Trendy, Abusive Word
by Andreas Marti

The following terse entry by Andreas Marti, a musician, teacher, hymnologist and writer from within the Swiss Reformed Church, potentially speaks to and for countless church musicians, clergy, church leaders and members of congregations almost everywhere. To receive maximum benefit from the article some of the precise terms and situations may need adjusting. The noble expression "elite," or perhaps "expert," can be seen as something negative expressed by a congregation that feels left out by the church musician whose work is on a level where the congregation has difficulty finding its identity. The author reverses the application of the term "elite" from an abusive principle to a compliment that should eagerly be picked up by church musicians and challenge them to apply the indeed necessary elite training in a appropriate manner in their work within the church. Not everyone can be such a "called" person, and the church must certainly guard against misinterpreting "the priesthood of all believers."

Chapter Six Back to top
Church Music in the USA: Steps Toward Renewal of the Worship Service
by Vernon Wicker

The closing article in this section on liturgical renewal approaches the theme from the point of reference of an important re-discovery of several "roots" (initially for the American, but also potentially in various ways for others). These are culture, church life and church music. The categorization of basic views of liturgy in the USA, the vital place of liturgy in the life of the individual and congregation, and a many-sided approach to any worship experience lays the groundwork for dealing with typical problems and their sources. Finally, steps toward a successful renewal create the basis for examining the "fruit" of such a renewal: the production of the so-called religious affections which are closely related to the fruit of theSpirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Theme III­Hymns

Chapter One Back to top
Carols of the British Isles
by Alan Luff

The following overview of British carols by Alan Luff not only aids toward an understanding of that specific genre, but demonstrates an important example of folkmusic in hymnody.

Chapter Two Back to top
"Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott" ("Come, Holy Ghost, Lord and God").
Regarding the History of a Tune
by Konrad Ameln

Konrad Ameln's article is introduced here by means of the English summary by Alan Luff and Ada Kadelbach provided at the close of the original article in the Jahrbuch für Liturgik und Hymnologie.

Chapter Three Back to top
"Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen?" ("Ah, Holy Jesus, how has thou offended?") and its Sources
by Elke Axmacher

Elke Axmacher brings us to the renown Protestant Passion-hymn "Herliebster Jesu, was hast du verbochen?" ("Ah, Jesus, how has thou offended?"), presenting an exacting literary analysis and an informative theological perpective of the Passion-theological process relating to this text as it evolved from St. Augustine, to Martin Moller and further to Johann Heermann. Although the hymn in its fullest form is a spiritual treasure for the contemporary church, two of its fifteen stanzas are missing in the present German Protestant hymnal [EKG] and merely four are even typically included in most American hymnals. Regarding the English translation following the German text below, familiarity was considered before literal accuracy, therefore the opening stanzas are rendered in the well-known Bridges rendition used in many English-language hymnals and for most of the remaining strophes in Catherine Winkworth's version.

Chapter Four Back to top
"Kann uns doch kein Tod nicht töten" ("Now there is no death to harm us").
Paul Gerhardt's Final Words
by Christian Bunners

For many, Christian Bunners' article will be the introduction to one of Paul Gerhardt's most influential hymn stanzas, although the hymn, including its eighth strophe, is not to be found in any mainline American hymnal. (A problem which could be corrected!) The hymn clearly represents a strong unity of theology and personal piety. Last, but not least, Bach used it in his motet, "Fürchte dich nicht" ("Fear not") (BWV 228).

 

The Hymnology Annual
An International Forum on the Hymn and Worship
Volume Two
Back to top

Theme I­Congregational Singing Today, Part II

Chapter One Back to top
Sacred Sound and Meaning:
Theological Reflections on Music and Word in Christian Worship
by Richard Viladesau

Richard Viladesau constructively considers some of the historical and theological tensions between the established church and use of music in its worship of God. Coming from a Roman Catholic point of view, the author offers universally valid and valuable ways to perceive worship music.

Chapter Two Back to top
The Use and Performance of Hymnody, Spirituals, and Gospels
in the Black Church
by Portia K. Maultsby

Portia Maultsby traces the historical and practical development of singing and music making in Black churches in the United States and thereby not only provides a basis for understanding that tradition, but also reveals some elements which have influenced and are influencing many forms of music in the contemporary non-Black church in various denominations.

Chapter Three Back to top
What is a Good Hymn?
by Gerhard Aeschbacher

Gerhard Aeschbacher's printed lecture offers a thought-provoking, honest process toward establishing valid criteria for evaluating hymnody or any other pieces we might sing within a worship service. Clear discernment is needed, not only pertaining to the theological content of a text, but regarding the affective statement of any accompanying music.

Chapter Four Back to top
Art and Kitsch as a Problem of Hymnology
by Andreas Marti

Andreas Marti convincingly discusses the controversy between that which has aesthetic quality and that which is trivial,especially when viewing contemporary hymns and Christian songs. At the root of the problem lies the question of genuine communication and the value of that which is being communicated.

Theme II­The Psalms

Chapter One Back to top
The Psalms as Prayer
by Walter Brueggemann

Walter Brueggemann establishes a theologically sound basis for understanding and creatively using the Psalms as prayer. The exacting thought process demanded here leads us, the church, into a more profound interaction with God and thus accomplish a more effective ministry in the world.

Chapter Two Back to top
What Do We Do, When We Sing the Psalms?
by Alan Luff

Alan Luff candidly and constructively addresses some problems associated with various primary Psalm genres, such as metrical Psalms and chanted psalmody, as well as makes helpful suggestions for some of their solutions.

Chapter Three Back to top
The Huguenot Psalter
by Édith Weber

The following four articles by Édith Weber, Klaus Bäumlin and Emily Brink present historical background of the metrical Psalm as it evolved during John Calvin's movement, describe some of its unique musical, literary and theological qualities, and finally show some of its relevance in the worship context at present in Switzerland, France and America. The sequence begins with Édith Weber's brief encyclopedia entry on the Huguenot Psalter.

Chapter Four Back to top
The Melodies of the Huguenot Psalter from Their Origin to the Present
by Édith Weber

Édith Weber continues her deliberations on the metrical Psalm in her article on the historic development of the tunes from the Huguenot Psalter. Especially for French-speaking Protestants and many Reformed Christians everywhere, the metrical Psalm represents a strong symbol of unification.

Chapter Five Back to top
The Unreasonable Demand of the Genevan Psalms-
Remarks on a Forgotten Reformed Heritage
by Klaus Bäumlin

Klaus Bäumlin examines the roots of Genevan metrical Psalm singing and the musical, literary and strong theological demands they make especially upon the Reformed believer. Numerous examples illustrate the various aspects. The author further demonstrates the singability and relevance of these Psalms for the contemporary worshipper.

Chapter Six Back to top
Metrical Psalmody: ATale of the Traditions
by Emily Brink

Emily Brink tells the insightful story of metrical Psalm and hymn singing as she experienced it, growing up in the Christian Reformed tradition in North America. From the origination of the metrical Psalm tradition in English, there have been those pieces originally written in English and those translated into English from original Genevan versions. These two legacies have contrasting metrical beginnings, approaches to Psalm texts, and melodic traditions. And metrical Psalm singing is not only alive at present, but even increasing in its vitality and wide-spread use.

Chapter Seven Back to top
On Rhyming David in the North
by Arve Brunvoll

Arve Brunvoll briefly surveys metrical Psalms as they have been included in Norwegian Luheran hymnals, gives a practical example of psalmody as proposed for their new hymnal, and appraises the appropriate role of Psalms and metrical Psalms in Norwegian Lutheran worship.

Chapter Eight Back to top
Congregational Psalmody According to the Lutheran Tradition:
Spiritually, Musically, Liturgically
by Frieder Schulz

Frieder Schulz considers congregational psalmody in the Lutheran tradition from a theological, musical and liturgical perspective as it historically evolved in Europe. Current developments in Europe are examined and finally discussed as they are found in the Lutheran Book of Worship (Minneapolis, 1978).

Theme III­Hymns

Chapter One Back to top
Paul Gerhardt's Advent Hymn, "WIESOLL ICH DICH EMPFANGEN"
["Ah, Lord! How shall I meet thee"].
The Hymn and its Roots in Lutheran Theology
by Elke Axmacher

Elke Axmacher analyzes Paul Gerhardt's Advent hymn, "WIE SOLL ICH DICH EMPFANGEN" ("Ah, Lord, how shall I meet thee"), not only showing the strong personal piety and clear grounding in orthodox Lutheran theology, but also a vital current relevance.

Chapter Two Back to top
"...in heavenly peace...' Regarding the Christmas Carol
"Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht"
by Hans Musch

Hans Musch helps redeem the famous Christmas hymn, "STILLE NACHT, HEILIGE NACHT" ("Silent Night, Holy Night"), from its wide-spread commercialistic treatment. Not only is the origination of the piece clarified and the qualities which made it universally popular, but also the significance of the piece at present.

Chapter Three Back to top
The Huron Carol­ "JESOUS AHATONHIA"
by Hugh D. McKellar

Hugh McKellar offers a brief evolution of the Huron [native Canadian] carol, "JESOUS AHATONHIA" ["'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime"] and helps establish how little of the original carol is, in fact, present in most contemporary hymnals.

Chapter Four Back to top
The Date of Coverdale's "Goostly psalmes"
by Robin A. Leaver

Robin Leaver provides insight into the dating of a newly-discovered fragment of Miles Coverdale's Goostly psalmes and its significance as source for the earliest printed version of five famous Continental European Reformation hymntunes.

Chapter Five Back to top
A Newly-discovered Fragment of Coverdale's "Goostly psalmes''
by Robin A. Leaver

Robin Leaver gives further information about the important fragment of Miles Coverdale's Goostly psalmes, a British document which plays a notable role in the history of the Reformation hymn.

 

The Hymnology Annual
An International Forum on the Hymn and Worship
Volume Three
Back to top

Theme I­Congregational Singing, Part III

Chapter One Back to top
An Exploration of the Devotional Context
in which the Hymn and Worship-song Are Used
by Alan Luff

Alan Luff presents thought-provoking, constructive ideas regarding the meaning of the hymn and worship-song to Christians at various points along their pilgrimage, especially at stages after any initial enthusiasm, that is, during the everyday life in faith.

Chapter Two Back to top
Beyond 'Alternative' and 'Traditional' Worship
by Paul Westermeyer

Paul Westermeyer challenges the church, regardless of musical taste trends, to move with purpose to the venerated objectives for the worship service. After posing some questions, the author suggests seven characteristics upon which to concentrate, rather than upon the debate between traditional and alternative forms of worship.

Chapter Three Back to top
Music and the Liturgy
by Raymond Warren

Appropriate use of music in liturgy is dealt with by Raymond Warren. Not only an appropriate juxtaposition of text and tune is thoughtfully considered, but also matters relating to areas such as structure, flow, accent, climax, shape, duration and affect.

Chapter Four Back to top
The Language of Hymns: Some Contemporary Problems
by J. R. Watson

J. R. Watson deals with current trends and views in the struggle and process toward appropriate, dynamic language for hymns in English. Although the article was written from a British perspective, the principles addressed here are nearly universal at present. Excellent examples from numerous sources well-document the author's thoughts. The list of acknowledgments serves in part as a helpful list of publications and publishers of new hymns.

Chapter Five Back to top
Contemporary Issues in Inculturation, Arts and Liturgy: Music
by I-to Loh

Dr. I-to Loh addresses pertinent concerns regarding the relevance and integrity of hymns and liturgy within a given culture. As in his article in Volume I of the Hymnolgy Annual , the author is attempting here to help Asian cultures arrive at inculturated texts and musical forms in hymns, even when translated from Western sources. Such hymns would then be accessible and appropriate for them and ones with which they could identify. Recordings and scores of the examples are available from the Asian Insitute for Liturgy and Music, P. O. Box 3167, 1099 Manila, Philippines.

Chapter Six Back to top
Spanish American Hymnody: A Global Perspective
by Pablo Sosa

Pablo Sosa presents a brief history of hymns and hymn singing in Latin America, as it developed in Spain in the early centuries of Christianity, came to the New World during the 16th century, and experienced an essential rejuvenation under the Second Vatican Council. The author then examines the meaning of this singing in a theologically liberal interpretation of the ecumenical as propagated by the World Council of Churches.

Chapter Seven Back to top
Swedish Tradition in Swedish American Hymnals and Songbooks
by Gracia Grindal

A history of hymnals and songbooks, and therefore the singing, of Swedish Lutherans, first in Sweden, then in the United States, is thoughtfully presented by Gracia Grindal. There is not only concern for tradition gained, but also for tradition lost, along the way, from the Reformation to the present, in particular in the tension between the mainline church (the Swedish Augustana Synod) and Pietism.

Theme II­The Hymn and Composers

Chapter One Back to top
Johann Sebastian Bach and the Protestant Hymn in His Time
by Walter Blankenburg

The following two entries belong together: the article by the late Walter Blankenburg and a response to that article by Robin A. Leaver. Dr. Blankenburg helps the reader see parts of the context in which the hymn and the soloistic aria were used in Bach's situation and works. Although these deliberations are worthy, a necessary part of those considerations was overlooked and therefore is presented here in the form of a helpful response by Robin A. Leaver.

Chapter Three Back to top
Bach, Handel and the Use of the Hymn in Their Vocal Works
by Vernon Wicker

In the minds of many, the role of the Reformation hymn in the works of German baroque composers is not a question but a given. But by comparing that role in the vocal works of Bach and Handel, one is able to see more of the context necessary for a broader understanding of reasons or criteria for the inclusion or exclusion of the hymn in specific cases. At least some of these cases have to do with the personal faith of the composer writing the music. Vernon Wicker's deliberations also include some rather unexpected examples from solo vocal music.

Chapter Four Back to top
Hugo Distler and the Awakening of Church Music
by Gerhard Kappner

Gerhard Kappner discusses the little-known giant of German Lutheran church music from the second quarter of the Twentieth Century: Hugo Distler. His remarkable musicality, liturgical sensitivity and spiritual insight are dealt with in his process of relating to the rich tradition of congregational and choral singing and music making. He created something new and relevant, both challenging for the musically capable, as well as accessible for the amateur. The important role of the organ and organ building is a part of the process. Helpful information regarding Distler's compostional models are given in quotes from friends, teachers and his own writings. Hugo Distler made a significant contribution to church music and the hymn in his time and represents a worthy discovery in ours.

Chapter Five Back to top
Hymntunes as Themes in Mendelssohn's Works
by Gerhard Schumacher

The role of the chorale in various themes in works by Felix Mendelsssohn Bartholdy is considered by Gerhard Schumacher. After a brief overview of more recent research of the compositions and life of the great composer, along with some pertinent quotes by Mendelssohn and various scholars over the years, several well-known works, both sacred and secular, are examined regarding inclusion or suspected inclusion of chorales. There are some cases, of course, where the particular hymntune cannot be accurately identified. The chorale-variation form is measured against classic forms such as the sonata and the rondo. Finally, the author especially challenges hymnologists to help solve the open questions regarding identification of sources of hymnological and church musical influences in Mendelssohn's works.

Theme III­Specific Hymns and Genres

Chapter One Back to top
Martin Luther's Hymn "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott"
("A Mighty Fortress is our God") and Psalm 46
by Inge Mager

Inge Mager presents the reader with a thorough historical and theological treatment of Martin Luther's famous hymn: "Ein fest Burg ist unser Gott," showing its relationship to Psalm 46.

Chapter Two Back to top
"Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten" ("If thou but suffer God to guide thee")
by Gottfried Gille

Gottfried Gille presents a way of connecting a given hymn with the biography of the hymnwriter. In this case he employs Georg Neumark's classic hymn of faith and courage in the face of personal danger and difficulty as his model: "Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten" ("If thou but suffer God to guide thee"). The author's practical approach comes to us by way of Christian education and confirmation materials during the time of Socialist East Germany.

Chapter Three Back to top
Gregorian Chant in Our Time
by Philipp Harnoncourt

Philipp Harnoncourt helps the reader understand the purpose and significance of Gregorian chant during our present period following the Second Vatican Council, in the Roman Catholic Church and elsewhere; in the Latin original as well when its principles are simply applied to a "Gregorian chant" in non-Latin languages. The German examples referred to at various places in the following article are also valid for other vernacular contexts.

Chapter Four Back to top
Biblical Text and Metaphor in Charles Wesley's Hymns
by J. R. Watson

J. R. Watson sheds light upon Charles Wesley's honest struggle in his countless hymns to express the inexpressible dimensions of his spiritual experience. Insight is accomplished by way of examining Wesley's particular use of scripture and the metaphor.

 

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