Monthly Archives: August 2013

Singing with Understanding – Part 4 “The Hymn and Scripture”

music note small“I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the understanding also.”    I Corinthians 14:15

Scripture is the basic raw material for most good hymns.  A hymn cannot be useful unless it relates closely to the revealed truth about God and God’s mighty acts.

Though the Psalms are the natural and most used source of their inspiration (note the many settings of the 23rd Psalm), hymn writers have also turned to the Old and New Testaments.  The anonymous author of “How Firm a Foundation” (Hymn 361) quotes almost literally verses from Isaiah the prophet: Continue reading

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SINGING WITH UNDERSTANDING – PART 3 THE HYMN AND MUSIC

“I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the understanding also.” I Corinthians 14:15
To become a congregational song, a hymn text – or poem – must be set to music, known as a hymn tune. The appropriate joining of text and tune is important if the hymn is to be memorable and singable. You will recognize several types of hymn tunes.
PENTATONIC: Using the 5-note pentatonic scale, often found in folk music and music of Africa and Asia, pentatonic tunes include the popular “Amazing Grace,” “Jesus Loves Me,” and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus .” Children and youth as well as adults find this kind of singing fun and easy.
PLAINSONG: With roots in the Middle Ages, plainsong is distinctive for its flexible rhythm and chant. Probably the most familiar is “O Come, O Come, Immanuel.” Continue reading
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