Wednesday, January 6, 2016

23 Hymn-Tune Harmonizations

So here are 23 hymn-tune harmonizations that I plan to include in the expanded edition of my "Useful Hymns." All of the tunes were harmonized by yours truly. Most of the tunes were composed by me for hymn texts that I wrote. A couple of them were composed by me for other hymn writers' work (though perhaps later re-used with a sacred poem of my own). Four of the tunes, as will be noted below, were written by other composers - three for hymns I had written and shared with my friends in a hymn-writers' Facebook group, and one for a hymn by the composer himself for which I also wrote an original tune; I arranged the harmony for all four. And in one instance, I rediscovered a harmonization I wrote years ago for an old chorale and rolled it out for a new purpose. So here goes, with brief remarks where needed...

Joeline Mayes, the mother of two of my musical colleagues from my golden seminary days, was so pleased with the "Agriculture Hymn" I posted on the group that she volunteered two fully harmonized hymn tunes for me to choose from. This is my arrangement of her second tune for the hymn, which I was honored to receive.

I composed this tune for a hymn by Alan Kornacki, Jr. I later wrote a hymn with this tune in mind.

Matthew Carver, the prolific translator of Latin and German hymns who is responsible for such books as "Walther's Hymnal," wrote this tune to go with his own hymn inspired by a sermon by the Rev. Rick Stuckwisch of South Bend, Ind., on the parable of the house built on the rock. The only reason this hymn has anything to do with me is that I also wrote a tune for the hymn, on the writing of which I gave Matthew a good deal of probably unhelpful advice; see STUCKWISCH below.

This is the tune I composed for my "Disaster Hymn."

I wrote this tune for my own hymn on the Circumcision and Naming of Jesus.

This is the tune I wrote for my "Elijah Hymn."

Here is the tune I wrote for this hymn, depicting the miracle in which Jesus said the Aramaic word referenced in the title. It means "Be opened!"

Matthew Carver did me the honor of composing this tune, a pious forgery of a chorale from the 16th century Bohemian Brethren school, for a hymn I wrote on the Parable of the Sower.

This is the tune I wrote for my "Creation Hymn."

Here is a tune I wrote for this hymn on Jesus' discourse about taking the lowest place at the table.

I wrote this tune for my "Judica Hymn," for the Fifth Sunday in Lent.

This harmonization goes back a few years. It surfaced when someone started a discussion of the tune in a Facebook hymn-writers' group. I midified it to share with the group, then decided to cast it against type as the tune for my own "Jubilate Hymn," for the third Sunday after Easter.

I composed this tune to go with my "Worry Hymn."

I wrote this tune for my "Oculi Hymn," apropos the Third Sunday in Lent.

I composed this tune for this hymn, in which Jesus calls his disciples "you of little faith."

I originally wrote this tune to go with a baptism hymn by my fellow hymn-writer David Rosenkoetter. I later reused it with a hymn I wrote on Jesus' healing of a paralytic.

This tune goes with my "Hymn for a Replenished Prayer Life."

I wrote this tune for a hymn on the Fourth Sunday in Advent, after my church composer friend Tom Lock bullied me into admitting that the opening line "Drop down, drop down you heavens" cried out for a descending phrase shape, whereas no existing tune in that meter, to my knowledge, had that contour.

I wrote this tune for a hymn by Matthew Carver that began with the words "Spirit of Christ, once hovering." I later repurposed it to go with this hymn I wrote on the story of the Pharisee and the publican.

Here is my alternate tune for Matthew Carver's hymn on the house built on the rock, named after the pastor whose sermon inspired the text. Strangely enough, I have not yet written any original verses to fit with this tune.

This tune came about when I wrote a hymn for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.

For my "Baptismal Birthday Song," I thought it would be clever to turn the well-known birthday-song upside down. Here is the result - one of at least three hymn tunes I have written as a musical joke.

The same "Sower Hymn" for which Matthew Carver composed EYN SAEMANN elicited this original composition by yours truly.

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