March 17, 2009

Two popular hymn-related, on-line sources

If you spend as much time doing hymnological things as I do you have undoubtedly run into two of the sites that will give running loops of music examples. For any hymntune you search and which these sites find you may immediately hear a digital playing of a 4-part (SATB, hymnbook-style) version.

One is The Oremus Hymnal at which is being migrated to WIKI format at

The other site is Cyber Hymnal (now known as NetHymnal) at

These two sites are very helpful with biographical information on authors and composers. There was the "annoying" part of the constantly looping hymntune playback at less-than-human expression and often with full tremulants.

If you are looking for source materials you will probably find them here.

March 13, 2009

Hymn resource

One of the best sources for hymnological study is the Calvin Hymnary Project

I use it every day to find texts, tunes, authors, composers, hymnals, meters . . . it's all there . . . like having a stack of hymnals and encyclopedias at my desk. I still do have a stack of hymnals that I'm using all the time . . . 18 at last count.

March 10, 2009

Singing to Live

Since April 2008 my daily "diet" has been psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. That was the month and year I began the consuming task of "engraving" over 400 songs for our proposed church hymnal.

As a school teacher there was no three-month summer vacation in 2008. The days were often twelve or even fourteen hours sitting at the computer inputting music. In fact, I worked on the project every day of Christmas vacation (even on the Chicago - Los Angeles - Chicago flights to visit family).

So why do I submit to this "torture" (as my chiropractor calls it)? Because I believe in congregational song and will give what I can to encourage its survival.