Cambridge Hymnal

Cambridge Hymnal (1967). This hymnal, published in 1967, was the work of David Holbrook* (1923-2011) as literary editor and Elizabeth Poston* as music editor. It originated in discussions between Holbrook (tutor at Bassingbourn Village College, Cambridgeshire, 1954-61, Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, 1961-65) and local teachers, concerning the quality of hymns used at morning assemblies in English schools. Holbrook argued that ‘little or no attention was paid to the meaning of what was sung’, and that ‘children half-heartedly uttered an unpleasant meaningless sound — and then went off to study poetry and music’ (Preface, p. v). The new book aimed ‘to put a new face on the English...

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