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Craft of composing hymn tunes

Hymn tunes are little things that are not regarded as having much value. [Yet] they symbolize and relate deeply, however, to big things, well beyond the obvious musical ones . . . .(Paul Westermeyer, 2005) Congregational song has the power to forge community identity, enliven the congregation, and provide an experiential encounter with the intangible character of God. It fulfills this task by its ability to transcend the cerebral to embody the emotive. To this end, tunes have a significant role to play. This essay focuses on the aesthetics and practical dimension of creating and assessing hymn tunes. For a constructive approach to composing hymn tunes see John Wilson*’s essay ‘Looking at...

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