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1. As this work is designed for families, for social meetings, and for the lecture-room, as well as for the great congregation, so the music has been selected with reference to all these wants. But the tunes are chiefly for Congregational Singing. We have gathered up whatever we could find of merit, in old or new music, that seemed fitted for this end. Not the least excellent are the popular revival melodies, which, though often excluded from classic collections of music, have never been driven out from among the people. These have been gathered up, fitly arranged, and having already performed most excellent service, they are now sent forth with the best of all testimonials—the affection and admiration of thousands who have experienced their inspiration. Because they are homebred and popular, rather than foreign and stately, we like them none the less. And we can not doubt that many of them will carry up to heaven the devout fervor of God's people until the millennial day!
2. Congregational singing will never become general and permanent, until the churches employ tunes which have melodies that cling to the memory and touch the feelings or the imagination.
Music is not simply a vehicle for carrying a hymn. It is something in itself. No tune is fit to be sung to a hymn which would not be pleasant, in itself, without any words. Any other view of the function of music, if it shall prevail, will in the end bring music to such a tame and tasteless state that a reaction will be inevitable, and the public mind will go to the opposite extreme. Thus, those who are conscientiously anxious to make music a means of religious feeling, will, by an injudicious method, produce by and by the very mischief which they sought to cure.
A corruption of hymns will not be more fatal to public worship than will be a corruption of music. And any theory that denies to church music a power upon the imagination and the feelings, as music, and makes it a mere servile attendant upon words, will carry certain mischief upon its path, and put back indefinitely the cause of church music.
The tunes which burden our modern books, in hundreds and thousands, utterly devoid of character, without meaning or substance, may be sung a hundred times, and not a person in the congregation will remember them. There is nothing to remember. They are the very emptiness of fluent noise. But let a true tune be sung, and every person of sensibility, every person of feeling, every child even, is aroused and touched. The melody clings to them. On the way home snatches of it will be heard on this side and on that; and when, the next Sabbath, the
same song is heard, one and another of the people fall in, and the volume grows with each verse, until at length the song, breaking forth as a manyrilled stream from the hills, grows deeper and flows on, broad as a mighty river! Such tunes are never forgotten. They cling to us through our whole life. We carry them with us upon our journey. We sing them in the forest. The workman follows the plow with sacred songs. Children catch them, and singing only for the joy it gives them now, are yet laying up for all their life food of the sweetest joy. Such tunes give new harmony and sweetness even to the hymns which float upon their current. And when some celestial hymn of Wesley, or of the scarcely less than inspired Watts, is wafted upon such music, the soul is lifted up above all its ailments, and rises into the very presence of God, with joys no longer unspeakable, though full of glory!
In selecting music, we should not allow any fastidiousness of taste to set aside the lessons of experience. A tune which has always interested a congregation, which inspires the young, and lends to enthusiasm a fit expression, ought not to be set aside because it does not follow the reigning fashion, or conform to the whims of technical science. There is such a thing as Pharasaism in music. Tunes may be very faulty in structure, and yet convey a full-hearted current that will sweep out of the way the worthless, heartless' trash which has no merit except a literal correctness. And when, upon trial, a tune is found to do good work, it should be used for what it does, and can do.
3. We do not think that Congregational Singing will ever prevail with power, until Pastors of Churches appreciate its importance, and universally labor to secure it. If ministers regard singing as but a decorous kind of amusement, pleasantly relieving or separating the more solemn acts of worship, it will always be degraded. The pastor, in many cases, in small rural churches may be himself the leader. In larger societies, where a musical director is employed, the pastor should still be the animating center of the music, encouraging the people to take part in it, keeping before them their duty, and their benefit in participating in this most delightful part of public worship.
It is a very general impression that the pastor is to teach and to pray, but another man is to sing. Music is farmed out, and the unity of public services is marred by two systems of exercises conducted by different persons, and oftentimes without concord or sympathy with each other, and sometimes even with such contrariety that the organ and the choir effectually neutralize the pulpit. While it may not be needful that the pastor should perform the part of a musical leader, yet it is certain that there will not be a spirit of song, in the whole congregation, if he is himself indifferent to it,
and the first step toward Congregational Singing must be in the direction of the ministry.
The musical department of this work has been under the joint care of Mr. John Zundel, and Rev. Charles Beecher. But by far the greatest part of the labor has devolved upon the latter gentleman, to whose diligence and enthusiasm the Christian public will be greatly indebted for the adaptation of words, and the arrangements and harmonies of the music.
Our task, which has occupied much time during a period of four years, is now concluded. We shall be disappointed if the judgment of the Christian churches shall set aside this collection, as adding nothing to those which have gone before. But even then we shall not regret our task. It has rewarded us at every step. Should it only prepare the way for another and better work, promotive of Congregational Singing, we shall rejoice to have wrought as a pioneer.
HENRY WARD BEECHER. BROOKLYN, N. Y., August 10, 1855.
GENERAL INDEX OF TUNES.
430 285 38
200 838 292 428 439
A. Acacia Advent.. Agate. Alabaster. All Saints All's Well Amaland.. Amazing Grace. Amelia Amber America Amethyst Amsterdam. Andover Anemone Angel's Call Angel's Visit Antigua. Antioch Arcadia Arnheim Arnon Aurora.. Autumn. Avon Axminster.. Azrael
Golden Hill. 78
Golden Shore. 207
869 231 890 886 144 862
143 250 218
71 76 150 407 253 333 216
B. Baden Balerma Balmy Dew. Baltic. Baptismal Chant Barby Baron. Bartimeus Basil. Bavaria Bdelliun Beethoven.. Brhold the Lamb.. Benevento Bennet. Beryl. Bethesda. Birmingham. Bladenburg Blendon Bolton Bowdoin. Boylston Bradford.. Bremen Brentford Bridgeport Bristol Brooklyn Brown Bruce. Burlington Burns..
C. 338 Cambridge 125 Canaan 90 Carmel 260 Carnelian. 297 Caspian 873 Cedron
64 Chalcedony 180 Charity 154 Chesterfield 136 Child of Sin and Sorrow.. 813 | Child's Prayer. 102 China 370 Christian Victor 66 Christmas 365 Christmas Eve 108 Christus Consolator. 365 Chrome 805 Chrysolite. 63 Clarendon. 246 Clifford 84 Come Home.. 130 Come ye Disconsolato
29 Come ye Sinners.. 374 Conrad 254 Coral 853 Cornet 844 Coronation ..
Cromwell. 183 Cross and Crown 133 Crucifix. 99 Crusader's Ilymn. 120 Cuba 295 Cuyler 3.54 263
D. 204 Dalston 869 Darien 441 Darwell. 129 David.
4 Dawn. 79 Daybreak. 146 Dedham.
63 De Call.. 276 | Devizos.
50 Diamond. 898 Dies Ir. 822 Dort 296 Dover 183 Dresden 235 Duke Street
31 Dunbar. 175 Dundee 202 Dunlapscreek.
73 Dunstan 413 840
Hail to the Brightness.
287 Herald Angels,
36 232 129 223 413 73 86 62 113 178 400 406 252 408 201 293
91 825 268
404 122 429
26 242 198 327 489 488 298 442
128 / Oriel
J. Jacinth Jacksonville. Judah's Captive.. Judgment..
K. Kalkbrenner.. Kenaz . Kingsley. Kir
L. Lafon Lanesboro Lansingburgh. Latter Day Lead thou me on. Lebanon.. Leipzig Lenox Leyden. Lischer Loro Loving Kindness. Lucas Lucius Lyons
40 St. Thomas
T. 190 Tallis' Evening Hymn..
Tappan.. 109 Thatcher. 405 ! The Chariot 51 The Happy Land... 166 The Last Beam.. 89 | The Lord is Great. 23 | The Silent Land, Chant. 892 To-day the Saviour Calls 119 Topaz 261 Triumph. 302 Turner 319 | Twilight..
U. 176 Urmund
V. Vanhall's Hymn. 277 Vesper.. 214 Violet 410 Vision 234 104
416 115 412 152 121 410 437
49 356 128 142
35 224 264
301 117 160
880 443 372
Oriole 324 Ortonville 871 878
P. 89 Paddington
Park Street. 863
Pilesgrove 284 Pilgrim's Farewell. 312
Pleading Saviour.. 280
Pleyell's Hymn. 196
Portuguese Iymn. 212
Praise 868 172
Q. 444 Quito... 49
Rest 887 Resurgam. 281 Retreat.. 427 Return.
SO Requiem.. 250 Rhine 426 Rilda 75 Rock of Ages 112 Romaine. 829 Rose..
8 Rosefield. 806 Rothwell. 803 Ruby
Schiller. 308 Scotland 182
Shepherd's Call. 407 Shirland
M. Madison Magdalen Manning Manoah Mara. Marlow. Mary at tho Cross, Chant. Martyn May Mear. Medina.. Mendon. Meriden Metropolis Milton Missionary Chant. Missionary Hymn. Monmouth Montgomery Morning Star. Mory Moscow Mother's Lament Moyle Mt. Blanc.
29 Wells. 879 Wesley. 192 Westmoreland 219 What is Life. 159 Whitfield 123 | Whittier
12 Williams. 279 Willis. 892 Willow 856 Willowby 294 Will you go?
2 Wilmot 424 | Wimborne 367 Windham. 179 Woodland.. 226 127 81 York.. 44 | Youth. 46 233
89 326 227 126 277 311 316 208
96 807 895 334 323
74 206 867 271 194 885
N. Nearer to Thee. Nebo.... Newburgh. Newbury Newcourt Newell Night Thought.. Nile Nina. Norfolk Northampton Norwich Nottingham. Nuremburg
Sigourney 283 'Silent Land 382 Silver Street., 114 Somerville 436 Southport.. 829 Spanish Hymn. 860 St. Ann's. 414 State Street. 109 Stella 434 Stephens.
24 Sterling. 420 Sternhold 431 Stillwater
32 St. John's 831 Stonefield
34 Zephyr.. 417 | Zion...
59 184 248