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"Jesus" in the first and the last verses. tune corrects this, while the old tune remains in the Hymnal as optional. There are still instances in which the tune is ill-suited to the accents in the poetry, sometimes unavoidably owing to the irregular accent of the poetry. For example, "Shawmut” (265) throughout the tune accents the first syllable of each line, to which it is sung. But in reading the hymn one would hardly accent "with” and “a,” as the melody now compels us to do three times to each word.
Some critics of the new Hymnal have expressed surprise that a new tune besides the old “Antioch” should be added to the words, “Joy to the world.” But they would wonder less if they would sing the “wonder” of the last line of the hymn to the old tune with this ludicrous effect:
“And won—and wonders of his love."
The new tune metrically fits the words, as the old tune does not. The new tune to the words, "Just as I am, without one plea,” also fits the words, as the old does not, and besides possesses a dignity and real musical merit, which was conspicuously lacking in "Woodworth.” The sacred name "Jesus” occurs as the first word in sixty-seven different verses in the Hymnal; but in nineteen of these the music makes it necessary to accent the second syllable, as well as in nine other places, where the name is
sung. In one hymn (222) this occurs three times. Likewise "Father" is accented on the ultimate too
many times. Sometimes the sense suffers from this mispronunciation, as in singing "Welcome, delightful morn,” to the tune Lischer (67) one must exclaim, “Well, come!” as though the wished-for day had not yet arrived, and were still in the future tense of that other hymn, "Well, the delightful day will come” (540).
It is curious that the Preface of the 1878 Hymnal, and also of the present Hymnal, both refer to the union of words and music as a "marriage," and still more curious that both Prefaces speak also of the "divorce” of words and music. Some hymnal marriages truly seem to have been made in heaven. We cannot speak thus of all of our Methodist hymns, though many of them seem to have been inspired in the union of words and music. But of the Hymnal as a whole, and of the appropriate joining of melodies and poems, we may truly say that it is in violent contrast to the work of the haphazard matrimonial agencies that carelessly assemble certain communities of tunes and verses and boldly call them hymn books.
THE FORMAL ELEMENTS OF THE MUSIC
THE KEYSVOCAL RANGE-UNIT FORMS—REPETITION AND
THE Methodist Hymnal affords the student of music an opportunity to observe practically all of the simple elements of melody, harmony, and form; and a critical analysis of the hymn tune, the smallest complete musical form, can be made very profitable as an elementary study.
In reading a piece of music the first thing to be observed is the signature, or the number of sharps and flats immediately following the clef sign, denoting the particular key in which the music is written. Although thirteen different keys are available in music, each one of our hymn tunes begins in one of ten keys, no more than four sharps or five flats being used as a signature; and each of our tunes ends in the same key in which it began, except a few tunes beginning in the minor mode, that end in the major.
The following table shows the number of tunes written in each key in the two great Methodist collections on both sides of the Atlantic:
METHODIST HYMN BOOK (Great Britain)
213 156 134. 121 94 84 83 71 69 9
Investigations in the field of musical æsthetics have led to the acceptance of the law that the several keys are respectively adapted to express certain emotions peculiar to their own nature. Emil Pauer declares that “the key in music is what color is in painting,” a fact recognized by Plato and Aristotle. Thus, he finds that the key of C major best expresses innocence, resolve, manly, earnest, and deep religious feeling; F major reflects peace, joy, religious sentiment, or passing regret; G major reveals sincere faith, quiet love, calm meditation, simple grace, or brightness; D major proclaims majesty, grandeur pomp; A major voices confidence, loving hope, simple cheerfulness; E major tells of joy, magnificence, splendor; Ab major is full of sentiment, dreamy expression; Ebmajor gives great variety from solemnity and courage to brilliance and dignity; Bb major is the key of open frankness, clear brightness, quiet contemplation. For this theory in æsthetics psychology has never given a satisfactory reason. Certain experiments tend to disprove that this difference in the tone-color of the
keys is produced by absolute pitch, while, on the other hand, the tempered scale should leave no differences between scales, save that of pitch. But the fact remains that in the various keys a difference of emotional adaptability exists, and is recognized by nearly all true musicians. The best composers observe this principle in their work. Our hymn tunes illustrate in many instances a psychological nicety in the choice of keys.
Some composers, however, have utterly disregarded the fitness of the keys to the emotional intent of their hymns, while some tunes, as they have run the gantlet of successive editors, have been frequently changed from their original keys. Every melody must be brought within the range of the average soprano; for when it soars too high it is unfitted for congregational singing. Frequently this change from the composer's original key mars the tone-color of the tune.
Several tunes in the old Hymnals, North and South, have been changed as to their key in the new Hymnal. Some tunes appear in the new Hymnal in two different keys, as, for instance, “Regent Square,” sung to hymns 113 and 169 in the key of C, which is emotionally preferable, and to hymns 25 and 662 in the key of Bb, which is more comfortable for timid sopranos.
Between the Methodist Hymnal and the Methodist Hymn Book of England there is a difference in the choice of key for the same tune in about forty instances. In four fifths of these differences the