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  1. #1
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    18th October 09
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    Bagpipe Hymn a Day

    Many years ago I did a deep dive into Hymnody.

    I collected as many Hymnals from as many denominations as I could.

    Then in my Rain-Man-like way I started going through the indexes and seeing which Hymn tunes were the most common, the most widespread across the most denominations.

    I ranked these Hymn tunes in order of commonness and began arranging them for the Highland bagpipes.

    Then after I had a ranked list of the Hymn tunes I began gathering all the various Hymns which used these tunes.

    For those that don't know, with the older traditional Hymns the Hymns (texts) and the tunes floated somewhat independently. For example the Hymn Amazing Grace was written as a text only, like a poem, and was entirely tuneless. Later, to sing it, people paired Amazing Grace with a number of traditional Hymn tunes. It so happens that one of those tunes, NEW BRITAIN, has in the 20th century become the most popular. But it wasn't always so.

    (It's customary to write tune names in all capital letters, I don't know why.)

    I was thinking about publishing my collection but instead I'm putting the whole thing up on Youtube as "A Bagpipe Hymn A Day". I'm presenting them in the order of commonness.

    Here's Day One, HYFRYDOL, the most widespread Hymn tune. I don't think I've come across a single Hymnal that doesn't have that tune.

    Not that the various denominations sing the same Hymn to it! Far from it: I've come across 13 different Hymns that give HYFRYDOL as the tune, across my various Hymnals.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wx4D5KlCQEM&t=85s

    I give the titles of all 13 Hymns in the comments, and ask people who have other Hymns using HYFRYDOL in their own Hymnals to add those in the comments.

    I've been plugging along, today I recorded the 6th and 7th tunes, which will go up over the next couple days.

    These videos aren't monetized. I'm hoping that pipers might gain some benefit from them.

    In tandem with the Youtube videos I created a Facebook page Bagpipe Hymn A Day where I post the videos and also the sheet music to each tune.
    Last edited by OC Richard; 25th July 20 at 04:21 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  2. The Following 7 Users say 'Aye' to OC Richard For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
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    What a marvellous and generous contribution. I shall be a frequent listener, Richard. Thank you!
    Rev'd Father Bill White: Retired Parish Priest & Elementary Headmaster, lover of God, people (most of them!) dogs, joy, humour & clarity. Legion Padre, theologian, teacher, philosopher, linguist, dreamer, traditionalist, bon-vivant, encourager of hearts & souls & a firm believer in dignity, decency, & duty. A proud Canadian Sinclair.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    18th October 09
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    You're welcome!

    Please, if you know any other Hymns using any of those tunes let me know and I'll add them.

    And also...to any and all Church people...if you have a tattered old Hymnal that's too shabby to use I would love to add it to my collection, to add the Hymns contained in it to my "database". (Though only if it's a Hymnal not already in my collection.)

    Ministers, Priests, choir directors, liturgists and others have been incredibly generous over the years! And thus my collection has grown. My hope is that their help will bear fruit.

    I have the well-known 1982 Episcopal Hymnal, which is a wonderful thing.

    For purposes of gathering data the easiest denominations are those who have a committee that creates that denomination's one-and-only official Hymnal.

    Nondenominational churches which don't have Hymnals, that project the music up on screens, are impossible for me to tabulate.

    In the middle, between those extremes, is the Catholic church. It might surprise people that the Catholic church (of which I'm a member) doesn't have an official Hymnal, nor a committee to create such a thing. Rather, the Catholic church allows laissez-faire capitalism. Anyone can publish as many different "Catholic Hymnals" as they please, and any Parish can buy whatever hymnal they want. I know of three publishers that each publish a half-dozen different "Catholic Hymnals".

    Which means that I would have to beg, borrow, or buy 20 Hymnals to get some sort of handle on the Catholic Hymn situation.

    (It makes sense when you appreciate that there are entirely Spanish-speaking parishes and Vietnamese-speaking parishes and Tagalog-speaking parishes...and that's just in Southern California!)
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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