Friday, May 07, 2004

Singing and Hymns

Since most of the questions I field are directional--where's the nearest phone, restroom, pencil sharpener, it's refreshing to have a truly challenging question such as "Can you tell me whose initials these are?" Turns out the person was searching for authors of lyrics in older hymnals.

Unfortunately, he had not written down the title of the hymn. Fortunately, he had the hymnal with him and was willing to peruse it for me. Unfortunately, this didn't always help. Fortunately, we were able to use two resources to identify possibilities.

For Print we turned to the Hymn Tune Index and Related Hymn Materials (Scarecrow, 1998)--a three volume work probably the most comprehensive of reference materials for hymnody. However, itt wasn't always good at giving complete names for the lyrics. (Amazing how many songs are written by A. Nonymous!)
For electronic resources we used as it indexes 4,600 hymns and gospel songs with new songs being added daily. You can also listen to the song (music only)

Now, here's the important part : both request your help to identify errors. So--if you are an "expert" in your denominations' hymns or a particular writer has been your favorite, check these two out and make my life a little easier!

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