Hymn: "Lift up your hearts!" - Tune: ST. PHILOMENA (Charles H. Giffen)
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,650
    Note (2018-02-13): The score and sound file given here are now obsolete, and new, better ones are posted lower down.

    Here is my new hymn tune St. Philomena (10 10. 10 10), with text by H. M. Butler ("Lift up your hearts!" We lift them, Lord, to Thee). The tune and harmonization are in pure Lydian mode (D major, with every instance of the fourth scale degree a G-sharp instead of the usual G-natural).

    The hymn text originally seems to have had seven stanzas. It appears with four stanzas in The Hymnal 1940 at # 482, which is the text I use; however, I have added a final doxological stanza of my own (for a total of five stanzas), which, with its musical references, serves (among other things) to remind me how much I regretted having to miss this year's Colloquium (in the Twin Cities, just 20-25 miles away from my home).

    In addition to the four-part pure Lydian harmonization, there are also two descants. In the accompanying sound file, the second descant is "sung" during the second stanza, the first descant is "sung" during the third stanza, and both descants are "sung" simultaneously in the fifth stanza. The fourth stanza is "sung" a cappella. Also, the hymn tune is played through once at the beginning by organ alone.

    Comments/reactions are welcome.
  • I need to play this to really get it but one tiny point - "we lift THEM up" end of V.1. It is just what I would do!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,650
    When I posted "Lift up your hearts!"/St. Philomena on Facebook three weeks ago, Taylor Harvey responded almost immediately with a Youtube organ performance he made. The introduction and interludes between stanzas are his own. The tune is played three times, the first as written, the second with the Alto line played as a descant on the pedals, and the third time with Taylor's own improvisation. Enjoy!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swdJveav_Yw
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • I really like the melody. If the intent was to explore the possibilities of the Lydian mode, however, I think there is room to rework some of the harmony. Every time the fourth scale degree appears, (with the exception of s.4 m.2) it appears against a D resolving to C#, or at least references the A major V chord. It reads aurally as dominant function. The passing tone in the alto voice of s.4.m2 is the only raised fourth degree which unapologetically resolves into a tonic chord. Perhaps you could make more use of a true II chord, rather than V/V?

    Minor note: in s.1 m.4 b.4, it may create melodic confusion as the alto takes up the D sung in b.3 by the soprano.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,650
    Here are are the score and sound files for the revision of this harmonization. I think they are rather better than the original. Enjoy!

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