First hymn tune
  • My first real stab at a hymn, to John Henry Newman's paraphrase of Isaiah 64.
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  • MarkS
    Posts: 207
    Quite nice! I had just one thought—in the beginning of the first verse I feel it would be nice if 'Thou' fell on an accented beat, so, for instance, the second word 'that' could extend over the last two beats of the first measure, moving 'Thou' to the downbeat of the second measure, and 'would'st' could fall on the second beat. What do you think?
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,171
    Very nice. One thing I would consider is lowering the treble of the cadences in bars 6, 12, and 18 by a step. So, instead of "the (fga) sons (g) of (f) men(e-flat)", you'd have "The(fga) sons (f) of (e-flat) men (e-flat): the 3 lower voices would remain as written, creating a nice Handelien moment.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,171
    I just played through this a few times. This is a very lovely tune, and I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.

    The V/vi works in the penultimate bar (because of the modulations), but not so much in bars 5 and 11--there a standard E-flat chord seems to sit better.
  • Some edits.
    130K
    Thanked by 1Salieri
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,171
    Well done! This is a really lovely tune. It's rather stately, but not in a bombastic way, and almost a little melancholic (if that's the right word). And there's certainly a bit of Handel in it.

    What tempo are you thinking of for this? I've been playing/singing it at around quarter=c. 66-69.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 5,945
    A very nice tune to an excellent text.
    I do, though, like the first version better.
    Although 'would'st' sounds much better on one note, the emphasis on 'that' when given two notes is, in my opinion, awkard if not unpleasant.
    Too, out of four stanzas it is the only word that takes both of those notes.
    Also too, by giving 'wouldest' only one syllable one has savaged Newman's metre - 9 syllables instead of 10 to a line.
    And, for a similar reason (it adds a syllable), 'withering' in the last line should be 'with'ring'
    All things considered, the first version is best, but with Salieri's suggestion about the cadential figures.
    Keep writing!

    Oh, and the tune deserves a name.
    How about Schonbergian?

    And, while I do prefer your original version of bar one (Caithness begins the same way), I like Chuck's suggestion below about the first bar. One could (if one wished) have the organ play the first beat with singing beginning on the second, as in RVW's Sine Nomine.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Salieri
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,764
    I, too, prefer the the two-syllable "would-est" and don't like the 2 beat emphasis on "that".

    But I do think that having each line begin with a 2 beat (unaccented) syllable is even more of a problem. I would suggest compressing each of those 2 beat initial syllable into a single beat, on beat two of the measure, thus making each line begin with what is essentially a three note, 3 beat pickup. It's not uncommon in iambic pentameter (or tetrameter) for the first three syllables of a line to "feel" like a 3 beat pattern. The "thud" of the initial syllable sung to two beats just sounds awkward to me. Other than this quibble, I do like the edited tune (with Salieri's suggestions).

    As you might guess, I do not prefer the same 2 beat treatment of the first notes of each phrase of the Doxology sung to OLD HUNDREDTH: " PRAISE God from whom all blessings flow; PRAISE Him all creatures here below; PRAISE Him above ye heav'nly host; PRAISE Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."
  • MarkS
    Posts: 207
    Upon mature reflection, I withdraw my suggestion. The two syllable emphasis on 'that' is indeed a little awkward! Still, part of me wants the metric stress on 'Thou'. Oh well!
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,171
    I echo Jackson's and Chuck's suggestions, especially as regards the metre of the text and the changing of bar 1 and analogous spots. (Though I do like the variations in harmony during each of the iterations of theme B.)

    One slight suggestion unrelated to the music per se, is to make the size of the font the same for the entirety of the lyric, both with music and without. The text with music is so large (size 14?) that the text without seems tiny by comparison (size 11?).
  • I recently switched to a new template in my notation software and will have to make the change there. Otherwise, all noted.