Modern Hymns and 3/4 or 6/8 Time Signature
  • There is just something about those that I just can't shake.

    For example (Gather Us In):

    "Here in this place

    the new life is streaming

    Now is the darkness

    banished away".

    Here's what I think of when I sing it:

    "Here in this
    (skip-pi-ty)

    place the
    (skip-pi-ty)

    new life is
    (skip-pi-ty)

    streaming
    (skip)

    Now is the
    (skip-pi-ty)

    darkness
    (skip-pi-ty)

    banished
    (skip-pi-ty)

    away".
    (skip)

    "Skip" as in what young girls would do to speed up the way they walked, or skipping rope (where I grew up it was called "jumping rope").

    Other hymns in these time signatures, like Faith of Our Fathers do not bring that to mind. And for some reason Morning Has Broken doesn't either.

    Would my way be considered "liturgical dancing" (ugh!)?
  • Caleferink
    Posts: 358
    There are a good number of traditional hymn tunes that are in 3/4 and (not as many) 6/8. Just flipping through a few sections of a hymnal on my desk I find:
    Besançon (People, Look East)
    Hyfrydol (Alleluia, Sing to Jesus and several other hymns)
    Venez, Divin Messie (O Come, Divine Messiah)
    Gelobt Sei Gott (Good Christian Men, Rejoice and Sing)
    Ash Grove (Let All Things Now Living)
    Lobe Den Herren (Praise to the Lord)

    And there are many others.

    I think a lot of it comes down to tempo. If you play/sing them too fast, then it can sound "skippy." Of course, if you play/sing them too slow, you get plodding. Like many things in life, there's a happy medium.

    Of course, for me, the happy medium in the amount of usage of "Gather Us In" is between 1 and -1.
    Thanked by 2Carol CCooze
  • davido
    Posts: 506
    Besancon, Ash Grove, and Venez Divin Messie are all folk tunes or carols borrowed into the church hymn repertoire. There are people who think that the church music of the 70s and 80s such as Gather Us In is also folk music, and that composers of such ditties are carrying on the tradition found in borrow folk tunes like those named above or SLANE or ST COLUMBA.
    There’s a part of me that sees Besancon and Ash grove as part of a slippery slope toward Gather us in. I think dignity, tempo, harmonization go a long way to “sacrilizing” folk tunes. For instance, KINGSFOLD is much more churchy than most folk versions of the same tune (Star of the county down).
  • There are plenty of sing-song hymns from all eras. "Bring Flowers of the Rarest" comes to mind immediately. There is a reason children's songs often have this pattern - they are easy for people to connect to and are associated with an uplifting spirit. I have skipped through many a Hyfrydol and Lobe Den Herren to get the crowd moving from a dirge like pace