A Catholic Book of Hymns
  • “I managed to go through A Catholic Book of Hymns, examining each page. It is wonderful. I think it is the best Catholic hymn book available today.”
    .
    Peter Meggison, Producer • The Devotional Hymns Project

    A Catholic Book of Hymns

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  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,406
    Tangential question - What is the name of that typeface?
  • Thanks to those here at CMAA who were kind and instrumental in suggesting hymns.
    Thanked by 1marymezzo
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,255
    Interesting that the price per page isn't less than books that include copyrighted material: the choir editions of H82 ($23) and Worship IV ($29) have about twice as many hymns, as well as tune & metrical indices. Perhaps one could put it down to economies of scale and suppose the latter were paying generous royalties to composers.

    Fwiw, for all the venerability of "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing", the non-alt. 'original' is of course Ch. Wesley's "Hark! how all the welkin rings".
    Thanked by 1marymezzo
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,406
    I am sorry to say
    Lovely job? NO!
    608 x 90 - 27K
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 641
    I have to admit that I do find some of the font choices to be less than desirable. I don't think it repulsive, per se, but it's certainly not the prettiest hymnal I've ever seen (but neither is it the ugliest). I downloaded the PDF of the "organist's edition" expecting it to be standard SATB but it is actually a modified SATB. There's a little blurb at the beginning that is very "woe to poor organists" about how hard it is to play hymns, so this edition makes it easier by arranging the hymns as they should be played, rather than how they are notated for singers. This strikes me in the same vein as the odd editorial decisions sometimes followed by CCW in their work; a bit ideologue or idiosyncratic. I don't mind it, and these hymns will serve as good teaching aids, however I personally do not find hymns difficult to play at all as does, apparently, the organists involved in compiling the collection. At this point, I'm used to reading traditional SATB whilst either cantoring or sometimes even singing the tenor part at the same time (that, I admit is much harder). Good old SATB would have been fine for me. But it's an interesting resource nevertheless. At least the music engraving is nice enough. I'd still pick this hymnal over many others on the market, any quibbles I have aside.
    Thanked by 1marymezzo
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 750
    Re: the engraving - although November as a music font is far superior to the usual fare in modern hymnals, and the textual fonts are excellent (barring some questionable and gratuitous use of "old-style" numerals, and inconsistency in the dashes), the engraving itself is not of the best quality, especially the ledger lines and slurs. It takes more than adding the correct fonts to a Finale document to produce an all-around beautiful score.

    There are some questionable editorial decisions as well: i.e. why are hymns no. 22 and 23 numbered differently despite featuring the same text? The standard convention is 22A/22B, or "first tune/second tune".

    I don't see the purpose of the organ edition because there is no attempt to make the hymns more "organistic" other than painting over the entire book with one extremely broad and unsubtle brush of rhythmical simplification. If i.e. the inner parts were variously phrased to bring out certain musical or textual emphases, I would be more enthusiastic about the idea. This edition just ties together every single repeated note not in the melody, and therefore presents no additional information to the player at all.

    I would view this as usefully as an "instructive edition" of Bach that purported to simplify the issue of articulation for amateur players by placing a staccato mark over every single note in the piece, regardless of context. Perhaps it could be of some use to the student who stubbornly insists on playing sempre legato, but otherwise it is of zero paedagogical value.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,255
    The standard convention is 22A/22B
    Maybe (H1940 & Lutheran Service Book use FIRST/SECOND TUNE and hymnals from my lifetime seem all to assign different numbers), but that wouldn't work with hymn board sets that have numerals only, as is most often the case. I've sometimes wished I could put up 202 or Ccij, to clarify whether "O come" or "Adeste" were meant.
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 750
    Maybe (H1940 & Lutheran Service Book use FIRST/SECOND TUNE and hymnals from my lifetime seem all to assign different numbers), but that wouldn't work with hymn board sets that have numerals only, as is most often the case. I've sometimes wished I could put up 202 or Ccij, to clarify whether "O come" or "Adeste" were meant.

    Perhaps. I wouldn't view it as an issue, in light of the near-omnipresent hymn announcements by the cantor/otherwise assigned individual (and the organ introduction should surely settle the matter)
  • PaxMelodious
    Posts: 343
    Why is it not possible to purchase a PDF-edition without a USA address? I can understand this for physical books, which require more complicated postage - but PDFs???
    Thanked by 1marymezzo
  • marymezzomarymezzo
    Posts: 229
    Pax, thanks for your question! I'm working on a solution that will allow sales of virtual products anywhere in the world while restricting sales of physical books. That said, we encourage customers in other countries who want physical books to get in touch! We can usually work something out. I'll post again when I've been able to solve the problem.

    Mary
    Thanked by 1janetgorbitz
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,209
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  • marymezzomarymezzo
    Posts: 229
    a_f_hawkins, the typeface used on the cover is Mason Serif: https://fonts.adobe.com/fonts/mason-serif
    Thanked by 1a_f_hawkins
  • marymezzomarymezzo
    Posts: 229
    Richard Mix, the price has to do with the cost of small print runs.
  • marymezzomarymezzo
    Posts: 229
    PaxMelodious, I believe I've solved the pdf problem. If a customer provides a shipping address outside the USA for physical books, he or she will get a message that we don't ship there. He or she should, however, now be able to buy virtual products.

    I'm really glad you brought this up!
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,406
    Thanks, it's helpful to know your enemy by name!

    [Edited by admin: rather than quoting from the font's weird history here, I think it's better to just post a link to it so that readers can view it if they wish.]

    I had realised that it was not the Celtic Garamond that I had used above.
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 434
    I don't know if this is pertinent or not but I downloaded the topical index and it looks incomplete, for example under the Christmas topic, "O Little Town of Bethlehem & Silent Night" is not listed. There doesn't seem to be a Communion topic for hymns like "Sweet Sacrament Divine," or "Jesus, Thou Art Coming." For Blessed Virgin Mary, "On this Day O Beautiful Mother," "Bring Flowers of the Rarest," need to be listed. And there needs to be a topic for bad/ hard/ difficult times like we are experience now, hymns like "God of Mercy and Compassion," "My Soul Doth Long for Thee," etc.

    If you want musicians to use these during the Mass, I think the topical index needs to more complete. Also, I think a general guide line to using the hymns could be part of your preface, introduction or the beginning of the Topic Index. Something like, "A good method for using these hymns for devotion at Mass is...." and list the proper times "Before Mass, Beginning of Mass, Offertory, etc." and then give topic examples.

    Some of you might think this is not necessary but I think it would go along way to help those musicians that might be programing music for the first time.
    Thanked by 1oldhymns
  • marymezzomarymezzo
    Posts: 229
    Don, thanks--we appreciate your suggestions. You're right--the topical index isn't quite done. It's something I'm working on, and I hope to have an updated version posted in a week or so.

    Mary