Prouxl Arrangements with Traditional Text
  • So I am not a big fan of the Gather Hymnals, but I am a fan of the late Dr. Richard Proulx and some of his arrangements in that hymnal are stellar. The only drawback is that these hymns usually use the modern English rather than the Classic English (“Your” vs “Thy”, etc)

    At my new position, we stopped using the Gather Hymnals and have been using the Credo hymnal. Much better selection, and they *do* use the classic English. But some of the arrangements in it are awful. And We still have a number of the old Gather hymnals in the choir loft.

    What would be the legalities of copying or re-transcribing arrangements from the Gather Hymnal but swapping out the low English vocab with the High English? Do I need to get permission? Does the possession of the Gather books cover for doing it?

    Thanks in advance, much obliged.
  • John,

    I hope you won't take this as flippant.

    Some years ago, the editors at OCP decided that Christmas carols used far too much old-fashioned language, of all sorts. The result was English that resembled a Salvador Dali painting, and people tripped on the words every few lines. If you "fix" the language by custom (everyone sings "thee" and "thou" in all the appropriate places, and those who sing "Amazing Grace" restore the original text.

    In short, if you explain to your congregation that you can't legally alter the words, but they're free to sing them correctly, the stress will go away.
    Thanked by 2John_F_Church tomjaw
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,155
    You can’t print them in a worship aid, but if the original text is in the public domain, there’s nothing to stop you from having the choir sing restored texts to Proulx arrangements, presupposing you have sufficient copies and you aren’t broadcasting the result.
    Thanked by 1John_F_Church
  • lmassery
    Posts: 368
    I play from old gather arrangements sometimes for this exact reason. Many of the ocp accompaniments are awful by comparison.
    Thanked by 1John_F_Church