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Vaughan Williams on Music$
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David Manning

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182392.001.0001

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Preface to The English Hymnal

Preface to The English Hymnal

(p.31) Chapter 6 Preface to The English Hymnal
Vaughan Williams on Music

David Manning

Oxford University Press

The music of the English hymnal is divided into two main sections: the plainsong melodies and the comparatively modern music. The modern music only is dealt with here; the plainsong is discussed separately. The music is intended to be essentially congregational in character, and this end has been kept in view both in the choice of tunes and in the manner of setting them out. Fine melody rather than the exploitation of a trained choir has been the criterion of selection: the pitch of each tune has been kept as low as is consistent with the character of the melody. The task of providing congregations with familiar tunes is difficult; for, unfortunately, many of the tunes of the present day that have become familiar and, probably merely from association, popular with congregations, are quite unsuitable to their purpose.

Keywords:   hymnal, plainsong melodies, modern music, tunes, melody, pitch, congregations

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