512. When in Our Music God Is Glorified

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Text Information
First Line: When in our music God is glorified
Title: When in Our Music God Is Glorified
Author: Fred Pratt Green (1971)
Meter: 10 10 10 4
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Scripture: ; ; ; ;
Topic: Doxologies; Praise & Adoration; Church and Mission (6 more...)
Copyright: Text © 1972, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission
ONE LICENSE: 00445; 199868
Tune Information
Composer: Charles V. Stanford (1904)
Meter: 10 10 10 4
Key: G Major

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 3 = 1 Chron. 16:42
st. 4 = Matt. 26:30, Mark 14:26
st. 5 = Ps. 150, Eph.5:19-20, Col.3:16

At the request of John W. Wilson (PHH 278), Fred Pratt Green (PHH 455) wrote this text in Norwich, England, in 1971. It was intended for use with Charles V. Stanford's ENGELBERG at a London conference of the Methodist Church Music Society. Originally entitled "When in Man's Music God Is Glorified," the text was first published in Pratt Green's 26 Hymns (1971). This hymn has been widely accepted in many recent hymnals and is sung in numerous choral festivals.

“When in Our Music” is the only hymn text in Christendom that explains the reasons for church music while simultaneously offering "alleluias" to God. The various stanzas deal with our humility in performance (st. 1), the aesthetics of musical worship (s1. 2), and the history of church music (st. 3). The final two stanzas present a biblical model (st. 4) and quote Psalm 150 (st. 5). (A fruitful study could be made of this text and the Christian Reformed Church "Statement of Principle on Church Music" and its implications and practice, Psalter Hymnal, pp. 11-15.)

Liturgical Use:
Regular worship services, but most often at special praise services, choral liturgies, worship conferences, and other "musical feasts"; appropriate for recognizing the work of church musicians.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Charles V. Stanford (b. Dublin, Ireland, 1852; d. Marylebone, London, England, 1924) composed ENGELBERG as a setting for William W. How's "For All the Saints" (505). The tune was published in the 1904 edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern with no less than six different musical settings. It is clearly a fine congregational hymn but also a stunning choral anthem when used with some of the additional settings that Stanford supplied.

ENGELBERG is an attractive, energetic melody with many ascending motives, designed for unison singing with no pauses between stanzas. Try using other instruments in addition to organ (as stanza 5 suggests). Accompanists could play the third and fourth stanzas in a more subdued manner and then play the climactic final stanza with great strength and vigor.

A distinguished composer and teacher of composition, Stanford began his musical career at an early age. Before the age of ten he had composed several pieces and given piano recitals of works by Handel and Bach. He studied at Queen's College, Cambridge, England, as well as in Leipzig and Berlin. At the age of twenty-one he was asked to become organist at the famous Trinity College, Cambridge. At that time he also began a prestigious career in conducting, which included appearances with the London Bach Choir from 1885 to 1902, and he traveled widely in England, Europe, and the United States. His teaching career was equally impressive. Stanford taught composition at both the Royal College of Music and Cambridge University; among his students were Ralph Vaughan Williams (PHH 316) and Gustav Holst. He was knighted in 1902. Stanford wrote over two hundred compositions in nearly all musical genres, including symphonies, operas, chamber music, and songs. Most notable in his church music are several complete services, anthems, and unison hymn tunes.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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