Bert Frederick Polman (b. Rozenburg, Zuid Holland, the Netherlands, 1945; d. Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 1, 2013) was chair of the Music Department at Calvin College and senior research fellow for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Dr. Bert studied at Dordt College (BA 1968), the University of Minnesota (MA 1969, PhD in musicology 1981), and the Institute for Christian Studies. Dr. Bert was a longtime is professor of music at Redeemer College in Ancaster, Ontario, and organist at Bethel Christian Reformed Church, Waterdown, Ontario. His teaching covered a wide range of courses in music theory, music history, music literature, and worship, and Canadian Native studies. His research specialty was Christian hymnody. He was also an orga… Go to person page >
Like many of the tunes by Dutch composer Willem (Wim) ter Burg (b. Utrecht, the Netherlands, 1914; d. Maarn, 1995), IN BET BEGIN is childlike, easy to sing by adults and children alike. This is one of the tunes he composed for the original Dutch text by Hanna Lam that began with those words (hence, the tune name, which means "in the beginning").
Wim ter Burg was a music therapist in the Bartimeushage Instituut, a school for mentally and physically disabled students in Doorn, the Netherlands. He was cantor and organist in the Reformed Church in Baarn, and earlier served congregations in Enkhuizen, Amsterdam, and Nijmegen. Ter Burg composed most of the tunes for the four volumes of Alles wordt nieuw (1966-1978).
The keyboard accompaniment (1982) by Bert Polman (PHH 37) is for organ trio style or for piano. For variety, play the tune an octave higher on a light and gentle registration for stanzas 4 and/or 5. Flute, recorder, oboe, or violin are suitable descant instruments; the guitar chords also suggest ostinato patterns for Orff instruments. When singing the entire song, assign stanzas 1 through 6 to alternate groups within the congregation and have everyone sing stanza 7 in a stately manner.