Composer: William Henry Monk

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Tune Information

Composer: William Henry Monk (1850)
Incipit: 13554 66534 55665
Key: E♭ Major


Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding

Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding;
"Christ is nigh," it seems to say;
"Cast away the works of darkness
O ye children of the day!"

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William H. Monk (b. Brompton, London, England, 1823; d. London, 1889) composed MERTON and published it in The Parish Choir (1850). The tune has been associated with this text since the 1861 edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern. The tune's title is thought to refer to Walter de Merton, founder of Merton College, Oxford, England.

Monk is best known for his music editing of Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861, 1868,; 1875, and 1889 editions). He also adapted music from plainsong and added accompaniments for Introits for Use Throughout the Year, a book issued with that famous hymnal. Beginning in his teenage years, Monk held a number of musical positions. He became choirmaster at King's College in London in 1847 and was organist and choirmaster at St. Matthias, Stoke Newington, from 1852 to 1889, where he was influenced by the Oxford Movement. At St. Matthias, Monk also began daily choral services with the choir leading the congregation in music chosen according to the church year, including psalms chanted to plainsong. He composed over fifty hymn tunes and edited The Scottish Hymnal (1872 edition) and Wordsworth's Hymns for the Holy Year (1862) as well as the periodical Parish Choir (1840-1851).

MERTON consists of two long lines. It has an attractive rising figure at the opening, and it features consistent quarter-note rhythms. Sing the inner stanzas in a subdued manner, rising on stanza 4 to prepare for the climactic doxology in stanza 5. The hymn is suitable for part singing, but sing stanza 5 in unison with a choir singing the descant; add trumpets if possible.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


Instances (1 - 31 of 31)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #38Text
Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #286
Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #642ScoreAudio
Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #15TextPage Scan
Common Praise (1998) #108Text
Common Praise: A new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern #26Page Scan
Common Praise: A new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern #233bPage Scan
Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #263TextPage Scan
Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #347bTextPage Scan
Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #96TextPage Scan
Evangelical Lutheran Worship #246TextAudio
Evangelical Lutheran Worship #603TextFlexscore
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #685Text InfoFlexscoreAudioPage Scan
Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #59Text
Hymnal Supplement 1991 #725Text
Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #192Text
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #478TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan
Lutheran Service Book #345TextPage Scan
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #332Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudioPage Scan
Rejoice in the Lord #44Page Scan
Small Church Music #1259Audio
The Covenant Hymnal: a worshipbook #129
The Covenant Hymnal: a worshipbook #364
The Cyber Hymnal #2639TextScoreAudio
The Cyber Hymnal #3571TextScoreAudio
The Liturgy of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives #40
The New English Hymnal #5TextPage Scan
Together in Song: Australian hymn book II #264
TTT-Himnaro Cigneta #41aTextAudio
With One Voice #735TextPage Scan
Worship and Rejoice #416TextScoreFlexscoreAudio
Include 19 pre-1979 instances
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