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NATIVITY (Lahee)

Composer: Henry Lahee

Born: April 11, 1826, Chelsea, London, England. Died: April 29, 1912, London, England. Lahee studied under John Goss and William Sterndale Bennett. He played the organ at several churches, including Holy Trinity Church, Brompton (1847-74). He won prizes for his compositions in Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow, and London, and set to music poems by Edgar Allen Poe ("The Bells"), Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ("Building of the Ship") and Alfred Tennyson ("Sleeping Beauty"). His works include: Metrical Psalter, with William Irons, 1855 Famous Singers of Today and Yesterday, 1898 One Hundred Hymn Tunes Sources: Frost, p. 680 CS Concordance, pp. 246-47 Nutter, p. 460 --www.hymntime.com/tch  Go to person page >

Tune Information

Title: NATIVITY (Lahee)
Composer: Henry Lahee (1855)
Meter: 8.6.8.6
Incipit: 33355 11321 66217
Key: B♭ Major
Copyright: Public Domain

Notes

Henry Lahee (b. Chelsea, London, England, 1826; d. Croydon, London, 1912) composed NATIVITY, which was first published in 1855 and set to a nativity hymn (thus the tune's title), "High let us swell our tuneful notes," by Philip Doddridge (PsH 335). Because NATIVITY was published with Isaac Watts' (PsH 155) "Come let us join our cheerful songs" in the 1875 edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern, it has often been set to that text. NATIVITY is the only Lahee tune still in common use.

After studying music privately, Lahee became organist at several churches. His most prominent position was at Holy Trinity Church, Brompton, England, where he was organist from 1847-1874. While in that position he joined his vicar, W. J. Irons, in producing The Metrical Psalter (1855); NATIVITY was included in an appendix to that collection. A composer of cantatas and many madrigals and glees, Lahee also compiled One Hundred Hymn Tunes (1857) for use with a collection of hymn texts edited by Irons.

A cheerful tune, NATIVITY is distinguished both by its brevity and by its opening dramatic "rocket" figure. Sing in two long lines with stanzas 1 and 5 in unison and stanzas 24 in harmony. The fanfare-like opening and royal character of this psalm invite brass accompaniment.

For the final stanza, add the fine descant by Florence Mary Spencer Palmer ("Peggy"; b. Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England, 1900; d. Bristol, England, 1987) from the Anglican Hymn Book, 1965. Palmer studied piano and composition in her youth and later taught those disciplines, both privately and at various schools in the Bristol area. In addition to her many hymn tunes she composed music for piano, cello, and voice.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Timeline

Arrangements

Harmonizations, Introductions, Descants, Intonations

  • Hymn Tunes in Lower Keys: The Book to Grab When the Congregation Complains that the Hymns are Too High!
    Published By: Kevin Mayhew Ltd. (2011) pp. 176
  • 200 Last Verses: Completely Revised to Complement the Keys in Major Hymn Books
    Composer/Editor Noel Rawsthorne
    Published By: Kevin Mayhew Ltd. (2009) pp. 109
  • The Really Big Descant Book - Full Music Edition: 250 Settings to Raise the Roof by the World's Finest Church Music Composers
    Composer/Editor Judith Bailey
    Published By: Kevin Mayhew Ltd. (2009) pp. 142
  • Restrained Last Verses: Varied Accompaniments for Popular Hymns
    Composer/Editor Richard Lloyd
    Published By: Kevin Mayhew Ltd. (2003) pp. 91
  • Last Verse Extravaganza for Organ: 200 Fabulous Arrangements
    Published By: Kevin Mayhew Ltd. (2001) pp. 106
  • The Ultimate Finishing Touch: Last-verse Arrangements of Well-loved Hymn Tunes
    Composer/Editor Harrison Oxley
    Published By: Kevin Mayhew Ltd. (2000) pp. 90
  • More Hymns for Occasions: One Hundred Special Arrangements
    Composer/Editor Colin Mawby
    Published By: Kevin Mayhew Ltd. (1997) pp. 55
  • Finishing Touch: One Hundred Last Verse Arrangements of Well-Known Hymn Tunes - New and Enlarged Edition
    Composer/Editor Harrison Oxley
    Published By: Kevin Mayhew Ltd. (1996) pp. 35
  • After the Last Verse: 200 Hymn Improvisations
    Composer/Editor Malcolm Archer
    Published By: Kevin Mayhew Ltd. (1995) pp. 109
  • Accompaniments for Unison Hymn-Singing
    Composer/Editors Gerald H. Knight; John Bertalot
    Published By: The Royal School of Church Music (1981) pp. 30
  • Hymns for Choirs
    Composer/Editor David Willcocks
    Published By: Oxford University Press (1976) pp. 30

Organ Solo

  • Organ Miniatures: 200 Short Improvisations on Familiar Hymn Tunes
    Composer/Editor June Nixon
    Published By: Kevin Mayhew Ltd. (1999) pp. 108
  • PedalPoint Volume 7 Number 3 April May June 1988: Church Music and Study Helps for Pianists and Organists
    Composer/Editors Sharron Lyon; Anna Laura Page
    Published By: The Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention (1988) pp. 8
  • 113 Variations on Hymn Tunes for Organ
    Composer/Editor George Thalben-Ball
    Published By: Novello and Company Limited (1969) pp. 67

Media

Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #126
  • Four-part harmony, full-score (PDF, NWC)
The Cyber Hymnal #596
Text: Behold My Servant! See Him Rise
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
The Cyber Hymnal #3354
Text: Jesus, Let All Thy Lovers Shine
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
The Cyber Hymnal #4645
Text: Now Shall My Solemn Vows Be Paid
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
The Cyber Hymnal #6136
Text: Sing We the Song
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
The Cyber Hymnal #7622
Text: Workman of God
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
The Cyber Hymnal #9649
Text: Blest Be The Everlasting God
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #359
Text: Christ Is the King and He Shall Reign
  • Full Score (PDF, XML)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)

Instances

Instances (1 - 26 of 26)
Text

Ancient and Modern #362

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #127

ScoreAudio

Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #126

Tune Info

Church Hymnal, Mennonite #60

TextPage Scan

Common Praise (1998) #319

Page Scan

Common Praise #401

TextPage Scan

Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #120

Complete Mission Praise #93

Hymns and Psalms #810

Hymns and Psalms #821

TextPage Scan

Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #206

Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudioPage Scan

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #359

Singing the Faith #743

Audio

Small Church Music #541

Page Scan

The A.M.E. Zion Hymnal #367

Text

The Book of Praise #413

TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #596

TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #3354

TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #4645

TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #6136

TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #7622

TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #9649

The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #652

TextPage Scan

The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #665

TextPage Scan

The New English Hymnal #349

Text

Together in Song #204

Include 75 pre-1979 instances
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