|Composer:||Henry Baker (1854)|
|Incipit:||33351 22355 54534|
|Key:||D Major/E Major|
|Source:||A Hymnal for Use in the English Church by J. Grey, 1866|
Henry Baker (b. Nuneham, Oxfordshire, England, 1835; d. Wimbledon, England, 1910; not to be confused with Henry W. Baker) was educated as a civil engineer at Winchester and Cooper's Hill and was active in railroad building in India. In 1867 he completed a music degree at Exeter College, Oxford, England. Baker composed QUEBEC in 1854 when he was a student at Exeter. In 1861 the London Penny Post advertised for a suitable tune for John Keble's text "Sun of My Soul." Baker's tune was among the many that were submitted, but without his knowledge–a friend who had seen QUEBEC shortly after Baker had written it submitted the tune anonymously. QUEBEC was selected and was published in Rev. John Grey's Hymnal for the Use of the English Church (1866). Many of Baker's hymn tunes were published in Garrett Horder's Worship Songs (1905).
A serviceable long-meter tune, QUEBEC proves that a limited soprano range is not a handicap in a well-crafted hymn tune. The tune title's reference to the Canadian city and province is unknown. Also known as HESPERUS, QUEBEC shares similarities with MARYTON (573), PENTECOST (212), and especially ST. CRISPIN (276)–to name just three of the "generic" late-nineteenth-century British hymn tunes. For best results, sing the harmony parts.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988