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Composer: Ralph Vaughan Williams

Through his composing, conducting, collecting, editing, and teaching, Ralph Vaughan Williams (b. Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, England, October 12, 1872; d. Westminster, London, England, August 26, 1958) became the chief figure in the realm of English music and church music in the first half of the twentieth century. His education included instruction at the Royal College of Music in London and Trinity College, Cambridge, as well as additional studies in Berlin and Paris. During World War I he served in the army medical corps in France. Vaughan Williams taught music at the Royal College of Music (1920-1940), conducted the Bach Choir in London (1920-1927), and directed the Leith Hill Music Festival in Dorking (1905-1953). A major influence i… Go to person page >

Tune Information

Composer: Ralph Vaughan Williams (1906)
Meter: with alleluias
Incipit: 53215 61253 32177
Key: F Major/G Major


Ralph Vaughan Williams (PHH 316) composed SINE NOMINE for this text and published it in the English Hymnal in 1906. Vaughan Williams wrote two harmonizations¬–one for unison stanzas and one for choral stanzas. The tune's title means "without name" and follows the Renaissance tradition of naming certain compositions "Sine Nomine" if they were not settings for preexisting tunes.

Equipped with a "walking" bass, SINE NOMINE is a glorious marching tune for this great text. Many consider this tune to be among the finest of twentieth-century hymn tunes (it is, perhaps, the cathedral's equivalent to “When the Saints Go Marching In”). Allowing the "alleluia" phrase to enter before our expectation of it is a typical and very effective Vaughan Williams touch.

Sing the unison and harmony stanzas as given in the Psalter Hymnal. Try assigning the various stanzas to antiphonal groups: a "heavenly" ensemble for stanzas 1-2, an "earthly" ensemble for stanzas 3 and 5, and the entire congregation on stanzas 4, 6, and 7.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


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Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #43
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The Cyber Hymnal #1426
Text: For All the Saints
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The United Methodist Hymnal #711
Text: For All the Saints
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Worship and Rejoice #518
Text: Give Thanks for Life
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Worship and Rejoice #529
Text: For All the Saints


Instances (1 - 100 of 127)
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50 Uncommon Songs #8

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African American Heritage Hymnal #339

Ambassador Hymnal #164


Ancient and Modern #296

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #190


Baptist Hymnal 1991 #229

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Baptist Hymnal 1991 #355

Baptist Hymnal 2008 #466

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Baptist Hymnal 2008 #595

Breaking Bread (Vol. 39) #708

Cáliz de Bendiciones #384


Catholic Book of Worship III #449

Celebrating Grace Hymnal #352

Celebrating Grace Hymnal #481

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Celebrating Grace Hymnal #567

Celebremos Su Gloria #456

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Chalice Hymnal #637

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Chalice Hymnal #649


Chalice Hymnal #703


Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #43

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Christian Worship #551

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Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #736

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Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #740

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Common Praise (1998) #276


Common Praise (1998) #387

Common Praise #232


Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #177


Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #178

Complete Mission Praise #148

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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #554


Evangelical Lutheran Worship #422

For the Living of These Days #2

Gather (3rd ed.) #546

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Gather (3rd ed.) #884

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Gather Comprehensive #793

Gather Comprehensive, Second Edition #469

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Gather Comprehensive, Second Edition #791

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Glory and Praise (3rd. ed.) #388

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Glory to God #295

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Glory to God #326

Hinário para o Culto Cristão #71


Hymnal 1982 #287

Hymnal #636

Hymns and Psalms #814

Hymns for a Pilgrim People #490


Hymns for a Pilgrim People #500

Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #567


Hymns of Glory, Songs of Praise #736


Hymns of Glory, Songs of Praise #740

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Hymns of Promise #138

Hymns of the Saints #480

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Hymns to the Living God #293

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Journeysongs (2nd ed.) #526

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Journeysongs (3rd ed.) #504

Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #321

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Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #728

Les Chants du Pèlerin #37

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Lift Up Your Hearts #254

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Lutheran Service Book #677


Lutheran Worship #191

Mil Voces para Celebrar #384

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Moravian Book of Worship #390

One in Faith #673

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One in Faith #779

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One in Faith #899

Oramos Cantando = We Pray In Song #452

Oramos Cantando = We Pray In Song #724

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Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #477

Psalms for All Seasons #84D

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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #505

Rejoice Hymns #605

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Rejoice in the Lord #397

RitualSong (2nd ed.) #641

RitualSong (2nd ed.) #984

RitualSong #608

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RitualSong #889

Santo, Santo, Santo #231

Santo, Santo, Santo #720

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Secular Hymnal #112

Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #421


Sing Joyfully #548

Singing the Faith #745


Singing the New Testament #151


Small Church Music #55


Small Church Music #260


Small Church Music #1341

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Songs for Life #195

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The Celebration Hymnal #767

The Christian Life Hymnal #547

The Covenant Hymnal #555

The Covenant Hymnal #767


The Cyber Hymnal #1426

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The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #546

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The New Century Hymnal #299


The New English Hymnal #197

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The New National Baptist Hymnal #424

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The New National Baptist Hymnal (21st Century Edition) #301


The Presbyterian Hymnal #526


The United Methodist Hymnal #68b


The United Methodist Hymnal #166


Include 46 pre-1979 instances
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