|Composer:||Orlando Gibbons (1623)|
|Incipit:||33455 43221 55677|
Orlando Gibbons (b. Oxford, England, 1583; d. Canterbury, England, 1625) composed SONG 24 as a setting for a paraphrase of Lamentations 1. The tune was number 24 (hence, the tune name) in his collection of hymn tunes composed for and published in George Wither's The Hymnes and Songs of the Church (1623).
Gibbons began his musical career at age twelve as a chorister at King's College, Cambridge. He studied music at Cambridge and became the organist at the Chapel Royal in 1605, remaining in that position until his sudden death. He was recognized as one of the outstanding composers and organists of his day. In addition to composing hymn tunes, Gibbons published a collection of his music, Madrigals and Motets (1612), and is noted for his anthems and other liturgical music for the Anglican Church.
Mainly in the Dorian mode, SONG 24 is a beautiful tune most fitting for the penitential Psalm 51. As in most modern hymnals containing this tune, the original third and fourth phrases are omitted. The soprano and bass parts are by Gibbons; the inner voices are from The English Hymnal (1906). Sing this tune in unison or harmony; where resources permit, sing a stanza or two unaccompanied (perhaps using the E minor setting at 308).
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988