|Title:||THIRD MODE MELODY|
|Composer:||Thomas Tallis (1561)|
|Incipit:||13333 44555 55655|
|Key:||a minor or modal|
To mock your reign, O dearest Lord,
they made a crown of thorns;
set you with taunts along that road
from which no one returns.
They did not know, as we do now,
that glorious is your crown;
that thorns would flower upon your brow,
your sorrows heal our own.
THIRD MODE MELODY is the third of nine tunes Thomas Tallis composed for Matthew Parker's The Whole Psalter (c. 1561). This magnificent tune is worth the trouble it may take to learn. Diephouse set the text with this tune in mind, since it kept coming to him as he was working on the text. Many may know the tune from Ralph Vaughan Williams's orchestral work "Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis." The "third mode" is the Phrygian mode, and THIRD MODE MELODY is one of the few tunes in that mode
Included in the Psalter Hymnal (see also 51 and 100). This tune requires solid, yet rhythmically pliable organ support. The melody was originally in the tenor, and choirs may switch parts between tenors and sopranos. Another suitable tune for Psalm 62 is BETHLEHEM (497).
Thomas Tallis (b. Leicestershire [?], England, c. 1505; d. Greenwich, Kent, England 1585) was one of the few Tudor musicians who served during the reigns of Henry VIII: Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth I and managed to remain in the good favor of both Catholic and Protestant monarchs. He was court organist and composer from 1543 until his death, composing music for Roman Catholic masses and Anglican liturgies (depending on the monarch). With William Byrd, Tallis also enjoyed a long-term monopoly on music printing. Prior to his court connections Tallis had served at Waltham Abbey and Canterbury Cathedral.
He composed mostly church music, including Latin motets, English anthems, settings of the liturgy, magnificats, and two sets of lamentations. His most extensive contrapuntal work was the choral composition, "Spem in alium," a work in forty parts for eight five-voice choirs. He also provided nine modal psalm tunes for Matthew Parker's Psalter (c. 1561).
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook
Harmonizations, Introductions, Descants, Intonations