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Title: Changes in Twentieth Century Christian Hymnody
Contributor(s): Aubrey, Neville Gwyn (author); Eakins, Rex  (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2008
Copyright Date: 2006
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: According to Augustine a hymn is 'the praise of God in song' (Commentary on Ps. 148.14) and this will serve as a minimum definition of our subject, though strictly speaking not all hymns fall into the category of praise, and Augustine's definition could be used also of the Canticles, Psalms, or Worship Songs as distinct from hymns today. What is sure is that 'of the making of books there is no end,' and the same can be said of hymnbooks. English hymnals can be numbered in their hundreds, and if earlier editions are considered, then in their thousands. But this study has been more than a survey of hymnals and songbooks. There has been practical research in that between September 2004 and September 2005 I have, at the risk of overdosing on religion, on nearly every Sunday attended churches of different denominations to listen to their singing (see page 197f). The whole spectrum of churches has been researched from Greek and Russian Orthodox, through Catholic, and Protestant churches of all types, to Pentecostal and Charismatic fellowships, and beyond to what some would describe as sects! This in itself has been a fascinating experience. The notice board outside might say 'welcome,' but in reality congregations, especially small fellowships view with grave suspicion a stranger in the midst, particularly if he is sitting in the back pew scribbling notes. This thesis follows the usual pattern of causes, events and results. After a brief history of hymns and a comparison of hymnals in the first part of the twentieth century, I have examined the social background of the sixties that gave birth to a musical culture which in tum shaped much that would be sung in Christian congregations for the next few decades. Examples have been given throughout these chapters (see page 194f.). The contemporary Christian music scene is producing a mass of material, and it has been interesting to observe how some songs have become 'classics' in the last few years. As to where the present tension between traditional hymns and contemporary songs is likely to lead, I attempt to predict in Chapter 7 and my conclusions.
Publication Type: Thesis Masters Research
Rights Statement: Copyright 2006 - Neville Gwyn Aubrey
HERDC Category Description: T1 Thesis - Masters Degree by Research
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