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Title: Hymns of the Church: "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"
Contributor(s): Knijff, Jan-Piet (author)
Publication Date: 2009
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Abstract: I'm not sure how much congregations like the hymn "0 Come, 0 Come, Emmanuel," but I bet it's a favorite with church musicians of all kinds of denominations around the world. In Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW) , the hymn is found at 257; in Lutheran Service Book (LSB) , at 357; and in Lutheran Book of Worship (LBW), at 34. A quick look at the hymn in the three pew editions immediately brings up a host of questions: • The Pew Edition of ELW offers only the melody of the hymn - no harmonization - in a stemless notation, probably in an effort to emphasize the origin of the melody in medieval chant. ELW has no fewer than eight stanzas. • The Pew Edition of LSB presents the melody in 214 time (although no time signature is printed), running mostly in eighth notes and with an eighth note pick-up at the very beginning. The harmonization is credited to C. Winfred Douglas; there are seven stanzas. • Although without crediting an arranger, the Pew Edition of LBW gives the same harmonization as LSB (with two relatively small variants which I'll discuss below). There are no barlines, but "short barlines" indicating the end of each poetic/musical line and a double bar separating the refrain from the stanzas. There are only five stanzas. • A slightly closer look at the poetic text reveals that the translation in the three hymnals is in essence the same, but that there are a lot of "minor disagreements" (if I may use that expression in this context) ... For so classic a hymn, this seems a remarkable situation. The responsible Lutheran church musician consulting these three hymnals in conjunction is left with many questions: Has ELW finally restored the melody to its authentic, medieval, free-floating qualities by removing those odd, "Romantic" stems? Has the same hymnal given us back the last stanza? Why did LSB fail in that regard? And what about those "minor disagreements" between the three versions of the text?
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: CrossAccent: Journal of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, 17(3), p. 29-37
Publisher: Valparaiso University
Place of Publication: Valparaiso, United States of America
Field of Research (FOR): 220401 Christian Studies (incl Biblical Studies and Church History)
190407 Music Performance
190409 Musicology and Ethnomusicology
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 950101 Music
950405 Religious Structures and Ritual
HERDC Category Description: C2 Non-Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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