Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sacred Hymns ~ Music, Lyrics, & History

I find that if I know more about a piece of music that I appreciate it more. That is certainly very important with hymns and praise songs! I'm sad to admit that sometimes I sing along on the hymns, but don't really stop to think about what I am singing. When we think about the lyrics, the Scriptures that they come from, the stories and feelings behind the composers who felt moved to create them, we will understand more about our Maker and can truly use the songs to worship Him as we should! To help myself to do that more (and anyone else who may be interested), I have collected some websites which contain lyrics, sheet music, MP3's, composer information, Scripture references, and other little treasures! I hope they will be helpful to you! 

Sacred Hymns & Their History  from Invitation to Christ

Charles Wesley's Hymns ~ "Great Hymnwriter and Co-Founder of Methodism": Information regarding the hymns of Mr. Wesley.

Church Music ~ Search for sheet music for several hymns, children's resources including videos of ASL, and Learning Materials.

Great Christian Hymns ~ Hymn lyrics listed in several categories for easy searching.

Hymnary ~ Wow, this site has alot of stuff! I was a little confused at first, but once I made my way around, I liked what I saw. Search music by name, composer, lyrics, Bible reference to find sheet music, midi files, lyrics, and important related information. CCEH is a related site - I think it is their older version, but it had some cool stuff, too.

Hymn at Wikipedia ~ research the definition and history of hymns.

Hymn Lyrics ~ Well, Hymn Lyrics! It looks like it some a relationship with Rhapsody in some way, but I didn't read the details. It looks like it has interesting things, but some are by paid membership, others are free.

Hymnal Net ~ This site has the hymns in the categories of classic hymns, new tunes, new songs, children's songs, Scripture songs, and favorites. A midi track, lyrics, and guitar / piano leadsheets are available for free.

HymnSite ~ Find tons of hymns to download: lyrics, midi files, and sheet music; online hymn crossword puzzles, search indexes, and links to numerous other hymn sites.

Lutheran Hymnal ~ free MP3 recordings, lyrics, and more.

NetHymnal (Also known as Cyber Hymnal) ~ "Over 10,000 Christ­ian hymns, Author Bios, Composer Biographies, Hymn Histories and Gos­pel songs from ma­ny de­nom­in­a­tions. You’ll find lyr­ics, scores, MI­DI files, pic­tures, his­to­ry, & more. Search­a­ble, ad­vanced Au­to­play fea­ture, free down­loads. New en­tries ev­ery week. Us­er friend­ly. This wor­ship & teach­ing re­source is pro­vid­ed as a pub­lic ser­vice."

Popular Hymns ~ Lyrics and stories of 100 popular hymns.
I have to admit I don't understand all the copyright laws as far as what is public domain and what is not, but I don't want to steal something that perhaps in a copyright infringement as I'm sure you don't either. Please view each site with careful judgement as to how you understand the rules. I am not trying to place judgement, I just know in the music world that it can be confusing at times even within a well meaning ministry. With that is mind, here are some others. ??

Gary LeBlanc Music Ministry ~ sheet music and midi files.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hymns for a Kid's Heart

As a follow-up of the blog post about doing a hymn study, I wanted to explore more about one of the resources listed at the Hymn Study site. Hymns for a Kid's Heart by Bobbie Wolgemuth and Joni Eareckson Tada is a wonderful series of books (4 volumes) for children to learn the tunes, words, and meanings of many popular hymns. The first two each contain 12 traditional hymns; the third is based on Christmas hymns; and the last is hymns about the Passion.

The website for Hymns for a Kid's Heart has many download-able resources. The 'Creative Ideas' pdf contains four simple scripts to introduce people to some of the hymns, suggestions for use, and several creative ideas for children, adults, Sunday school, Bible study, worship, or mission settings. The free downloads of 'Sheet Music' from each book contain the sheet music to all of the hymns in that particular book, a related Bible verse, and a prayer. The only thing they don't contain from the original books is the hymn story, history, and illustrations. The 'Accompaniment Tracks' may also be downloaded and saved free in MP3 format. The books contain recordings with voices for learning or listening to the hymns for a family devotion, class, or your car!

Along with gaining a deeper understanding of these worship songs, readers will treasure the music, stories, and meaningful pictures of this wonderful series!  :)


Friday, April 2, 2010

Beneath the Cross of Jesus

The poet who wrote the lyrics to Beneath the Cross of Jesus, Miss Clephane, was born in a little town about 30 south of Ed­in­burgh, Scot­land on the 18th of June, 1830. Little is known about this woman who was the youngest of three sisters. Those who knew the young lady referred to her as "the sunbeam" because of her cheery nature and charitable giving. Elizabeth's few poems were not even published until a few years after her death at age 39 in a magazine entitled The Family Treasure. Five stanzes exist although the order has been changed in some hymnals while other hymnals prefer only to list three stanzas. Please see below for a link for sheet music and a midi file, and a list of references for additional study.

Beneath the Cross of Jesus
Poet: Elizabeth C. Clephane, 1868.

Musical Composer: Frederick C. Maker. Tune: St. Christopher

Beneath the cross of Jesus
I fain would take my stand,
The shadow of a mighty Rock
Within a weary land.
A home within the wilderness,
A rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noontide heat
And the burden of the day.

There lies beneath its shadow,
but on the farther side,
the darkness of an open grave
that gapes both deep and wide;
and there between us stands the cross,
two arms outstretched to save,
like a watchman to guard the way
from that eternal grave.

O safe and happy shelter,
O refuge tried and sweet,
O trysting place where heaven's love
And heaven's justice meet!
As to the holy patriarch
That wondrous dream was giv'n,
So seems my Savior's cross to me,
A ladder up to heav'n.

Upon the cross of Jesus
Mine eyes at times can see
The very dying form of One
Who suffered there for me;
And from my smitten heart with tears
Two wonders I confess:
The wonders of redeeming love
And my unworthiness.

I take, O cross, thy shadow
For my abiding place,
I ask no other sunshine
Than the sunshine of His face.
Content to let the world go by,
To know no gain nor loss,
My sinful self, my only shame,
My glory all the cross.

Listen to a midi file download and find sheet music for Beneath the Cross of Jesus at HymnSite. Click on the "Hymn Search" Box on the top left side and enter the name.

Study Devotion ~ You may be interested in the following verses from which Miss Clephane was inspired: Genesis 28:11-12;  Jeremiah 9:2;  Isaiah 4:6;  Isaiah 28:12;  Isaiah 32:2;  Ezekiel 33:6-7;  Matthew 11:30;  Galatians 6:14.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

April 2010 Poll ~ What is you favorite traditional hymn?

Traditional hymns are my topic for April, therefore I am hoping to find out which ones are your favorites! Don't worry, I'll do a poll and blogs posts in May about contemporary worship music. :D

If you have a favorite that I did not list above, please feel free to leave me a comment with the name of a hymn that touches your heart. Thanks & God Bless You! ~ Pamela

Worship Music Poll

Results of  the March 2010 Poll ~ Thank you to all who participated!!
"What styles of music do you prefer during worship?"

Traditional (hymns) 2 (25%)
Contemporary (modern styles) 3 (37%)
Gospel 1 (12%)
Organ 1 (12%)
Rock Band 1 (12%)
Orchestra 0 (0%)
Mixed instrumental ensemble 1 (12%)
Choral 2 (25%)
None of the above 1 (12%)
Combination of all the above 1 (12%)