GS 2010 art 123

GS 2010 Article 123 – SCBP: Music Notation and Melodies for Hymns of the Book of Praise

1.         Material

Letter to General Synod from the SCBP, February 2010 (8.2.j.v).

Part A Technical matters

Part B Two significant improvements 

  • re: alternate melody for Hymn 31 (currently 26) 
  • re: new melody for Hymn 46 (currently 37).

2.         Observations

  • 2.1        The SCBP proposes several improvements to musical notation of the hymns of the Book of Praise, as recommended by the synodically appointed musical advisor and other musical experts.
  • 2.2        Acts of Synod Winnipeg, Article 146, states, “It is not in the province of General Synod to decide on technical matters concerning musical notations.”
  • 2.3        The SCBP observes that the melody currently used for Hymn 26 is used twice in the hymn section of Book of Praise (currently Hymns 26 and 37). They report that their “music experts recommend that we add the beautiful historical (rhythmic) version of this melody.”
  • 2.4        The SCBP proposes to include the rhythmic version of the melody as an alternate melody for current Hymn 26 (proposed Hymn 31).
  • 2.5        The churches have not had the opportunity to see or test this alternate melody.
  • 2.6        The SCBP observes that although the melody currently used for Hymn 37 is “beautiful, it does not suit the words.” The hymn is a song of praise; the current melody was written for the time of Lent.
  • 2.7        The SCBP proposes to match another melody to Hymn 37: Thornbury, “a beautiful melody from the Anglican tradition and a much more fitting match for these words.”
  • 2.8        The churches have not had the opportunity to see or test this melody (Thornbury).

3.         Consideration

When it comes to such technical aspects as musical notation, synod should accept the judgment of the SCBP. However, when it comes to the question of alternate or new melodies, the churches should have opportunity to test them and provide the SCBP with input regarding the suitability of the new or alternate melodies.

4.         Recommendation

That Synod decide:

  • 4.1        To receive for information the improvements to musical notation as proposed by the SCBP.
  • 4.2        To approve the inclusion of these proposed melodies (rhythmic version as alternate melody for Hymn 26 [new 31]; and Thornbury as the new melody for Hymn 37 [new 46]) in the provisional edition of the Book of Praise), so that the SCBP can receive reactions from the churches before a final decision is made on these melodies.