An essential reference resource for scholars of global hymnody, with information on the hymns of many countries and languages and a strong emphasis on the historical as well as the contemporary, The Canterbury dictionary of hymnology contains over 4000 individual entries and more than 300 authors from over 30 countries writing on hymns of the Judaeo-Christian tradition—from the earliest years to those written today—along with articles on individual hymns, authors from many countries, hymnals, organizations, themes, and hymn tunes and their composers.
Covering a multitude of hymn traditions from all continents, regions, and denominations, the database is ecumenical and international, and is published online to facilitate regular additions, amendments, and corrections. Intended as a replacement for the Dictionary of hymnology produced by John Julian in 1892 (with a supplement in 1907), it will be of interest to literary scholars, musicians, church historians, and theologians, and will be a delight for those who love the hymn as an art form. Each day three articles are made available to the public for one day.
Below, an example of African American lined-out hymn singing.
In its stirring setting by Hubert Parry, William Blake’s Jerusalem furnishes the text of one of England’s most popular hymns—it has been called the country’s second national anthem. It is particularly favored for weddings, as it was for the 2011 marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
Nevertheless, the work has been banned by clergy who believe that Blake’s version of Christianity is too radical, and that the poem falls short in theological matters. As recently as 2001, a bride in Cheadle cancelled her wedding when the rector refused to allow her to include a performance of Jerusalem.
“As a poem it is interesting, but Blake was a bit of a weirdo,” the rector explained to the press. “Blake appeals to the proto-atheists and proto-socialists, camps which—although they weren’t known by name back then—the poet fell into.”
This according to “William Blake, Hubert Parry, and the singing of Jerusalem” by Mark Chapman (The hymn: A journal of congregational song LXII/2 [spring 2011] pp. 41–51). Above, Blake’s Jerusalem: Emanation of the giant Albion (click to enlarge); below, the performance at the royal wedding on 29 April 2011.
Produced by a team of scholars from the Ústavu hudební vědy at Masarykova univerzita in Brno, Melodiarium hymnologicum Bohemiae is a digital catalogue of monophonic Latin, Czech, and German sacred song found in sources located in the Czech lands or imported into the Czech lands, from the earliest beginnings until the eighteenth century. The database, which is largely bilingual in Czech and English, includes facsimiles and text and melody indexes, along with numerous annotations. While users must establish logins, no fee is required; the resource is supported by the Ministerstva školství, mládeže a tělovýchovy České republiky.