Instruments in the Bible – Bells

It turns out that we have two bell concerts on the Trinity Concert Series this year (www.trinityconcertseries.org). Just this past weekend we welcomed handbell soloist Kristine Stout (www.joybelltheater.com) to our church and on May 17, Dr. John Behnke will bring the Alleluia Ringers from Concordia University, Wisconsin for a concert. Bells are mentioned only seven times in Scriptures and only in one context. However, it is obvious from the context… Read More »

Thoughts on “O Wondrous Type! O Vision Fair”

The thoughts below were prepared for the “Devotions on the Hymn of the Day” project of the Center for Church Music at Concordia University, Chicago. This devotion is on “O Wondrous Type! O Vision Fair,” the Hymn of the Day for the Transfiguration of Our Lord on Sunday, February 15, 2015. For additional devotions, click here. The four Gospels reveal how important Moses and Elijah were to Jesus. Altogether the Gospel writers… Read More »

The Sound of Rejoicing . . . Could Be Heard Far Away

Stuck in the recesses of the Old Testament is a story that every musician should know. It comes from the book of Nehemiah, which might seem an unlikely place for a musician to venture. In Nehemiah 12, however, there is a highly descriptive account of the role that musicians played in the dedication walls of Jerusalem after they were finally rebuilt following the Babylonian Exile. It involves many musicians with many trumpets… Read More »

Thoughts on “Son of God, Eternal Savior”

The thoughts below were prepared for the “Devotions on the Hymn of the Day” project of the Center for Church Music at Concordia University, Chicago. This devotion is on “Son of God, Eternal Savior,” the Hymn of the Day for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany on Sunday, February 1, 2015. For additional devotions, click here. For a downloadable PDF version of this devotion, click here. Since the beginning of His ministry, although the… Read More »

A New Metrical Translation of “Maria Walks Amid the Thorn”

In a previous post I offered a literal translation of all seven stanzas of the German Advent/Christmas Carol “Maria Walked Amid the Thorn” (see www.jubalslyre.com/thoughts-on-maria-walks-amid-the-thorn). With this post I offer a new metrical translation of the carol. Interestingly, singing the full version makes the carol a song that can be sung at other points of the Church Year, including today, the Baptism of Our Lord. I had the privilege this morning of… Read More »

A New Metrical Translation of the Original “Silent Night”

Several days ago I placed on Facebook a new literal English translation of the Christmas carol “Silent Night” (see www.jubalslyre.com/thoughts-on-silent-night). The interest was overwhelming and several people requested a metrical translation of the original text. Here is a metrical translation that I have crafted and recrafted over many years. The intent has been to keep as much of the deep and rich theology of the original text as possible while at the same… Read More »

More Paradoxes of “This Little Babe”

There is another great Robert Southwell poem in Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols (for the first, see www.jubalslyre.com/the-paradoxes-of-this-little-babe). Although this movement is entitled “In Freezing Winter Night” (click here for a recording), the poem’s original title was “New Prince, New Pomp.” Interestingly, Southwell’s original title parallels the title of the poem from which “This Little Babe” is taken: “New Heaven, New War.” With deep insight, vivid imagery, and compelling metaphors both poems explore the mystery, wonder, and… Read More »

The Original “Silent Night” (SATB/SSAA/TTBB) – English or German

Here is an arrangement of the beloved carol “Silent Night” that attempts to recreate how it might have been performed for the first time on Christmas Eve 1818 in Oberndorf, Austria. It is based on an undated manuscript by Franz Gruber (1787-1863) known as “Gruber – Autograph VII.” It begins with a duet that can either be sung by soloists, small ensembles, or choir sections.  The choral parts in the Tutti… Read More »

O Come, All Ye Faithful (SATB) – English or Latin

This setting of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” is an attempt to musically portray a great victory parade  to see the Christ Child (see www.jubalslyre.com/thoughts-on-o-come-all-ye-faithful). The choral arrangement begins with a soloist inviting the faithful to join in a great, joyful, and triumphal procession to Bethlehem. The full choir joins by repeating the last part of the stanza, a lost tradition that is evident in early hymnals and choral arrangements of… Read More »

The King Shall Come (Hymn Intonation)

This piece is a short Hymn Intonation for pipe organ on the tune CONSOLATION written for the Advent hymn “The King Shall Come.” It features a pedal ostinato and a quasi-canon at the unison. To obtain a copy, click on the picture below. on Square Market