Sunday, August 12 at 9:00 a.m. in the Quire
What is a Hymn?
Webster: A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification. The word hymn derives from Greek ὕμνος (hymnos), which means "a song of praise". The singing of hymns is called hymnody. Collections of hymns are known as hymnals or hymn books.
What is a Song?
The act or art of singing, poetical composition, a short musical composition of words and music,
a collection of such compositions, a distinctive or characteristic sound or series of sounds (as of a bird, insect, or whale), a melody for a lyric poem or ballad, a poem easily set to music, a habitual or characteristic manner, a violent, abusive, or noisy reaction, * put up quite a song.
Why do we sing?
If I can’t “carry” a tune…
The Psalmist says: Make a joyful “noise” unto the Lord
Ancient hymns include the Egyptian Great Hymn to the Aten, composed by Pharaoh Akhenaten; the Hurrian Hymn to Nikkal; the Vedas, a collection of hymns in the tradition of Hinduism; and the Psalms, a collection of songs from Judaism. The Western tradition of hymnody begins with the Homeric Hymns, a collection of ancient Greek hymns, the oldest of which were written in the 7th century BC, praising deities of the ancient Greek religions. Surviving from the 3rd century BC is a collection of six literary hymns (Ὕμνοι) by the Alexandrian poet Callimachus.
Hymnals of the Episcopal Church
Hymnals have been authorized for the Episcopal Church by General Convention in 1789, 1826, 1871, 1892, 1916, 1940, and 1982. (years between publications: 37, 45, 21-24, last hymnal 42 years) Examples of these Hymnals are on the table here next to the organ.
Accompaniment of singing: none, harp, strings, flute, psaltery, pipes (pan, etc)
The organ was a secular instrument
Hydraulis, earliest known mechanical pipe organ. It was invented in the 3rd century bc by Ctesibius of Alexandria, culminating prior attempts to apply a mechanical wind supply to a large set of panpipes. Its pipes stood on top of a wind chest that was connected to a conical wind reservoir. The reservoir was supplied with air by one or two pumps. For the pipes to sound evenly, the wind chest needed steady air pressure. The open bottom of the cone was set in a tall outer container half filled with water. When air pressure in the cone was low, the water level rose inside it, compressing the air and restoring the former air pressure. The player operated keys or, on some instruments, sliders that let air into the pipes.
The hydraulis was used at outdoor public entertainments; its sound was loud and penetrating. Its use declined in the West by the 5th century ad, although Arab writers of the 9th century refer to it. Later medieval writers thought the hydraulis was a steam-whistle organ such as the calliope.