Full Text for Lutheran Worship 2- Volume 68 - Text and Tune Style Changes over Time (Video)

ROUGHLY EDITED COPY LUTHERAN WORSHIP 2 68.LW2 Captioning provided By: Caption First, Inc. P.O. Box 1924 Lombard, IL 60148 ******** This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. ******** >> DAVID: Here's another question. How have the text and tune styles changed over the centuries? >> DR. JAMES BRAUER: Indeed, they have changed. They have changed considerably. In our modern versions of these hymns, though, we wouldn't know quite the full variety in those changes because we tend to editorially homogenize them. But, nonetheless, there is some obvious variety in this. So I think the best way to answer this is first of all start out with the definition of hymn and then show how there are categories like hymnody in Greek, hymnody in Latin, in German, and English. And that's just to keep it simple. It's much more complicated than that So the simplest definition I know I got from Augustine, and he wrote in a commentary in the Psalms, *hymnus est cantus cum lauda Dei. A hymn is a song with praise to God. And then he continued, it's not a hymn if it's not a song. It's not a hymn if it has no praise, and it's not a hymn if it isn't to God. Now, we could make the definition a lot bigger than that and it would have many benefits. But to keep it small, focuses on the fact that we're talking about a song. Basically, we're thinking of a congregation singing it. Now, we're thinking that this is something that wants to praise God, and that is offered to God as a sacrifice of thanksgiving. And it along the way, because it's praising God, is probably going to come along with stories of God or attributes of God or reasons for wanting to praise are going to be in the list. And that's typical of songs through the centuries. So a hymn, what is it? *hymnus est cantus cum lauda Dei. Now, let's take an example of a Greek hymn. Now, the Greek hymnody became a really sizable creation so that you would have a design of, say, four or five stanzas, and that would get eight repetitions of that design. So you get a ten-minute kind of text presented musically. I don't know of any hymn that�s that long in Lutheran Worship. If we look for one example of what these were like, we could go in Lutheran Worship to hymn No. 471. And here we would see that Clement of Alexandria, who lived around the year 200, wrote a text that talks about the youth of the church. �Shepherd of tender youth guiding in love and truth through the devious ways Christ our triumphant king we come your name to sing and here our children bring to join your praise.� Now, there are more stanzas, but basically, looking to God to provide his word in stanza 2 �to teach us holy love, to help us in time of pain, and to guide us, and, therefore, to be a shepherd king to us.� Obviously, the translator of this who brings it in English redesigns the text, maybe simplifies the design, and we put a modern tune to it. But we have a wonderful case there of a text that thinks of Christ as being the center who provides the word, who is a guide. Many of the Greek texts actually confessed the divinity of Jesus and discuss Jesus as the light of the world. It's one of their famous images. Now, there are several other such hymns in the hymnal that come from the Greek tradition. To keep it short, then, we're going to move on to Latin hymnody. Latin hymnody didn't begin until the fourth century. The church operated in the Mediterranean world, basically, in Greek. But as the Latin language became the common language among people, the church moved, then, to introduce hymns in Latin. And from the fourth century until the time of Luther, a thousand plus years, you have many subcategories of hymnody in their, and all lot of this in that period was done not so much in the service on Sunday by the people, but, because the hymns weren�t part of the liturgy, but they were invented by the monastic communities where there was learning and education and a desire to spread education. And they had many occasions on a given day with the monastic offices and hours for worship the use of psalmody to employ these in the seasons of the church year so this became the primary place that they were invented. However, there are some that come from very early times. For example, from Ambrose, bishop of Milan, who lived around 400. We could look at hymn No. 13 in Lutheran Worship, "Savior of the Nations Come." Now, this is a very short melody. It has just a few, six or eight, syllables per line, four lines. It's a small design, but it's a wonderful way to capture the story of the incarnation so much so that Luther took it and translated into German, and if you examine it, you'll discover he was very careful to follow each thought move of Ambrose to be a true representation of what he had done in Latin at least one thousand years before. �Savior of the nation's come. Show yourself, the Virgin�s Son, marvel heaven, wonder earth that our God chose such a birth.� A wonderful way of capturing it in a poetic language in verse 5: �God the Father was his source. Back to God he ran his course. Into hell his road down. Back then to his throne and crown.� And even in the modern English translation, some of the imagery, the strong imagery, comes forth to help us focus on that incarnation for us. We could move to a larger design, perhaps a better one, also for the Christmas season, is hymn No. 36. This is by Aurelius Prudentius Clemens who also lived in that same period. And this, if you look at the melody, is a more Gregorian or chant-type melody, still usable in the congregation because it's a relatively short and easy one. �Of the Father's love begotten, ere the world began to be, he is Alpha and Omega, he the source, the ending he, of the things that are, that have been, and that future years shall see, evermore and evermore.� And each of the stanzas ends with evermore. And typical of the Latin hymns would be a Gloria Patri kind of ending. And the office hymns often have that feature. So that's just a touch on the early Latin hymn that has come down to us, and in this case, a thirteenth century melody has been preserved in the Gregorian tradition for �Of the Father's love begotten.� When the Reformation came along, hymnody exploded into many languages, and Luther was among the first to press for new hymnody. But that didn't mean he threw out what was there before because if you examine the hymns he worked on, he would often translate into German and even add stanzas in order to gain a hymn for the congregation because they were useful. Now, a typical one from his day would be Lutheran Worship No. 353, �Dear Christians one and all rejoice.� It has in this version ten stanzas. It tells the whole story of God coming down to earth. For example, in five, you know, even a dialogue between God and his Son, Jesus. �God said to his beloved Son, it's time to have compassion. Then go bright jewel of my crown and bring to all salvation. From sin and sorrow set them free. Slay bitter death for them that they may live with you forever.� So the Son obeyed. He came and did that because God had seen the condition of sinners, and then, he returns to the Father, and he sends forth the word that salvation is for all. This kind of storytelling in a big design, a ten-stanza hymn, could be repeated again and again to assist those who had, in a sense, grown up under the Pope's teachings and had thought of works as being the key to like commercial music today continuously repeated to go into the deep part of the brain so that you could recall this and so that you would encounter this teaching on a regular basis to kind of fill you with the message. So Luther looked for these very gospel story kind of hymns to do that, and others participated in it as well. That's typical of the early German hymns. In the later ones, the post-reformation period, they continued with that general idea with the hymns, bold, confident, joyous, speaking jubilantly of faith, and by the end of the 1600's, greater warmth enters, and the designs change. And here we might look at one that is a slightly different design and a simpler kind of tune to sing. For example, Martin Rinckart�s �Now Thank We All Our God,� No. 143. In fact, this is in almost every hymnal. It doesn't even mention Christ. It doesn't mention the gospel. But it's like the first article. �Now thank we all our God, with heart, and hands, and voices, who wondrous things has done, in whom this world rejoices; who from our mothers' arms has blessed us on our way with countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.� It has only three stanzas. It's obviously a hymn of praise, quite general, thinking of God's providence. So even within the German hymnody, you get phases and different features and characteristics. With pietism there came a much more personal kind of language and a warmer kind of poetry. It comes out even in English. But to keep our story short, we need to talk about English hymns. And to do that, we probably have to start in Geneva, Switzerland where Calvin tried hard to find wonderfully paraphrased psalms into French so they felt highly poetic and very true to what the text had in the original. It took until 1551 for them to complete the paraphrases of the psalms. At the same time, they looked for melodies that were engaging and interesting in a similar way that Luther did, but sometimes more sophisticated coming out of court life because he used some of the best musicians of the day to identify these tunes that could be sung by the congregation. He was a pretty stiff character in that there would be no harmony, no instruments used with it, just tune. They were sober tunes. Then when Knox carried this reformation of Calvin to Scotland, connected to the British kind of tradition, they liked the small designs. And they continued to think only in terms of paraphrased psalms until we get to Isaac Watts. Here an example would be No. 312. Finally, in that psalmody tradition of Calvin and his sons and daughters, its two hundred years before they can mention the name of Jesus, for example, in this one. �Jesus shall reign where�er the sun does it�s successive journeys run; his kingdom stretch from shore to shore, until moons shall wax and wane no more.� And Isaac Watts produced a lot of a psalm paraphrases, but he also broke into the singing about Jesus more directly. Some of those have become useful to us. In the nineteenth century, as the Anglican Church now begins to put hymnody within its services, it called upon its scholars and poets to actually go and translate the Greek and Latin hymnody into English and to make these available. So by the beginning of the 20th century, they had produced a library of very excellent hymns based on ancient traditions. And all of them could be done in English. And that's how they moved into our use through the Anglicans, primarily, and Americans invented them as well. We could take an American, Lowell Mason for the music and Ray Palmer for the text, Lutheran Worship 378. �My faith looks up to thee.� We changed the translation in here to get rid of the these and thous. And it came out in a strange way, �My faith looks trustingly--try to find that word in the dictionary--to Christ of Calvary, my savior true. Lord, hear me while I pray, take all my guilt away; strengthen in every way my love for you.� I'm going to focus here on the tune because we want to think a little bit about styles of music. If you look at this, you say you have this rhythm: long, short, short, short, short, long. And there's a little dotted rhythm in there. The next phrase is the same rhythm. Then it's broken up by long, short, short, long. So the poet has produced only four syllables so the tune is short. Now we come back to our original rhythm, do that twice, then as kind of an elegant way to end it, we do that original rhythm once more with a different rhythm to end it, also only four syllables long. So I'm doing the last two phrases, long, short, short, short, short, short, short, long, long, long. That ends up to be simple, elegant interesting design. And it was meant to kind of capture people into an easy melody but one that had beautiful rounded and artistic qualities to engage them in a song that could be sung again and again without wearing it out. An American invention as well. So when we look at a hymnal and we see the collection of hymns like Lutheran worship, the Lutheran Hymnal, or with our next book, I think it's going to be called the Service Book, we're going to get an anthology, an anthology that represents many styles in terms of texts, in terms of topics, somewhat homogenized because editors sift through and adjust the text for the use in modern usage and spellings and rhymes and so forth and likewise, with the music that if it's too strange, scale or rhythmic difficulty for people to actually find something that's a bit easier. We'll get a range that goes through the centuries. The advantage is that you have many different styles to draw from for use in the congregation so that they don't, in a sense, wear out by just staying with one very narrow category. For a pastor, this is easily done simply by identifying that I've used two or three centuries of poets, or two different, three different centuries of musical composers within a service. And I've already achieved that.