My thanks to the scores of responses to my query about textbook possibilities for a hymnology course. I regret that the
number of responses overwhelmed my feeble mind, and that I have not managed to send a personal thank you email to each who
Here is a summation. I list a few snips of editorial comments only to help flesh out the list, and without any pejorative
intent on anyone's part!
Three books stand out from the recommended texts.
SING WITH UNDERSTANDING by Eskew and McElrath, published by Broadman, is a book by "Baptists with a careful sense of
history." One correspondent called it "concise." I know that at least one of these authors was on faculty at Southern
Baptist Seminary in Louisville during happier times.
A SURVEY OF CHRISTIAN HYMNODY by Price and Reynolds is published by Hope. The 3rd edition from 1987 has just been replaced
by a 4th edition, 1999. At about 100 pp and 150 full hymn examples in an appendix, this book is highly recommended by
several fellow listers. Another called it "a little superficial and not completely accurate historically." One write
indicated that he will switch to the new edition sight unseen this fall. I personally remember using a 2nd edition of this
book in my own undergraduate studies.
BOTH of these books are suggested as books written by musicians from a more evangelical viewpoint, but are represented as
good sources for the more liturgical-minded as well.
THE PANORAMA OF CHRISTIAN HYMNODY by Erik Routley, published ca. 1980 by GIA. I have this book, and it's detailed and
thorough. I'm not certain I'd use it as a text without it being in conjunction with something by an evangelical, since the
book is certainly liturgical-oriented. Routley is, I believe, an Anglican. He also wrote a thin paperback, mentioned as a
quick overview by one correspondent, called CHRISTIAN HYMNS OBSERVED and published by GIA.
That's the big three.
JUBILATE II by Don Hustad, published by Hope, got a couple of nods, with one person mentioning that it covers "evangelical
music and more recent developments." Hustad also has a newer DICTIONARY-HANDBOOK TO HYMNS FOR THE LIVING CHURCH.
Other books mentioned include:
THE ENGLISH HYMN by J.R. Watson, a quite new, rather expensive treatment of texts ONLY.
INTRODUCING A NEW HYMNAL by James Sydnor, GIA, 1989.
THE STUDY OF LITURGY edited by Chesleyn Jones, Oxford, 1978.
SINGING FAITH by Jane Huber, Westminster/John Knox Press.
A book on hymn histories by Al Smith.
Anything on hymns by Alice Parker.
One write suggested that I utilize a recent issue of Christianity Today which had a cover called "hymns on tv" and an article
entitled "How praise songs won."
Another suggested that an excellent starting point for the semester is Carlton Young's very thorough, concise introduction to
the latest Companion book to the United Methodist Hymnal. I personally find this a great idea!
For blended worship trends, the suggestion is any of the books by Robert Webber of Wheaton, called in one email "the guru of
FINALLY, and perhaps most importantly, many correspondents indicated that I should contact The Hymn Society at 1.800.THE.HYMN
or at their site . Foolish me! Why didn't I do this first?? At any rate, the executive of this group
is recommended as being especially amenable to assisting.
FOR MY OWN purposes, I'll likely use two texts and several hymnals as my source material, supplementing from magazines,
introductions to hymnal companions (including the Southern Baptist, United Methodist, and Episcopalian), and other texts as I
Best regards to all who labor in the love of music, and to all who teach angels how to sing!
Jeffrey Carter, D.M.A.
============================Assistant Professor of Music, Kentucky Wesleyan College
Director, Owensboro Symphony Orchestra Chorus
Private Voice Teacher,
Conductor, Composer, Clinician
And other duties as assigned!
============================637 Chuck Gray Court
Owensboro KY 42303