Star-Spangled Banner

StarSpangledBanner
Written by Francis Scott Key after the flag was raised over at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry to celebrate a crucial victory by U.S. forces over the British during the War of 1812, the Star-Spangled Banner eventually became the United States national anthem.

See a list of other potential traditional song themes here.

Videos:
David Enlow – Star-Spangled Banner Fugue – Highland Park Presbyterian Church, Dallas, TX
Pieter Leebeek – Improvisation on “The Star-Spangled banner” – Hauptwerk Sample Set of Domkerk in Utrecht

Salzburg

Salzburg
Named after the city in Austria, the hymn tune SALZBURG was first published anonymously in the nineteenth edition of Johann Crüger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica. In the twenty-fourth edition of the book, the tune was attributed to Jakob Hintze, who contributed sixty-five tunes to the collection. The harmonization found in most hymnals was done by Johann Sebastian Bach.

See a list of other popular hymn and chorale themes here.

Easter Hymn

EasterHymnEASTER HYMN originally appeared in the John Walsh collection Lyra Davidica (1708) as a very active tune. It was simplified to its present version by John Arnold in his Compleat Psalmodist (1749). It is one of the best and most widely known English hymn tunes for Easter.

See a list of other popular hymn and chorale themes here.

Videos:
Kerry Beaumont – Easter Hymn – Coventry Cathedral

Heinlein

Heinlein
HEINLEIN was published in the Nürnbergisches Gesang-Buch (1676-77) as a setting of Christoph Schwamlein’s text based on Psalm 130 “Aus der Tiefe rufe ich” (“Out of the Depths I Cry”). The tune was attributed to “M. H.,” initials that are generally understood to refer to Martin Herbst, a theologian and philosopher who died in 1681 of the plague.

See a list of other popular hymn and chorale themes here.

Videos:
Kerry Beaumont – Variations on ‘Forty days and forty nights’ – Coventry Cathedral
Kerry Beaumont – Toccata on ‘Forty days and forty nights’ – Coventry Cathedral

Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern

WieSchoenLeuchtet
“Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern” was written by Philipp Nicolai in 1597 and first published in 1599. He is also know for his hymn for Advent, “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme.” The melody for “Wie schön leuchtet” was adapted from a melody for Psalm 100 found in Wolff Köphel’s Psalter (1538). The version presented here is the equal rhythm version used by J.S. Bach.

See a list of other hymn and chorale themes here.

Videos:
Evert Groen – Symphonische Improvisation über ‘Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern’ – St. Bonifatius-Dom in Wirges

Veni redemptor gentium

veni-redemptor
Veni redemptor gentium is assigned to the Roman Catholic Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours for Advent from December 17 through December 24. It was translated into the German chorale “Nun komm der Heiden Heliand” by Martin Luther with the melodic adaptation to the German words made by either Martin Luther or Johannes Walter. More recently, Dom Paul Benoit, OSB adapted the chant into the hymn tune Christian Love, as a setting of Omer Westendorf’s text “Where Charity and Love Prevail,” a common meter translation of the Holy Thursday chant hymn Ubi caritas.

See a list of other hymn and chorale themes here.

Videos:
Maria Scharwieß – Improvisation on ‘Veni redemptor gentium’ – Nathanaelchurch in Berlin-Schöneberg

Es ist ein Ros entsprungen

Es ist ein Ros entsprungen
Often translated in to English as “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” the German chorale “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen” first appeared in print in the late 16th century. The most familiar harmonization was written by German composer Michael Praetorius in 1609.

See a list of other hymn and chorale themes here.

Videos:
Eric Dalest – Improvisation on “Es ist ein Ros” – Virtual organ of ST MAXIMIN
Paul Damjakob – Kommet ihr Hirten und Es ist ein Ros – Würzburger Dom

Mendelssohn

Mendelssohn
Felix Mendelssohn originally composed this melody as part of a cantata in 1840 to celebrate the invention of printing with movable type by Johannes Gutenberg. William H. Cummings adapted the melody in 1855 to fit a text by Charles Wesley that was first published in 1739 in the collection Hymns and Sacred Poems. The first line commonly used today, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” is an alteration by George Whitefield in his 1754 Collection of hymns for social worship.

See a list of other hymn and chorale themes here.