Hymns: They can be beautiful, inspirational, rousing or somber. A few are famous, known even to non-Christians -- "Amazing Grace" is probably the best example. Many others are obscure, written in the 19th century by ardent believers and added to the hymnals of a certain denomination, after which they gradually fell out of favor with church music directors.
You might have noticed, if you read the notes at the bottom of the page, that often the lyrics will be written by a particular person, but the music is just attributed as "traditional" or "folk tune." It was fairly common in the 18th and 19th century for hymns to be religious poetry which was later set to melodies that a congregation would know. Occasionally, a hymn will be set to one tune in Europe, while North Americans or Australians sing it to entirely another. Then there's "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee," which is set to Beethoven's "Ode to Joy," part of his Ninth Symphony. This might be the most auspicious choice for music that we can think of!
If you love church music, we've created a quiz for you! Some are classic and traditional hymns, like "Amazing Grace." A few land in the African-American tradition of spirituals, and you might consider a few as "Sunday School" songs! So keep an open mind as you take this tour of beloved Christian hymns!
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