Academic journal article The Hymn

Sound the Bamboo: CCA Hymnal 2000

Academic journal article The Hymn

Sound the Bamboo: CCA Hymnal 2000

Article excerpt

Sound the bamboo CCA hymnal 2000 edited by Francisco F. Feliciano and James Minchin; I-to Loh, general editor. Tainan, Taiwan: Christian Conference of Asia, 2000. G-6830. US $14.00.

The 1990 edition of Sound the bamboo called itself, modestiy, "a haphazard garden of many flowers, with each bloom adding its own color to the whole glory of the garden." This garden has truly flourished, and is now available through GIA, as well as The Hymn Society's book service.

Sound the bamboo builds on the tradition explored by the East Asian Christian Conference [EACC] hymnal, published in 1963, and the pioneering work of its editor, Sri Lankan church leader D. T. Niles. It appeared in an "incomplete and provisional" form in 1990, recorded and transcribed from the grass roots of many Asian churches, amid the noise of city traffic, beside village fires, or "in huts and homely settings," as its preface states. Since the editors realized that it was unlikely to be the primary songbook of any church, they turned necessity into strength, producing a collection with a distinctively Asian ethos, in both sounds and musical forms.

It is indeed a treasure of Asian congregational song. I have explored it many times, and have always found that it rewarded my search for a congregational song, an introit, an anthem, a source for a meditation, or melody for instrumental prayer. It contains some 315 selections in over forty languages from twenty-one countries. Besides strophic hymns, it features call-and-response songs, short prayers, service music, and amen settings, using a rich variety of modes, harmonies, and rhythms. Some use traditional folk melodies; others are of recent composition. It contains varied accompaniments and approaches to harmonization: some are unison settings, some use Western common-practice harmonies, and still others use independent instrumental Unes to support and enrich the melodic line. …

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