Academic journal article The Hymn

To Sing the Artist's Praise Hymn Tunes of Sally Ann Morris

Academic journal article The Hymn

To Sing the Artist's Praise Hymn Tunes of Sally Ann Morris

Article excerpt

to sing the Artist's praise Hymn tunes of Sally Ann Morris Chicago: GIA Publications, 2009. 130 pp. ISBN 978-1-57999-775-5. US $24.95.

This second collection of 48 tunes from Sally Ann Morris brings to voice many new texts, a couple of older ones, and a complete setting of the liturgy for the "Mass in the Black Mountain Liturgy." Her tunes lift up the poetic offerings of many well-known authors of our day: Bringle, Dunstan, Patterson, Stuempfle, Thornburg, Troeger, and Wren to name a few.

The musical styles vary widely, ranging from an unaccompanied chant-like setting (69) to a Taizé-like chant with stanzas interspersed (88); unison hymns with occasional descants, and several SATB settings. Showing her versatility, one text ("Traveler, are you passing through?") features two tunes, each composed for a specific context.

An inherent danger in any "solo" collection of music is the potential for idiosyncratic styles of melody or accompaniment. Such is not the case in the thoughtful craftsmanship of this composer. Melodies are nearly always wide-ranging but accessible; harmonies in the accompaniment lead naturally away from and back to the home key, providing variety in structure and architecture. Interior rhythmic components are generally supportive of melodic events. Some accompaniments are plainly geared towards piano, while others would work well at the organ. …

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