Academic journal article The Hymn

The Georgian Harmony 2010 A Collection of Hymns and Fuging Tunes in the Shape-Note Tradition

Academic journal article The Hymn

The Georgian Harmony 2010 A Collection of Hymns and Fuging Tunes in the Shape-Note Tradition

Article excerpt

The Georgiern harmony 2010 A collection of hymns anàfuging tunes in the shape-note tradition by Raymond C. Hamrick. [Commerce, GA]: Raymond C. Hamrick, 2010. 118 pp. US $20.00. Available from The Georgian Harmony, 1574 Adams Clarke Rd., Commerce, GA 30530.

www.georgianharmony.org

Hugh McGraw, widely recognized leader of Sacred Harp singing, has observed that this tradition has flourished because of its inclusion of living composers and not just composers of the past. The 1991 edition of The sacred harp, the most-used edition in our time, included a number of pieces by living composers. One of the most widely known and respected of these composers is Raymond C. Hamrick, a retired owner of a jewelry store and highly esteemed watch-maker in Macon, Georgia. Born in 1915, ninety- five -year-old Raymond Hamrick still works part-time as a watchmaker. Remarkably, he is still composing pieces in the Sacred Harp tradition.

The Georgian harmony is a collection of over 100 songs for Sacred Harp singings, all composed by Raymond Hamrick. As far as this reviewer is aware, it is the largest collection of music by any composer in the tradition. Hamrick is a Primitive Baptist, and it is no surprise that a large number of hymn texts set by him are those favored by these churches. His biggest source of texts is 'Primitive hymns, a words-only hymnal compiled by Alabama Primitive Baptist pastor Benjamin Lloyd in the 1840s that is still in use today. Fifteen of the texts are credited to Isaac Watts, and a number are by English hymnists of the eighteenth century.

Raymond Hamrick' s compositions in The Georgian harmony include hymn tunes and fuging tunes in styles typical of the tradition and reflecting a clear understanding of the musical preferences of Sacred Harp singers. …

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