About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and two children.
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Using the shoddiest, sleaziest material we have for the purpose of glorifying God is not very sound theology or even very good common sense. […] (In general, when you see a diminished seventh chord in a hymn, run.) And these chords are usually used in bad hymns in precisely the same order in which they occur in “Sweet Adeline.”
— Paul Hume (1956)

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Being Careful With Hymns
published 8 August 2016 by Jeff Ostrowski

RECENTLY PUBLISHED some reflections on Gregorian hymnody and the Latin accent. I would like to repeat that, in the final analysis, hymn construction is an art form not a science. Each individual “ear” must decide what is acceptable.

For myself, the musical emphasis on “THE shown here is bothersome:

226 The


At the same time, I realize that once we start down this road we might end up eliminating an excessive amount of hymn pairings! By the way, that page is from a book produced at Westminster, which you can download by clicking on the “Hymnal” tab at the top of the page. The relevant information is as follows:

1948 • DAILY HYMN BOOK (Westminster & Desclée) —360pg

The various entities involved in producing that book are all quite respectable.