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 resides with his wife and children.
Connect on Facebook:
Connect on Twitter:
“In spite of what it is currently called, the music of these songs is not modern: this musical style is not new, but has been played in the most profane places and surroundings (cabarets, music halls, often for more or less lascivious dances with foreign names). The people are led on to rock or swing. They all feel an urge to dance about. That sort of “body language” is certainly alien to our Western culture, unfavorable to contemplation and its origins are rather suspect. Most of the time our congregations, which already find it hard not to confuse the crochets and the quavers in a 6/8 bar, do not respect the rhythm; then one no longer feels like dancing, but with the rhythm gone to pieces, the habitual poorness of the melodic line becomes all the more noticeable.”
— Unnamed choirmaster (Northern France) circa 1986

PDF Download • Rare German Hymnal
published 17 October 2017 by Jeff Ostrowski

4195 In Dulci Jubilo HE Brébeuf Hymnal project is really coming along. I have been privileged (for several years) to serve on a committee creating this book. One of the members is a veritable encyclopedia of hymnody, and it’s difficult to find a tune, text, or author he doesn’t know. The amount of material we have unearthed is overwhelming, and I hope someday 100% can be released online.

We have commissioned a remarkable amount of new texts and melodies for this book. However, we will also include historic Catholic tunes that have been (unfairly) neglected—and the following book by Dreves has several nice ones.

For the first time in history we have placed this celebrated German hymnal online:

    * *  PDF Download •   O CHRIST HIE MERK!   (Rev. Dreves, 1885)

Fr. Robert Skeris, perhaps the world’s preëminent scholar of hymnody, wrote about Dreves:

In order to make available in practise some of the results of his research work, DREVES published two small books which were important and influential in the continuing discussion: Ein Wort zur Gesangbuchfrage and “O Christ hie merk!” DREVES intended his “Wort” as “building material” for an eventual German national hymnal. If the “Wort zur Gesangbuchfrage” is more theoretical, then “O Christ hie merk!” is completely practical: a hymnal with 150 tunes illustrating the principles set forth in the “Wort.” WITT identified himself with this “word” by saying that it expressed “the principles of the Caecilian Society on this point.”

Fr. Guido Maria Dreves was a Jesuit priest who died in 1909. He’s responsible for the definitive work (55 volumes) on Latin hymnody: Analecta Hymnica Medii Aevi.


Dreves, Guido Maria S. J. — “O Christ hie merk!”
Ein Gesangbüchlein geistlicher Lieder. Freiburg im Breisgau.
Herdersche Verlagshandlung. 1885.
Mit Approbation des hochw. Herrn Erzbischofs von Freiburg.

S. Halbleinen-Bibliothekseinband mit Leinenecken und marm. Deckeln. Handbeschr. Rückenschild oben sowie Bibliotheksschild auf V-Deckel, gestempelt. Kanten und Deckel berieben, sonst gut. Innen stärker gebräunt, die ersten Seiten mit zahlreichen Bibliotheksstempeln und handschr. kleinen Eintragungen. Nach S. X im Gelenk angebrochen. Vorsätze sowie Innendeckel und erste bzw. letzte S. gilbtleckig, sonst sauber.
Zweck dieses Gesangbüchleins ist einzig und allein, die echt christlichen, echt volkstümlichen Lieder, wie sie von Anfang bei unseren Vorfahren in Brauch und Übung gewesen, dann aber in glaubensschwacher, nüchterner Zeit über Bord geworfen oder bis zu Unkenntlichkeit entstellt wurden, unserem Volke zurückzugeben, und zwar in einer Gestalt, die sich möglichst innig der überlieferten Urform des Liedes anschlösse (...) Aus dem Vorwort.

Mit zahlreichen Notenbeigaben.

DREVES. Guido Maria, Jesuit, Hymnologe und geistlicher Lyriker, * 27.10. 1854 in Hamburg als Sohn des Notars und Dichters Leberecht D., † 1.6. 1909 in Mitwitz bei Kronach (Ober.franken).