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.
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“Oh, the happy choir director who is hired to start work on a brand new choir, or who walks into his first rehearsal a total stranger to the existing group—what a fortunate man he is! The new choir director who is a former member of the choir, or a member of the congregation, or the nephew of the alto soloist, or a former altar boy, or otherwise well acquainted with the choir, is in for a few headaches.”
— Paul Hume (1956)

Hymn Tunes That Are Actually The Same
published 13 February 2018 by Jeff Ostrowski

NE OF THE CHALLENGES we face in creating the St. Jean de Brébeuf Hymnal has to do with hymn tune names. We usually have about fifteen different (authentic) sources for each tune, from which we usually choose the most familiar version—or, in some cases, the most “Catholic” version. But just because a hymn tune has a different name does not ipso facto mean it’s a different melody.

Carefully examine these two melodies:


Look at the bass line, if you don’t see it.

HALTON HOLGATE is also called “SHARON” and JERSEY.

Perhaps the worst offender is “ICH BEGEHR NICHT MEHR,” which has a billion different names (including St. Leonard) and is used with different meters. Needless to say, there are numerous variants, with different passing tones, etc.