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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Why do we never sing “De Spiritu Sancto” (St. Athenogenes) in our churches? There are a dozen translations in English verse. Where could anyone find a better evening hymn than this, coming right down from the catacombs? Our hymnbooks know nothing of such a treasure as this, and give us pages of poor sentiment in doggerel lines by some tenth-rate modern versifier.
— Rev’d Adrian Fortescue (d. 1923)

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.

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.