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Teaching Hymnology

This is a description of a seminar that focused on hymnology and the teaching and learning of, and about, Christian worship songs.

Teaching Hymnology
Bert Polman

This seminar was held in 2006 and 2007 at Calvin College. 

These books and resources were discussed in the 2006 seminar:

Bruce Milne, Know the Truth (InterVarsity Press, 1982)

S. Paul Schilling, The Faith We Sing (Westminster
Press, 1983)

Bernhard Anderson, Out of the Depths: the Psalms Speak for Us Today

Walter Brueggemann, The Message of the Psalms: a Theological Commentary

Denise Dombkowski Hopkins, Journey Through the Psalms

John H. Hayes, Understanding the Psalms

Tremper Longman III, How to Read the Psalms

Samuel J. Rogal, A General Introduction to Hymnody and Congregational Song(Scarecrow Press, 1991)

Harry Eskew and Hugh McElrath, Sing with Understanding (Church Street Press, 1995)

Paul Westermeyer, Let the People Sing: Hymn Tunes in Perspective (GIA Publishing, 2005)

Erik Routley and Paul A. Richardson, A Panorama of Christian Hymnody (GIA Publishing, 2005)

David Music and Milburn Price, A Survey of Christian Hymnody, 4th ed. (Hope Publishing Co., 1999)

David Music, Hymnology: A Collection of Source Readings (Scarecrow Press, 1996)

The Lutheran Hymnal Supplement, and Handbook ’98 (Concordia Publishing)

Jubilate Hymns Group

Seminar Description

Hymnology is the study of congregational singing of psalms and hymns which involves a focus on texts, tunes, authors, composers, and historical and contemporary traditions, but also on performance practice and the integration of such singing in Christian worship. This study is done in academic settings such as undergraduate and seminary institutions, but also happens in congregational settings such as Sunday School or children’s worship, church music ensembles, shorter-term adult-ed programs, and is modeled in weekly worship life.

What ties all of these situations together is pedagogy: what are good processes for the teaching and learning of, and about, Christian worship songs? The “hymn explosion” and technological developments of the contemporary world bring new challenges to the teaching of hymnody. This workshop will tackle these questions in order to equip educators and practitioners from a range of contexts and traditions.

Related Resource

Hymnology: syllabus for an undergraduate course by Bert Polman