Sunday, July 10, 2011

ELH 420 For Classical Guitar

Finished a transcription of BOYLSTON (L. Mason, 1792-1872) the tune used for "Blest Be the Tie That Binds" in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (Hymn 420)

Transcription at Tuxguitar.

Listen to a MIDI version at:

The Lyrics for Blest Be the Tie That Binds were written by John Faw­cett, and published in Hymns Adapt­ed to the Cir­cum­stance of Pub­lic Wor­ship (Leeds, Eng­land: 1782).

John Fawcett, Baptist preacher of England, was born January 6, 1739 (or 1740), in Lidget Green, near Bradford, Yorkshire. At the age of 16 he came under the influence of Whitefield and joined the Methodists, but three years later he became a member of the Baptist church of Bradford. In 1765 he was ordained to the ministry and was installed in the Baptist congregation of Wainsgate, Yorkshire. Seven years later, in 1772, he was called to London to succeed the famous Dr. J. Gills of Carter’s Lane. He accepted the call. After delivering his farewell sermon to the congregation at Wainsgate, six loads of household goods were brought up near the church preparatory to his leaving for London. But the congregation was not ready to bid him farewell. Men, women, and children thronged about their pastor and his family and wept. Fawcett and his wife also were moved to tears at the sight. Finally his wife said, “O John, I cannot endure this; I do not understand how we can leave this place.” “No, you are right,” he replied, “neither shall we leave.” Then all their belongings were unpacked and put in their old places. It has been thought that Fawcett upon this occasion wrote the famous hymn, “Blest be the tie that binds,” which is such a favorite in Reformed circles. In 1777 the congregation built a new church near Heddon Bridge, and about the same time he opened a school in Brearly Hall, where he lived. In 1793 he was offered the position of president of the Baptist academy at Bristol, but declined. In 1811 he received his diploma of doctor of theology from America. He died in 1817, at the age of 78. Dr. Fawcett wrote many treatises on theological themes, and a large number of hymns and spiritual songs. The greater number of his hymns are found in the collection, Hymns adapted to the Circumstances of Public Worship and Private Devotion, Leeds, Wright and Son, 1782, in all 166 hymns. About 20 of these are in general use. [Dahle, Library of Christian Hymns]

John Fawcett wrote this hymn in 1772. Miller, in his Singers and Songs Of the Church, 1869, describes the circumstances of its origin thus: “This favorite hymn is said to have been written in 1772 to commemorate the determination of its author to remain with his attached people at Wainsgate. The farewell sermon was preached, the wagons were loaded, when love and tears prevailed, and Dr. Fawcett sacrificed the attractions of a London pulpit to the affection of his poor but devoted flock.”

In Stanza 4, Line 1, Fawcett had:

When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain. [Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal]

Lyrics in ELH 420:

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

Before our Father’s throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one
Our comforts and our cares.

We share our mutual woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.

When here our pathways part,
We suffer bitter pains,
Yet, one in Christ and one in heart,
We hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives
Our courage by the way;
While each in expectation lives,
And longs to see the day.

From sorrow, toil and pain,
And sin, we shall be free,
And perfect love and friendship reign
Through all eternity.

The tune BOYLSTON was written by  Lowell Mason (1792-1872)

From Cyberhymnal:

Mason showed an in­tense in­ter­est in mu­sic from child­hood. He lived in Sa­van­nah, Georgia, for 15 years, work­ing as a bank clerk, but pur­suing his true love—mu­sic—on the side. He stu­died with F. I. Abel, im­prov­ing his skills to the point where he be­gan com­pos­ing his own music. Num­er­ous pub­lish­ers in Phil­a­del­phia and Bos­ton re­ject­ed his ear­ly work, un­til it was fin­al­ly ac­cept­ed in 1822 by the Han­del and Haydn So­ci­e­ty of Bos­ton, Mass­a­chu­setts, his na­tive state. How­ev­er, the col­lect­ion did not even car­ry Ma­son’s name:
I was then a bank officer in Savannah, and did not wish to be known as a mu­sic­al man, as I had not the least thought of ev­er mak­ing mu­sic a pro­fes­sion.
Little did he know that “re­ject­ed” col­lect­ion would even­tu­al­ly go through 17 edi­tions (some sources say 21) and sell 50,000 co­pies. It was adopt­ed by sing­ing schools in New Eng­land, and even­tu­al­ly church choirs.

After see­ing the suc­cess of his work, Mason re­turned to Bos­ton in 1826. He a­lso be­came the di­rect­or of mu­sic at the Han­o­ver, Green, and Park Street church­es, al­tern­at­ing six months with each con­gre­ga­tion. Fin­al­ly, he made a per­ma­nent ar­range­ment with the Bow­doin Street Church, though he still held his job as tel­ler at the Amer­i­can Bank. Mu­sic con­tinued to pull on him, though; he be­came pres­i­dent of the Han­del and Haydn So­ci­e­ty in 1827.

It was in Bos­ton that Ma­son be­came the first mu­sic teach­er in an Amer­i­can pub­lic school. In 1833, he co-found­ed the Bos­ton Acad­e­my of Mu­sic; in 1838, he be­came mu­sic sup­er­in­ten­dent for the Bos­ton school sys­tem. Low­ell Ma­son wrote over 1,600 re­li­gious works, and is of­ten called the “fa­ther of Amer­i­can church music.”

His works in­clude:
  • The Choir, or Un­ion Col­lect­ion of Church Mu­sic, 1832
  • Union Hymns, with Ru­fus Bab­cock, Jr. (Bos­ton, Mass­a­chu­setts: 1834)
  • Carmina Sac­ra: or Bos­ton Col­lect­ion of Church Mu­sic (Bo­ston, Mass­a­chu­setts: J. H. Wil­kins & R. B. Car­ter, 1844)
  • Cantica Laud­is: or The Amer­i­can Book of Church Mus­ic (New York: Ma­son & Law, 1850), with George J. Webb
  • Musical Let­ters from Abroad (Bos­ton, Mass­a­chu­setts: Ol­iv­er Dit­son & Co., 1853)
  • The New Car­mi­na Sac­ra (Bos­ton, Mass­a­chu­setts: Rice and Ken­dall, 1853)
  • The Hallelujah: A Book for the Ser­vice of Song in the House of the Lord (New York: Ma­son Bros., cir­ca 1854)
  • The Diapason: A Col­lect­ion of Church Mu­sic, ed­it­ed by George F. Root (New York : Ma­son Bro­thers, 1860)

My transcription of BOYLSTON was done from the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary using TuxGuitar on Linux Mint.

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