In music, homophony is a texture in which a primary part is supported by one or more additional strands that flesh out the harmony and provide rhythmic contrast. This differentiation of roles contrasts with equal-voice monophony. Homophony and its differentiated roles for parts emerged in tandem with tonality, which gave distinct harmonic functions to the soprano and inner voices. A homophonic texture may be homorhythmic. Chorale texture is another variant of homophony; the most common type of homophony is melody-dominated homophony, in which one voice the highest, plays a distinct melody, the accompanying voices work together to articulate an underlying harmony. In Ancient Greece, homophony indicated music in which a single melody is performed by two or more voices in unison or octaves, i.e. monophony with multiple voices. Homophony as a term first appeared in English with Charles Burney in 1776, emphasizing the concord of harmonized melody. Homophony first appeared as one of the predominant textures in Western classical music during the Baroque period in the early 17th century, when composers began to compose with vertical harmony in mind, the homophonic basso continuo becoming a definitive feature of the style.
The choral arrangement of four voices has since become common in Western classical music. Homophony began by appearing in sacred music, replacing polyphony and monophony as the dominant form, but spread to secular music, for which it is one of the standard forms today. In 20th century classical music some of the "triad-oriented accompanimental figures such as the Alberti bass have disappeared from usage and, rather than the traditional interdependence of melodic and chordal pitches sharing the same tonal basis, a clear distinction may exist between the pitch materials of the melody and harmony avoiding duplication. However, some traditional devices, such as repeated chords, are still used. Jazz and other forms of modern popular music feature homophonic influences, following chord progressions over which musicians play a melody or improvise. Homophony has appeared in several non-Western cultures particularly in regions where communal vocal music has been cultivated; when explorer Vasco da Gama landed in West Africa in 1497, he referred to the music he heard there as being in "sweet harmony".
While the concept of harmony in that time was not the same as the concept of homophony as understood by modern scholars, it is accepted that homophonic voice harmonies were commonplace in African music for centuries before contact with Europeans and is common in African music today. Singers harmonize voices in homophonic parallelism moving in parallel thirds or fourths; this type of harmonic model is implemented in instrumental music where voices are stacked in thirds or fourths. Homophonic Parallelism is not restricted to thirds and fourths, however all harmonic material adheres to the scalar system the particular tune or song is based on; the use of harmony in sixths is common in areas. For instance, the Fang people of Gabon use homophony in their music. In eastern Indonesia, two-part harmonies are common in intervals of thirds, fourths or fifths. Additionally, Chinese music is thought to be homophonic, since instruments provide accompaniment in parallel fourths and fifths and double the voice in vocal music, heterophony being common in China.
In melody-dominated homophony, accompanying voices provide chordal support for the lead voice, which assumes the melody. Some popular music today might be considered melody-dominated homophony, voice taking on the lead role, while instruments like piano and bass guitar accompany the voice. In many cases, instruments take on the lead role, the role switches between parts, voice taking the lead during a verse and instruments subsequently taking solos, during which the other instruments provide chordal support. Monody is similar to melody-dominated homophony in that one voice becomes the melody, while another voice assumes the underlying harmony. Monody, however, is characterized by a single voice with instrumental accompaniment, whereas melody-dominated homophony refers to a broader category of homophonic music, which includes works for multiple voices, not just works for solo voice, as was the tradition with early 17th-century Italian monody. Melody dominated homophony in Chopin's Nocturne in E Op. 62 No. 2.
The left hand provides chordal support for the melody played by the right hand. Harmony Counterpoint
Shape notes are a music notation designed to facilitate congregational and community singing. The notation, introduced in late 18th century England, became a popular teaching device in American singing schools. Shapes were added to the note heads in written music to help singers find pitches within major and minor scales without the use of more complex information found in key signatures on the staff. Shape notes of various kinds have been used for over two centuries in a variety of music traditions sacred but secular, originating in New England, practiced in the Southern region of the United States for many years, now experiencing a renaissance in other locations as well. Shape notes have been called character notes and patent notes and buckwheat notes and dunce notes, pejoratively; the idea behind shape notes is that the parts of a vocal work can be learned more and if the music is printed in shapes that match up with the solfège syllables with which the notes of the musical scale are sung.
For instance, in the four-shape tradition used in the Sacred Harp and elsewhere, the notes of a C major scale are notated and sung as follows: A skilled singer experienced in a shape note tradition has developed a fluent triple mental association, which links a note of the scale, a shape, a syllable. This association can be used to help in reading the music; when a song is first sung by a shape note group, they sing the syllables to solidify their command over the notes. Next, they sing the same notes to the words of the music; the syllables and notes of a shape note system are relative rather than absolute. The first note of a major key always has the triangular Fa note, followed by La, etc.. The first note of a minor key is always La, followed by Mi, Fa, etc; the first three notes of any major scale – fa, sol, la – are each a tone apart. The fourth to sixth notes are a tone apart and are fa, sol, la; the seventh and eighth notes, being separated by a semitone, are indicated mi-fa. This means; the system illustrated above is a four-shape system.
The ascending scale using the fa, so, la, fa, so, la, mi, fa syllables represent a variation of the hexachord system introduced by the 11th century monk Guido of Arezzo, who introduced a six-note scale using the syllables ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la. The four syllable variation of Guido's original system was prominent in 17th century England, entered the US in the 18th century. Shortly afterward, shapes were invented to represent the syllables.. The other important systems are seven-shape systems, which give a different shape and syllable to every note of the scale; such systems use as their syllables the note names "do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do" familiar to most people. A few books present the older seven-note syllabization of "do, re, mi, fa, so, la, si, do". In the seven-shape system invented by Jesse B. Aikin, the notes of a C major scale would be notated and sung as follows: There are other seven-shape systems. A controlled study on the usefulness of shape notes was carried out in the 1950s by George H. Kyme with an experimental population consisting of fourth- and fifth-graders living in California.
Kyme took care to match his experimental and control groups as as possible for ability, quality of teacher, various other factors. He found that the students taught with shape notes learned to sight read better than those taught without them. Kyme additionally found that the students taught with shape notes were far more to pursue musical activities on in their education. Many forms of music employ modulation. Modulation is problematic for shape-note systems, since the shapes employed for the original key of the piece no longer match the scale degrees of the new key. At least some forms of shape-note music, for instance Sacred Harp music avoid modulation; as noted above, the syllables of shape-note systems antedate the shapes. The practice of singing music to syllables designating pitch goes back to about AD 1000 with the work of Guido of Arezzo. Other early work in this area includes the cipher notation of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the tonic sol-fa of John Curwen. American forerunners to shape notes include the 9th edition of the Bay Psalm Book, An Introduction to the Singing of Psalm Tunes in a Plaine & Easy Method by Reverend John Tufts.
The 9th edition of the Bay Psalm Book was printed with the initials of four-note syllables underneath the staff. In his book, Tufts substituted the initials of the four-note syllables on the staff in place of note heads, indicated rhythm by punctuation marks to the right of the letters. Shape notes in published music date from late 18th century America, notably tune-books written by Boston composer/singing-master William Billings, engraved and published by Paul Revere, they appeared more at the beginning of the nineteenth century, when two publications came out using shaped note heads – The Easy Instructor by William Little and William Smith in 1801, The Musical Primer by Andrew Law in 1803, intended for use in singing schools. Little and Smith used the four-shape system shown above. Law's system had different shapes: a square indicated fa and a triangle la, while sol and mi were the same as in Little and Smith. Law's invention was more radical than Little and Smith's in that he dispensed with the use o
GMA Dove Award
A Dove Award is an accolade by the Gospel Music Association of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the Christian music industry. The awards are presented annually. Held in Nashville, the Dove Awards took place in Atlanta, Georgia during 2011 and 2012, but has since moved back to Nashville; the ceremonies feature live musical performances and are broadcast on TBN. The awards were established in 1969, represent a variety of musical styles, including rock, hip hop and urban; the Dove Awards were conceptualized by Gospel singer and songwriter Bill Gaither, at a Gospel Music Association board meeting in 1968. The idea of the award being represented by a dove is credited to Gaither and design for the award itself is credited to gospel singer Les Beasley; the first GMA Dove Awards were held at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee in October 1969. In 1971, the awards moved to Nashville; the 3rd GMA Dove Awards of 1971 were deemed invalid due to apparent ballot stuffing by the southern gospel group the Blackwood Brothers, that year is still not considered an official awards year by the Gospel Music Association.
There were no awards held in 1979, due to a decision by the Gospel Music Association to move the awards from autumn to spring. Every ceremony since has been held in the spring; the first televised ceremony was the 15th GMA Dove Awards of 1984, which aired on the Christian Broadcasting Network. The awards were held in Nashville until 2011 before being presented at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia in 2012, they returned to Nashville in 2013, have been held at the Allen Arena on the campus of Lipscomb University since. Because of the large number of award categories, the desire to feature several performances by various artists, only the ones with the most popular interest are presented directly at the televised version of the award ceremony; the "General Field" includes seven awards which are not restricted by genre: Song of the Year is awarded to the songwriter and the publisher. Dove Award for Songwriter of the Year Male Vocalist of the Year Female Vocalist of the Year Group of the Year Artist of the Year New Artist of the Year Producer of the YearOther awards are given for performances in specific genres, as well as for other contributions such as artwork and video.
As of the 43rd Dove Awards, these include: Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year Inspirational Album of the Year Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year Southern Gospel Recorded Song of the Year Southern Gospel Album of the Year Traditional Gospel Recorded Song of the Year Traditional Gospel Album of the Year Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song of the Year Contemporary Gospel Album of the Year Musical of the Year Youth/Children's Musical of the Year Worship Song of the Year Praise & Worship Album of the Year Country Recorded Song of the Year Country Album of the Year Bluegrass Recorded Song of the Year Bluegrass Album of the Year Rock Recorded Song of the Year Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year Rock Album of the Year Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year Urban Recorded Song of the Year Instrumental Album of the Year Children's Music Album of the Year Spanish Language Album of the Year Special Event Album of the Year Christmas Album of the Year Choral Collection of the Year Recorded Music Packaging Short Form Music Video of the Year Long Form Music Video of the Year In 1998 the GMA published a new definition of gospel music.
According to the definition, to be considered eligible for the Dove Awards, gospel music must have lyrics that are: Substantially based upon orthodox Christian truth contained in or derived from the Holy Bible An expression of worship of God or praise for His works. Prior to the definition, the only qualified music was that sold in Christian Booksellers Association affiliated stores; the new standards resulted in complaints by some fans and artists after thirteen entries were disqualified as being too secular in the 1999 Dove Awards. The rules were rescinded afterwards, many groups disqualified by the rulings in 1999 were winners in 2000. Christian pop culture Gospel Music Association of Canada Covenant Awards Official website GMA website Past winners
Gospel music is a genre of Christian music. The creation, performance and the definition of gospel music varies according to culture and social context. Gospel music is composed and performed for many purposes, including aesthetic pleasure, religious or ceremonial purposes, as an entertainment product for the marketplace. Gospel music has dominant vocals with Christian lyrics. Gospel music can be traced with roots in the black oral tradition. Hymns and sacred songs were repeated in a call and response fashion. Most of the churches relied on hand clapping and foot stomping as rhythmic accompaniment. Most of the singing was done a cappella; the first published use of the term "gospel song" appeared in 1874. The original gospel songs were written and composed by authors such as George F. Root, Philip Bliss, Charles H. Gabriel, William Howard Doane, Fanny Crosby. Gospel music publishing houses emerged; the advent of radio in the 1920s increased the audience for gospel music. Following World War II, gospel music moved into major auditoriums, gospel music concerts became quite elaborate.
Gospel blues is a blues-based form of gospel music. Southern gospel used all tenor-lead-baritone-bass quartet make-up. Progressive Southern gospel is an American music genre that has grown out of Southern gospel over the past couple of decades. Christian country music, sometimes referred to as country gospel music, is a subgenre of gospel music with a country flair, it peaked in popularity in the mid-1990s. Bluegrass gospel music is rooted in American mountain music. Celtic gospel music infuses gospel music with a Celtic flair, is quite popular in countries such as Ireland. British black gospel refers to Gospel music of the African diaspora, produced in the UK; some proponents of "standard" hymns dislike gospel music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, with historical distance, there is a greater acceptance of such gospel songs into official denominational hymnals. Gospel music features Christian lyrics; some modern gospel music, isn't explicitly Christian and just utilizes the sound.
Subgenres include contemporary gospel, urban contemporary gospel, Southern gospel, modern gospel music. Several forms of gospel music utilize choirs, use piano or Hammond organ, drums, bass guitar and electric guitar. In comparison with hymns, which are of a statelier measure, the gospel song is expected to have a refrain and a more syncopated rhythm. Several attempts have been made to describe the style of late 19th and early 20th century gospel songs in general. Christ-Janer said "the music was tuneful and easy to grasp... rudimentary harmonies... use of the chorus... varied metric schemes... motor rhythms were characteristic... The device of letting the lower parts echo rhythmically a motive announced by the sopranos became a mannerism". Patrick and Sydnor emphasize the notion that gospel music is "sentimental", quoting Sankey as saying, "Before I sing I must feel", they call attention to the comparison of the original version of Rowley's "I Will Sing the Wondrous Story" with Sankey's version.
Gold said, "Essentially the gospel songs are songs of testimony, religious exhortation, or warning. The chorus or refrain technique is found." According to Yale University music professor Willie Ruff, the singing of psalms in Gaelic by Presbyterians of the Scottish Hebrides evolved from "lining out" – where one person sang a solo and others followed – into the call and response of gospel music of the American South. Coming out of the African-American religious experience, American gospel music can be traced to the early 17th century, with foundations in the works of Dr. Isaac Watts and others. Gospel music has roots in the black oral tradition, utilizes a great deal of repetition, which allows those who could not read the opportunity to participate in worship. During this time and sacred songs were lined and repeated in a call and response fashion, Negro spirituals and work songs emerged. Repetition and "call and response" are accepted elements in African music, designed to achieve an altered state of consciousness we sometimes refer to as "trance", strengthen communal bonds.
Most of the churches relied on foot-stomping as rhythmic accompaniment. Guitars and tambourines were sometimes available, but not frequently. Church choirs became a norm only after emancipation. Most of the singing was done a cappella; the most famous gospel-based hymns were composed in the 1760s and 1770s by English writers John Newton and Augustus Toplady, members of the Anglican Church. Starting out as lyrics only, it took decades for standardized tunes to be added to them. Although not directly connected with African-American gospel music, they were adopted by African-Americans as well as white Americans, Newton's connection with the abolition movement provided cross-fertilization; the first published use of the term "Gospel Song" appeared in 1874 when Philip Bliss released a songbook entitled Gospel Songs. A Choice Collection of Hymns and Tunes, it was used to describe a new style of church music, songs that were easy to grasp and more singable than the traditional church hymns, which came out of the mass revival movement starting with Dwight L. Moody, whose musician was Ira D. Sankey, as well as the Holiness-Pentecostal movement.
Prior to the meeting of Moody and
Christian music is music, written to express either personal or a communal belief regarding Christian life and faith. Common themes of Christian music include praise, worship and lament, its forms vary across the world. Like other forms of music the creation, performance and the definition of Christian music varies according to culture and social context. Christian music is composed and performed for many purposes, ranging from aesthetic pleasure, religious or ceremonial purposes, or with a positive message as an entertainment product for the marketplace. Among the most prevalent uses of Christian music are in other gatherings. Most Christian music involves singing, whether by the whole congregation, or by a specialized subgroup—such as a soloist, trio, madrigal, choir, or worship band— or both, it is accompanied by instruments, but some denominations or congregations still prefer unaccompanied or a cappella singing. Some groups, such as the Bruderhof, sing songs both with religious and non-religious meanings and words.
For them, the act of singing is important. One of the earliest forms of worship music in the church was the Gregorian chant. Pope Gregory I, while not the inventor of chant, was acknowledged as the first person to order such music in the church, hinting the name "Gregorian" chant; the chant reform took place around 590–604 CE. The Gregorian chant was known for its monophonic sound. Believing that complexity had a tendency to create cacophony, which ruined the music, Gregory I kept things simple with the chant. In the West, the majority of Christian denominations use instruments such as an organ, electronic keyboard, guitar, or other accompaniment, by a band or orchestra, to accompany the singing, but some churches have not used instruments, citing their absence from the New Testament. During the last century or so several of these groups have revised this stance; the singing of the Eastern Orthodox is generally unaccompanied, though in the United States organs are sometimes used as a result of Western influence.
Some worship music may be unsung instrumental. During the Baroque period in Europe, the chorale prelude was used composed by using a popular hymn tune thematically, a wide corpus of other solo organ music began to develop across Europe; some of the most well-known exponents of such organ compositions include Johann Sebastian Bach, Dieterich Buxtehude, George Frideric Handel, François Couperin, César Franck and Charles-Marie Widor to name a few. Up to the present time, various composers have written instrumental music as acts of worship, including well known organ repertoire by composers like Olivier Messiaen, Louis Vierne, Maurice Duruflé, Jean Langlais; the church sonata and other sacred instrumental musical forms developed from the Baroque period onwards. From the latter half of the 20th century to the present day in Western Christendom—especially in the United States and in other countries with evangelical churches—various genres of music often related to pop rock, have been created under the label of Contemporary Christian Music for home-listening and concert use.
It can be divided into several genres and subgenres, although the dividing lines and relationships between music genres are subtle, sometimes open to individual interpretation, controversial. These genres like other forms of music may be distinguished by the techniques, the styles, the context and the themes, or geographical origin. Specific subgenres of CCM may include: Christian country music, Christian pop, Christian rock, Christian metal, Christian hardcore, Christian punk, Christian alternative rock and Christian hip hop. Called Christian pop or gospel in a generalized form, this is a new musical movement and has now evolved into a large number of musical genres by region that comes in a Christian context; this movement appeared as a form of evangelization for the young but the genre is best known and seen in the Evangelical or Protestant proselytizing movements using rhythms similar to those in secular music. CCM is not a musical genre like the other genres; when a song is identified as "Christian" it takes into account the lyrics and the songwriters and performers, rather than musical style.
Therefore, one can say that CCM is diverse and there are Christian songs that are sung to the rhythm of salsa, rock, hip-hop or rap, pop, singer-songwriters and extreme music such as punk or heavy metal. In the 1980s and 1990s, contemporary Christian music played a significant role in Evangelical Christian worship. A great variety of musical styles has developed traditional praise. Similar developments took place in other language, for example the German Neues Geistliches Lied and Korean Contemporary Christian music. Christian music is supported by a segment of the general music industry which evolved as a parallel structure to the same. Beginning in the 1970s and developing out of the Jesus movement, the Christian music industry subsequently developed into a near-billion dollar enterprise. By the 1990s the genre had eclipsed classical and new-age music, artists began gaining acceptance in the general market. Today, Christian music is available through most available media. Christian music is broadcast over television, or the Internet.
Christian Albums and video recordings have b
Christian hip hop
Christian hip hop is a subgenre of hip hop music characterized by a Christian worldview, with the general purposes of evangelization, edifying some members of the church and/or entertaining. Christian hip hop music emerged from urban communities in the United States in the 1980s, when it existed exclusively in small underground scenes, with minimal formal industry promotion and little mainstream attention, it emphasizes the use of positive and uplifting messages to promote belief. Christian hip hop music, blending rhythmic music and faith-based lyrics, first emerged on record in 1982 with a track entitled "Jesus Christ" by Queens, New York artist McSweet; the first full-length, Christian hip hop album, Bible Break, by Oklahoma artist Stephen Wiley, was released in 1985 with the title track becoming a hit on Christian radio in 1986. Other early Christian hip recording artists from the mid-1980s included P. I. D. who recorded to funky rock rhythms, as well as JC & the Boys and Michael Peace. The most prominent Christian rappers have been tobyMac, the first rapper to have success in the mainstream Christian music scene, Lecrae, who has emerged on the mainstream rap scene.
Christian rap has exclusively come out of Protestant traditions in the United States, although there is a small Catholic rap scene that has emerged, there are small Christian rap scenes in the UK, Brazil and many other countries where Christians reside and where hip hop music is popular. The first commercially released and distributed Gospel hip hop record was by Queens, New York MC Pete Harrison, under the recording name'McSweet', The Gospel Beat: Jesus-Christ and arranged by Harrison and produced by Mac Sulliver on Lection Records of PolyGram; the first notable full album released was Stephen Wiley's Bible Break, written by Wiley and produced by Mike Barnes on Brentwood Records. In the same year by David Guzman founded The Boyz; some of America's premiere Christian rappers, such as: Michael Peace, SFC, Dynamic Twins, MC Peace, T-Bone came out of this crew. A more commercially successful crew known as P. I. D. Released five recordings. Michael Peace is an American one of Christian rap's first solo artists.
In the late 1980s, other crews emerged, including dc Talk, E. T. W. and S. F. C.. ETW was led by producer/artist Mike Hill who went on to pastor one of the largest inner city youth groups in the country out of Tulsa Oklahoma. S. F. C. was led by Chris Cooper who rapped as Super C and became Sup the Chemist and finally Soup the Chemist. Christian emcee Danny "D-Boy" Rodriguez was another well-known early Gospel rap artist, but was murdered in 1990 in Texas. Prior to his death, he helped launch the career of his sister, Genie Rodriguez-Lopez, known as MC GeGee - one of the first female Christian rap artists, by collaborating on her first album I'm for Real, she would go on to release a second album in 1991, titled And Now the Mission Continues. The 1990s saw the continuing trend of funky rap artists blending faith and rap, such as D. O. C. who emerged from Oklahoma as well as the Gospel Gangstaz from Compton and South Central Los Angeles. In 1991, JC Crew emerged featuring T-Bone. Other Christian rap artists include Dynamic Twins, Freedom of Soul, IDOL King, Apocalypse, 12th Tribe, Holy Alliance.
12th Tribe and Holy Alliance were produced by Scott Blackwell of MYX Records. S. F. C.'s 1992 album Phase III was DJed and produced by DJ Dove, whose credits include the Gang Affiliated, Gospel Gangstas' 1993 debut album. Around the same time as Phase III, Dynamic Twins came out with their 1993 album No Room To Breathe. Freedom of Soul followed with their second album, The Second Coming their last album as a group. Gotee Records formed in 1994, co-founded by dc Talk member Toby McKeehan, better known as TobyMac, making it the first record label marketed explicitly for Christian hip hop and R&B, backed by a major label; the label was among the first to market the Contemporary Christian music market through distribution at Christian bookstores and playing on Christian radio. This trend continued with other labels such as Tooth & Nail's Uprok Records and others that gave an outlet to hip hop artists who identified themselves as Christian and wanted a broader market. A number of artists and labels such as Reach Records and Peace Records, Godchaserz Ent.
Lampmode Recordings, Collision Records, End of Earth Records, Rezurrected Muzic, Cross Movement Records, Grapetree Records, Syntax Records, Deepspace5 Records, Universal Funk Records, Illect Recordings and The New Unstoppable Records have purposely marketed to people outside of churchesIn addition, many major Gospel stars were getting in on the hip hop & rap genre. Kirk Franklin joined with the 1 Nation Crew in the album Kirk Franklin Presents 1NC. In September 2009, the Higherground Record Pool and One Accord DJ Alliance held their first Gospel DJ Conference at the Crowne Plaza, Queens, NY; the first known Gospel DJs were honored at the event. Kingdom Affiliates Record Pool was represented at the conference. Most Christian rap artists like Lecrae and his label-mates from Reach Records have been setting records with sales and award-winning albums. Although described to be Christian rappers, artists such as Lecrae, Andy Mineo, KB, Trip Lee
A hymn is a type of song religious written for the purpose of adoration or prayer, addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification. The word hymn derives from Greek ὕμνος, which means "a song of praise". A writer of hymns is known as a hymnodist; the singing or composition of hymns is called hymnody. Collections of hymns are known as hymnals or hymn books. Hymns may not include instrumental accompaniment. Although most familiar to speakers of English in the context of Christianity, hymns are a fixture of other world religions on the Indian subcontinent. Hymns survive from antiquity from Egyptian and Greek cultures; some of the oldest surviving examples of notated music are hymns with Greek texts. Ancient hymns include the Egyptian Great Hymn to the Aten, composed by Pharaoh Akhenaten; the Western tradition of hymnody begins with the Homeric Hymns, a collection of ancient Greek hymns, the oldest of which were written in the 7th century BC, praising deities of the ancient Greek religions.
Surviving from the 3rd century BC is a collection of six literary hymns by the Alexandrian poet Callimachus. Patristic writers began applying the term ὕμνος, or hymnus in Latin, to Christian songs of praise, used the word as a synonym for "psalm". Modeled on the Book of Psalms and other poetic passages in the Scriptures, Christian hymns are directed as praise to the Christian God. Many refer to Jesus Christ either indirectly. Since the earliest times, Christians have sung "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs", both in private devotions and in corporate worship. Non-scriptural hymns from the Early Church still sung today include'Phos Hilaron','Sub tuum praesidium', and'Te Deum'. One definition of a hymn is "...a lyric poem and devotionally conceived, designed to be sung and which expresses the worshipper's attitude toward God or God's purposes in human life. It should be simple and metrical in form, genuinely emotional and literary in style, spiritual in quality, in its ideas so direct and so apparent as to unify a congregation while singing it."Christian hymns are written with special or seasonal themes and these are used on holy days such as Christmas and the Feast of All Saints, or during particular seasons such as Advent and Lent.
Others are used to encourage reverence for the Bible or to celebrate Christian practices such as the eucharist or baptism. Some hymns praise or address individual saints the Blessed Virgin Mary. A writer of hymns is known as a hymnodist, the practice of singing hymns is called hymnody. A collection of hymns is called a hymnary; these may not include music. A student of hymnody is called a hymnologist, the scholarly study of hymns and hymnody is hymnology; the music to which a hymn may be sung is a hymn tune. In many Evangelical churches, traditional songs are classified as hymns while more contemporary worship songs are not considered hymns; the reason for this distinction is unclear, but according to some it is due to the radical shift of style and devotional thinking that began with the Jesus movement and Jesus music. Of note, in recent years, Christian traditional hymns have seen a revival in some churches more Reformed or Calvinistic in nature, as modern hymn writers such as Keith and Kristyn Getty and Sovereign Grace Music have reset old lyrics to new melodies, revised old hymns and republished them, or written a song in accordance with Christian hymn standards such as the hymn, In Christ Alone.
In ancient and medieval times, string instruments such as the harp and lute were used with psalms and hymns. Since there is a lack of musical notation in early writings, the actual musical forms in the early church can only be surmised. During the Middle Ages a rich hymnody developed in the form of Gregorian plainsong; this type was sung in unison, in one of eight church modes, most by monastic choirs. While they were written in Latin, many have been translated. Hymnody in the Western church introduced four-part vocal harmony as the norm, adopting major and minor keys, came to be led by organ and choir, it shares many elements with classical music. Today, except for choirs, more musically inclined congregations and a cappella congregations, hymns are sung in unison. In some cases complementary full settings for organ are published, in others organists and other accompanists are expected to transcribe the four-part vocal score for their instrument of choice. To illustrate Protestant usage, in the traditional services and liturgies of the Methodist churches, which are based upon Anglican practice, hymns are sung during the processional to the altar, during the receiving of communion, during the recessional, sometimes at other points during the service.
These hymns c