Designed for use in singing schools, the book contained a variety of meters, all harmonized for three voices (four since the 11th or 12th ed.) together with "a copious elucidation of the science of vocal music." Four syllables, faw, sol, law, mi (the master note), seven since the 1851 printing, were used. As an aid to reading the notes in the various keys the compiler invented "patent" or character notes, a different shape for each syllable, which with slight modifications persist in a number of modern hymnals.
In addition to the theoretical part, the book is composed almost entirely of hymns and anthems, a considerable portion of which is of very high quality. Many of the songs look at the Christian life as a pilgrimage and in joyful mood anticipate heaven.
In 1847 a hymnal adapted for church use was compiled from selections drawn from the book and published under the title Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs. This new book was used widely in Mennonite churches and became a source from which in 1902 the Church and Sunday School Hymnal was compiled.
Harmonia Sacra website
|Author(s)||Chester K Lehman|
Cite This Article
Lehman, Chester K. "Harmonia Sacra." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 26 Oct 2016. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Harmonia_Sacra&oldid=91984.
Lehman, Chester K. (1956). Harmonia Sacra. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 October 2016, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Harmonia_Sacra&oldid=91984.
©1996-2016 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.