The hymn tunes of Lowell Mason: a performance edition of five settings for brass quintet

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christian Clinton McIvor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Edward Bach

Abstract: Lowell Mason (1792-1872) was an influential figure in the development of American music in the nineteenth century. In addition to being one of the first advocates for teaching music in public schools, Mason was also an accomplished organist and choirmaster. Furthermore, he was one of the earliest to promote congregational singing in church services, and he also spent much of his life collecting, arranging, and publishing hymn tunes. Many of his hymn tunes are still included in the core repertoire of American hymnody. During the course of his career, Mason wrote over 1200 hymn tunes, including Bethany, Hamburg, Missionary Hymn, Olivet, and Uxbridge. The purpose of this study was to arrange and present in a performance edition five brass quintet settings of Lowell Mason's hymn tunes Bethany, Hamburg, Missionary Hymn, Olivet, and Uxbridge. A secondary purpose of this study was to present information about Mason to provide a historical context in which the tunes were composed. This document includes a brief biographical sketch of Mason, a discussion of his compositional style, historical information about the selected hymn tunes, and the settings of the hymn tunes for brass quintet. The settings of Bethany, Hamburg, Missionary Hymn, Olivet, and Uxbridge for brass quintet were created using the versions of the hymn tunes found in The Sabbath Hymn and Tune Book (1850) as starting points. Scored for two trumpets, horn, trombone, and tuba, the arrangements are rhythmically and harmonically more varied than the original versions found in The Sabbath Hymn and Tune Book, and they are intended for concert performance. The settings of the five hymn tunes bring together traditional and historically significant works in a viable and expansive harmonic presentation suitable for either the worship service or the concert stage.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
Brass, Hymnody, Hymn tune, Lowell, Mason, Quintet
Mason, Lowell, $d 1792-1872. $t Sabbath hymn and tune book
Brass quintets (Horn, trombone, trumpets (2), tuba), Arranged $v Scores and parts
Hymn tunes $x History $y 19th century

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