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Hymn references


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#1 Kris

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 05:44 PM

[I'll begin by saying I think this topic best fits under the "Feature or Module Request" header, but the administrators may disagree. If that is so, feel free to move this post or to ask me to re-post it elsewhere.]

The idea has been in my head for a few months now that it would be nice to have a feature that allowed me to see which hymns reference the biblical text I happen to be reading on Accordance. This thought came to mind because I usually use Accordance for sermon prep, and often I need to select hymns for the same Sunday that I'm preaching. So, for instance, as I'm preparing to preach on the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well, I would like to quickly know that there are three hymns that directly reference this passage of scripture and I'd like to know where I can find them.

I figured that this is more of a grassroots project from the users than a project that the Accordance folks would do. I know the initial release of this project might take up to a few years because it'll be done in my spare time, but I'm willing to do the work and share it on Accordance Exchange. However, before I begin this project, I would like to make sure that this is done correctly and organized in a way that other users like. So here are a few questions for you:
  • Am I correct in thinking that the best way to create this is by using the My Notes feature? That way the user could click on the dot if they wanted to see which hymns reference that verse/story.
  • What info would you like each entry to contain? I would ideally like to see the hymn's common title (e.g. "The Church's One Foundation"), its hymn number with an abbreviated hymnal title (e.g. LBW 369), and the author of the text (e.g. Samuel J. Stone). Is there other information that you'd really like each entry to contain?
  • Being a grassroots project, how could others contribute to this, either as the first version is being produced or over time? I'm Lutheran, so I'll admit that I'll begin with a lot of our hymnals. Do I simply share my work on Accordance Exchange (Hymn References 1.0), and allow others to update it as they see fit (posting their updated version as Hymn References 2.0)? If we go this path, I think the decided-upon process needs to be explained at the top of the work itself, that way we know we are always building off of the latest version. Or should other volunteers email me with the info that they've compiled from their hymnal(s), that way I can include it in the first release? Do you have any thoughts on a better way to do this?
I'll open it up here for your thoughts/questions/critiques, etc. I hope others will find this useful. Thanks!

Edited by Kris, 20 March 2010 - 05:48 PM.


#2 Outis

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 07:11 PM

For my part, I think it's a good idea.

I don't know which would better: a user notes file, or a user tool.

Along with the hymnal reference, a citation of the verse in the user note/tool would be useful to see just how the hymnal makes use of that specific reference.

Are there any copyright issues for us to be concerned with?
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#3 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 08:27 PM

I, too, think this sounds like a good idea. Some scattered thoughts:

-The Hymns and Watts modules already contain some Scripture references for the (public domain) hymns listed there

-The advantage of a User Notes file is that it would run verse-by-verse. The disadvantage is that a given hymn would need to be listed numerous times.

-The advantage of a User Tool is that links to the hymns in the Hymns and Watts modules could be included. It could be organized by Hymn, and the relevant Scriptures listed there. But a verse-by-verse organization might be handier.

-I'm a little more hesitant about including hymn numbers, because they vary so greatly from hymnal to hymnal. As a United Methodist, I wouldn't find LBW #s very helpful, for example.

-Would such a tool list only clear allusions and quotations as references, or would it also include more thematic connections? If the latter, how would those be decided?

In the abstract, I'd have some interest in helping with such a project. In the concrete, I'm not sure what kind of time I could devote to it.

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#4 Kris

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 01:09 AM

Thank you, Outis and Lorinda, for your feedback.

I've never used User Tools much, but my impression is growing that it is not the most handy way of doing this project. Although the same hymn might appear numerous times in User Notes, I still think it is handier to go from the specific text to the referencing hymn. I could be convinced otherwise, however.

In my opinion, setting the standard at "clear allusions" is the best idea. Otherwise, every healing narrative would have 30+ hymns listed to it, and each hymn that touches the theme of healing would be listed 50+ times. However, if a hymn has a clear allusion to a particular healing, then connecting the hymn title to that text would be worthwhile. Many of us likely already possess the resources to connect our hymns to a broad theme, so maybe we shouldn't even worry about covering all that ground.

Lorinda, I think you're right that it might be better to not include the hymn numbers. If they are not included, then one would see the title of the hymn and simply check if it is in any of the hymnals she/he owns. If the number is included, it would simplify that step, yet 1) it's irrelevant info to some users that may simply clutter the verse-note, and 2) it would be a bear to continue to update each verse-note whenever a new hymnal is found containing that hymn. I think it would be easier to just list the title of the hymn and say, "Check if you got it in your hymnals."

How about this idea (if we use User Notes): we only list the hymn title in each verse-note. However, at the beginning of the User Notes file, we could find a way to give a header to each hymnal that we have used. Under each header will be listed all the hymns from that hymnal that were used in this project. The benefit would be that if I really want to know where I can find a particular hymn (because I know it's not in any of my hymnals), then I can do a quick search in the User Note to find out that the hymn can be found in the UMC hymnal. I've never tried adding text before the actual verse notes, so I don't know if this can be done.

Outis, in regards to having the written text of the hymn listed in comparison to the biblical text, it likely depends on copyright status. There is a chance it might come down to a hymn-by-hymn basis for whether or not we can do this. Does anyone have a better-than-vague answer about this question?

#5 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 07:10 AM

How about this idea (if we use User Notes): we only list the hymn title in each verse-note. However, at the beginning of the User Notes file, we could find a way to give a header to each hymnal that we have used. Under each header will be listed all the hymns from that hymnal that were used in this project. The benefit would be that if I really want to know where I can find a particular hymn (because I know it's not in any of my hymnals), then I can do a quick search in the User Note to find out that the hymn can be found in the UMC hymnal. I've never tried adding text before the actual verse notes, so I don't know if this can be done.


I don't think this can be done, but a variation on this would be to develop two User modules: A User Notes file with the hymns listed by verse, and a User Tool with an "index" of the various hymnals. That could also include links to the Hymns and Watts modules, and texts for other public domain hymns--or links to those texts that are available on-line.

In terms of including texts, I think it would be safest to stick to public domain texts, with the possible addition of those with a compatible Creative Commons license.

I've done a fair amount of work with User Tools. I'll do some thinking about my time commitments. If I think I can find the time, I could potentially head up the User Tool part of the project, with help from those who have access to hymnals I don't. (I have or have access to the UM Hymnal, the Presbyterian Hymnal, the LBW, and the ELW, plus hymn supplements for all three of those traditions and a couple of older Methodist hymnals.)

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#6 Kris

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 10:25 AM

I think the two User modules is an excellent idea, Lorinda. If I am correct, the two could be developed independently from one another. In that event, I don't mind beginning this week (okay... after Easter) to connect Bible verses to hymn titles using the User Notes. I'll begin with the ELW, This Far by Faith (the African-American Lutheran hymnal), Libro de Liturgia y Cántico (the Spanish Lutheran hymnal, but this one might be too painstaking for me to complete), and the LBW. I use those the most and they are easily accessible to me. When I return to my seminary in a few months, I'll have better access to many more hymnals from various traditions. I can take requests too. :) Finally, any hands that are willing to help in any way would be appreciated.

We can keep an ongoing conversation concerning if/when/how we create the hymn index in User Tools. I think it is a great idea to have it and to create it with links to other modules and resources. Yet, it would be a time commitment, so I certainly understand if anyone decides to think about it for a little while.

#7 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 03:38 PM

I'll work on Acts references in hymns. We can then merge the User Notes files.

My husband (an ELCA pastor) and I had a conversation this morning about our frustrations with some aspects of the Revised Common Lectionary, which ended with a (tentative, at least) decision by both of us to preach through Acts this summer and fall. There's a volunteer at my husband's congregation who does most of the hymn planning, but he'll need suggestions if we're going off the lectionary, so we'll need to put together a list fairly soon now anyway. (The hymn planner works several months ahead of time). And eventually I'll need a list for planning worship where I serve.

I'll probably start with the Presbyterian and United Methodist hymnals for Acts hymns first. (I'm a UM serving a Presby congregation), but I'll also need to consult the LBW, ELW, and WOV for my husband's congregation. Oh, and I have The Faith We Sing/Sing the Faith, although those don't have Scripture indexes like the other resources.

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#8 arnehalbakken

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 08:49 PM

There are also a number of links to scriptural allusions in hymns at Textweek. These texts correspond to various pericopes. There are links for LC-MS, UMC, and other traditions.

There is an index to scriptural allusions in the back of LBW. There is also one for the Service Book and Hymnal, Hymns for the Family of God, etc. but they are not in the hymnbooks themselves.

#9 David Martyn

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 10:47 AM

There are also a number of links to scriptural allusions in hymns at Textweek. These texts correspond to various pericopes. There are links for LC-MS, UMC, and other traditions.

There is an index to scriptural allusions in the back of LBW. There is also one for the Service Book and Hymnal, Hymns for the Family of God, etc. but they are not in the hymnbooks themselves.


You might also want to check out
http://lectionarysong.blogspot.com/
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David Martyn

#10 Kris

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 12:05 PM

Arnehalbakken and David, thank you for your assistance. I have the indexes for some of the hymnals, including the (relatively) new ELW. Yet it is nice to know where to turn to for those other hymnals. I am especially thankful for your links to those separate websites; those will be very helpful in this process.

To Lorinda and anyone else who would like to know, I'll begin my work with the synoptic gospels. Lorinda, if you are able to and don't mind making the time, could you upload to this discussion an image of one of your entries from Acts? I would prefer to copy your format when I do my work (and if anyone else desires to aid in this), instead of having various styles that we would potentially need to clean up later. Thanks.

#11 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 01:15 PM

Here's a Screenshot. I kept it really simple, just the name of the hymn.

One thing I wasn't sure about was how to handle hymns that apply to a stretch of verses. I admit I haven't been the most consistent about this. In some cases I just listed them at the beginning of the pericope. In other, I listed them for each verse.

I'll also say that the Scripture Index for the United Methodist Hymnal is both sparse and at times puzzling. I always checked the Scripture reference, and about half the time (maybe more?) couldn't see a clear connection between the hymn and the stated Scripture reference. In those cases, I didn't list the hymn.

I also have a now out-of-print Scripture index for the United Methodist Hymnal that I will consult at some point.

Lorinda

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#12 Tony Pyles

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 04:11 PM

If one tool is created, containing titles of hymns as headings with the references of Scriptural allusions (and perhaps a list of themes), and perhaps containing the text of public domain hymns, one could could "amplify" from a search window, negating the need for two tools. It could also contain user tool links to existing hymn modules.

I, too, would find this very handy. Perhaps I can find a way to help this summer! Great idea!




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