Modern Hymns from Ancient Words with accompanying CD
by Todd J. Barry
Composer/Lyricist: Todd J. Barry
Illustrator: Rachel Wendt
Intro Note from the Composer and Lyricist
This hymnal grew out of the fact that, after I wrote my first three books, many people asked me if I wrote poetry, and I had to tell them that I do not, although I enjoy reading it in doses. At other times, different people had asked me if I ever write music. I had tried writing the alma mater song for my undergraduate university a few years back, but then discovered that they already had one dating all of the way to 1929, so I was beaten by over 80 years! Nevertheless, I decided to take up the challenge of doing both, music composition and lyric writing all in one, and I chose to focus on the Old Testament, since my first three books had dealt primarily with different denominations of Christianity, and as I took several classes on the history of the Old Testament as an undergraduate. There is also a need for new church music, especially for the youth. While this work is told mostly from a Christian perspective, I am working on a possible sequel for the New Testament for some point in the very distant future.
In the interest of brevity, not every hymn is perfect. Some are longer than traditional hymns, to give the singer or reader “their money’s worth,” there are more key changes, there are greater ranges, the chords in some of the hymns are more complex than traditional hymns, and some defy classical music theory. Some are better for church services, others for practice or performance, and still others for simply learning the Bible. Most sound better on the piano, while others sound best on organ. The chapters that I have divided them into would not be complete without the detailed illustrations of Ms. Rachel Wendt. I am certainly open to other arrangements and transpositions from additional composers, music directors, and organists, as well as additional verses. The musical adjectives on the outline page indicate the spirit of the music that I tried to project for each book. I attempted for a combination between “fire-and-brimstone” and “easy listening.” The God of the Old Testament can seem angry at times, but He is always loving and forgiving. On the whole, this work tells the story of the Old Testament put to music, not in exact detail, but covering the major points. While certain individual hymns stand out as great by themselves, the work needs to be looked at in its entirety to be appreciated, the story of God’s “Chosen People.”
- Todd J. Barry
Pages: 64, includes CD
This product was added to our catalog on Monday 14 December, 2015.