A History of Christadelphian Music
While collating the Worship book, we've come across a range of old Christadelphian music publications which we thought we'd share with you. We've also got some articles on Christadelphian music - we're happy to publish them here (with permission of the author/s) but remember that these articles are the author's words, not ours. Enjoy looking through your past! And don't forget to send us any contributions that you may have.
The Golden Harp (1864)
An early hymn book compiled by R Roberts (Birmingham) predates the name 'Christadelphian' and contains no actual music, only lyrics. This book contains some well-known hymns still published today including D Brown's Glory and blessing be.
The Disciples Choral Service (1864)
A book of anthems and motets compiled by G Dowie (Edinburgh). This collection of 35 works includes Mason's Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and was notated using both formal music notation and tonic sol-fa notation.
Christadelphian Hymn Book (1865)
The first 'official' Christadelphian hymn book, compiled by R Roberts (Birmingham). This was a text-only publication of 223 Psalms and hymns, and 50 anthems.
Christadelphian Hymn Book (1869)
The first 'official' Christadelphian hymn book with written music - both traditional notation and tonic sol-fa notation. Compiled by R Roberts (Birmingham).
The Sunday School Union Hymn Book (1897)
A gorgeous publication with embellished pages, this book had 137 hymns. Some of the editions used tonic sol-fa notation. This was published in 1897, 1913, and 1936.
'Suffolk St' Christadelphian Hymn Book (1903)
Compiled by CJ Caldicott, J Bland, J Hawkins, HH Horsman, T Turner, W Potter, C Jones (Birmingham). Caldicott was a piano technician and wrote hymns such as We shall be like him. Caldicott made an appeal for original compositions as some of the copyright costs for tunes were upwards of £3 each.
Christadelphian Hymn Book (1932)
This hymnal, under the editorship of CC Walker (Birmingham), was a revision of the 1874 hymn book, plus 73 new hymns. Some of these were originals including CA Ladson's We praise Thee heavenly Father set to JS Bach's O HAUPT.
Christadelphian Youth Hymnal (1952)
Compiled by a committee under the editorship of J Carter, some of the original hymns written for this hymnal included LG Sargent's High over lashing waves our God is throned' and D Martindale's Angels did sing on Behl'ems hill set to the medieval VULPIUS tune. The major feature of this publication was the addition of counter-melodies/descants by D Crosby, arranged and written specifically for young voices.
Christadelphian Hymn Book (1964)
At the time of its publication, this was the largest and most representative compilation of music used by Christadelphians for worship. J Carter (Birmingham) began the process towards the new book, and LG Sargent saw it through to completion after Carter's death. Some of the newly written hymns for this publication included SJ Field's COMMUNION with text by CE Smith Saviour, we meet in thy dear name.
Hymns for Young People
Published by the Christadelphian Sunday School Association, South Australia, date unknown.
The Joy Book
Date unknown, this publication contains youth pieces, including Sing Hosanna. The music is written in lead sheet format.
Sing to the Lord (1978)
This widely-used Sunday School hymnal was published in Birmingham and contains some original works by R Standeven. Both words-with-music, and words-only editions were produced.
Youth Conference books
These fabulous books from the 1980s contain original pieces written by young people for the youth conferences in Australia. Many of these pieces have ended up in our hymnals including J Morgan's Come to me.
Praise the Lord (1993)
This publication, compiled by C Clementson (Hoddesdon), contain a wide range of musical styles including hymns, Taize pieces, Jewish-styled songs, anthems, and modern songs.
Christadelphian Hymn Book (2000)
This is the current hymn book used widely across the world. Original hymns include those by P Mundy and M Green. More details, including sound files, and relevant indices, can be found at http://www.christadelphianmusic.org/
Praise the Lord (2000)
The second version of Praise the Lord contained the original 130 songs, plus 70 additional songs. Again, an amazing range of music has been compiled, from hymn tunes by O Gibbons (1583-1625), to newly written works by C Miles and other Christadelphian composers.