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THE object of this Historical Edition is to give a short account of each hymn and tune in the Collection. It has grown, to a large extent, out of all the preparatory work that was undertaken in getting ready the New Edition; but, even after all the time of preparation, it has needed nearly five years to put the notes into order and make further inquiries and verifications. In spite of admirable work that has been done in this field before, there remains much that is still uncertain; and it can hardly be hoped that these notes represent the last word to be said about the history of some of the hymns or their tunes. At the same time it has been possible, through these researches and through profiting by the labours of others (particularly those summarised in Julian's Dictionary of Hymnology and Cowan and Love's Music of the Church Hymnary), to give a more satisfactory account than could have been given a few years ago.

Many hymns and tunes alike have an obscure origin. They come into the field in some small, possibly ephemeral, publication; and even some of the greatest books in this sphere of literature have begun by an obscure first edition which has entirely disappeared, leaving no trace behind it. The result is, that it is difficult to say what was the original text either of words or of music.

The originals are given in the case of translations. Those of the Latin hymns are printed as they were given in Hymni Latini qui libro intersunt cui nomen H. A. & M. (1906). It is possible that in one or two instances some slight change of text might be desirable in view of the researches of Dreves and Blume which have been published since the Proprietors issue their little volume; but these researches have in the main amply justified the text of Hymni Latini, and it seems incro tical to keep the two books uniform than to break the uniformity by introducing a few unimportant modifications. The same statement applies in a small degree to the text of both words and music in other respects. It is possible that the Committees, if they had had before them the fuller data which are now available, might occasionally in some small point have given a slightly different form of the hymn or the tune. No modifications, however, have been made, for this book is intended simply to be the counterpart of the New Edition as published in 1904.

The annotations, and to a certain extent also the Introduction, will in some degree explain, and in a few instances offer justification for, the line taken by the Revisers in their revision. In most cases such justification is



not so much needed now as it was in the days when the New Edition first appeared; for many of the innovations, for which the Committee were most severely criticised at the moment, have been adopted by the editors of more recent hymn books.

Some lists at the end of the book (pp. 801-804) deal briefly with the hymns and tunes which have once appeared in Hymns Ancient and Modern and are not included in the New Edition. The number of these is much smaller than is often supposed. A glance at these lists will show how little loss has been entailed by their omission. On the other hand, the chronological indexes (pp. 848-854) will show, especially in the case of the music, how much more fully the various schools and periods of hymnology are represented than in the preceding editions.

The best thanks of the Compilers are due to many who have helped in the difficult work of investigation or have contributed information from their stores of knowledge; especially they must express their gratitude to the Rev. G. H. Palmer, the Rev. G. R. Woodward, the Rev. H. M. Bannister, for help with regard to the ancient tunes; to Mr. William Cowan, for taking much pains to verify and correct many points of detail, as well as for contributing from his library the extract printed on page liv. Dr. Henry Watson, Mr. F. Kidson, Mr. J. R. Griffiths, Mr. W. H. Bedford have given valuable information, and many of the writers and composers have furnished details for insertion in the notes or in the biographies. A friend, who is a leading authority on hymnology, sent a valuable list of Addenda and Corrigenda as the book was passing through the press; most of them it has happily been found possible to incorporate before printing off the sheets. To these and all others who have contributed the Committee wish to express heartfelt thanks.

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