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Professor of Church Worship, Music, Hymnody and Pageantry,

Boston University

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Editor's note

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The hymnal is a closed book to the average minister, superintendent, chorister and layman. It ought to be a fascinating volume of history, biography, nature descriptions, ethics and religion. Its famous men and women, its outstanding dates, its literary and musical charm, and its virility to meet the present day needs, ought to stir the hymn-singing world to a new appreciation of this wonder book. To hasten this day, the Hymnal for American Youth features dates, authors, composers, tune names, and copious indexes; names of many renowned men and women are to be found at the top of each hymn page, while great events in church and world history are revived in such tune names as Nicaea, Armageddon, Arthur's Seat, and Crusaders Hymn.

In order to stimulate further interest in historic and biographical backgrounds and in the truest emotional interpretation in singing, several pamphlets are to follow this Hymnal, one on how to tell hymn stories to children, another on how to interpret and lead hymns for mass singing.

The Hymnal for American Youth, of strategic content for adolescent, college, and church life, is also a winsome volume for junior boys and girls in the Sunday School. Attention is called to the following special features:

1. The forward march of the music, uninterrupted by black bars or annoying rests.

2. Range of tunes best adapted to congregational singing.

3. Facile keys, both for singer and player, avoiding double sharps and flats and awkward accidentals.

4. Unison tunes of flowing lines and rich instrumental accompaniment.

5. All stanzas restored to position in the music, with words directly above or below the notes.

6. Objectionable phrases re-edited for most effective use with young people; stanzas omitted wherever possible without weakening the total appeal of the hymn.

7. Alternate tunes on opposite pages, so as to allow choice of a second tune within the range of the eye.

8. Complete data as to authors, composers, tune names, and metrical forms.

9. Unusual strength in the sections devoted to the Life and Ministry of Jesus, Purity and Self Control, Conflict and Heroism, Human Service and Brotherhood, Freedom and Justice, Patriotism and Democracy, Peace, World Brotherhood, and Missions.

10. Orders of worship on vital themes, with liturgic beauty, directness of appeal, and simplicity of execution; many of the services being in the same key throughout; Service Five in E flat, Fourteen in F, Sixteen in A flat, and Twenty in B flat.

With the help and inspiration of professorial colleagues, of class-room discussion, of convention clinics, and of predecessors in hymn book construction, the Hymnal for American Youth has grown through the years to be the present book. It is therefore the composite of many minds and hearts, and represents co-operative editorship from ocean to ocean, and from Canada to Mexico.

In the final shaping up of the book Professor Richard G. Appel, Reverend Moreton W. Owen, and Doctor Charles L. Noyes have given invaluable aid.

For my wife, Lucia May Smith, whose musical supervision, proof reading, and hymn data collaboration have made this book possible, I reserve my last word of thanks and the affectionate dedication of this Hymnal.

Boston University,

Easter Monday, 1919.


To the many authors of hymns and liturgic verse, and to composers of tunes whose material is used herein, we record our sincere thanks. Every effort has been made to ascertain the owners of copyright material and to give due credit. Since this has not always been possible, proper acknowledgment will be made as soon as convenient after notification.

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