Lining out the hymns

This clip illustrates the old-time practice of ‘lining out’ hymns.  Used in congregational singing in worship from the 17th century onward, it is still practiced in some quarters today.  The lyrics are on the YouTube page.

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One thought on “Lining out the hymns

  1. Not meaning to carry coals to Newcastle, here’s the Wikipedia link to lining out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lining_out

    What’s interesting about the process is that it is an effective way to learn songs; right now, in many congregations, one is reduced to listening to the song leader and trying to figure out the melody during the first verse of the unfamiliar song. If one has any vocal training, informal or formal, one resolutely tries to pick one’s part out of the sound. It may take several singings to establish a perceptible harmony, but unless the melody is sticky or many singers internalize the song, it may not persist. Not to mention the generational challenges.

    Imagine trying to line out an Acapella song.

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