Music’s Measure

I’ve spent a good part of this month listening to a CD of 100 Worship Songs. Not always as uplifting as it may sound, but all in the name of research to augment our repertoire of congregational music, particularly for All Age Mass. The CD presented the top 100 songs by usage (according to CCL copyright returns) so gave a quick insight into what is generally popular in worship at this time. I’ll write more on my findings in a future column.
It got me to thinking, though, just what is our repertoire? How varied are we? I only have records dating back to when I started as organist here, but that still gives me a good 4 years – easily covering a 3 year church cycle. So here’s a list of facts and figures about the St Julian’s Repertoire. The good news is; if you’ve been at mass most Sundays for the same period, you can boast down the pub that it’s your repertoire too! Note these are distinct pieces – some will have been used more than once so your actual singing rate is much higher.

• 303 different hymns & worship songs
• 26 mass settings or parts of mass settings known (of course, you’ve recently added one)
• 137 different psalm settings
• 7 types of sung intercession responses
• 103 different choir anthems/pieces

The most sung hymns/songs in that four year period (counting Sunday Masses only) were:

• Alleluia, sing to Jesus (8 times)
• Immortal, invisible, God only wise; Just as I am, without one plea; Shine, Jesus, shine (all 7 times)

You’ll be pleased to know that I’m working hard on increasing your hymn & worship song count by at least another six over the coming months. Time to start gargling with that brandy!

Alistair McCormick
Feast of SS Alban, Julius & Aaron, Martyrs, 2013