Essay on the Hymn Tune, "Hallelujah"- (2024)   

for organ


Found in the shape-note hymnal, The Sacred Harp, this tune from 1853 is numbered as 146. A quote accompanies it on the page:  "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.'' --Numbers.23:10. 


The tune is attributed to William Walker (1809-1875), the South Carolinian shape note "singing master" who was nicknamed Singing Billy, and known for his tune books, among them The Southern Harmony, especially his combining of lyric with tune to yield what is today's most popular "Amazing Grace," the traditional tune once better known as "New Britain."  The open fifths, some parallelism and other "primitive" elements make the tune most interesting.



4 pages, circa 2' 15" an MP3 demo is here: 


The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this organ score.


Essay on the Hymn Tune, "Hallelujah"