Hymn metre – how it works

The Revd Ian Worsfold gets the measure of hymn metre

In our video introduction to Singing the Faith Plus, we describe hymn metre as “the way you describe the number of syllables that you can sing to any line of a tune”.

There’s a little more to it than that, of course, and in “Metre in hymnody – the basics!”, minister and musician Ian Worsfold demystifies the way metre works, how it is described – and what some of the pitfalls are.

Download Metre in hymnody – the basics! as a PDF.

You can search for all hymns and songs in a particular metre in Singing the Faith by using the Metrical Index, either in the back of the hymn book (music edition only) or here on Singing the Faith Plus – there’s a link from the bottom right hand side of each page of the website.

Categories: Articles, Making the most of hymns, Words and music, Worship Resources.

4 Responses to Hymn metre – how it works

  1. Tom Ferguson says:

    Thanks for this. Is there any significance as to where the dots are placed? Would 88.88.88 be different from 8.8.8.8.8.8?

  2. Alison says:

    Thanks for this Ian, as an organist there’s always still something to learn and I knew the bit about tunes of the same metre having different emphasis, but had never learned the Iambic and Trochaic information, so that will stick in my brain now

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