FOR BRASS QUINTET, TIMP, AND ORGAN
Audition: The Hymnal 1982 with organ - original harm. (a cappella) - descant with harmonization
The only composition attributed to William Weale (aka Wheal), this tune was oiginally in triple meter - as is this version - and is almost universally recognized as BEDFORD; Weale was organist of St. Paul's, Bedford UK beginning in 1715 until his death twelve years later. The date of original publication is not certain, though an undated version (below) exists in Francis Timbrell's The Divine Musick Scholar's Guide, a copy of which was found in a personal library with an ejus libre inscription dated 1723; it is in three-part notation with the tune marked 'Cantus' with separate parts for 'Medius' and 'Bassus' (in standard practice, the Medius was written in treble clef an octave higher than sung). A four-part version with figured bass, dated 1732, was published in The Harmonious Companion; or the Psalm-Singer's Magazine, which like the earlier version has syncopated cadences. BEDFORD was rendered into common time (and lowered to D) by William Gardiner in 1815, a midlands industrialist and amateur musicologist (cf. the descant to GARDINER) . A century later, versions restored to triple meter began appearing, though in Methodist use, it has never been anything else. In The Hymnal 1982 this tune bears the name EDMONTON, as did a version in the 1768 Methodist Harmonia Sacra; these versions replace medial and cadential syncopations with passing notes. It also appears similarly configured in John Wesley's Sacred Melody (1761) as LIVERPOOLE. The page scans available on the Hymnary website provide a visual catalog of differing metrical treatments. The bells, and later a carillon, of the Bedford church rang this tune in the composer's honor for more than a century.
O Zion open wide thy gates
O Zion, open wide thy gates
– Brevarium Parisiense (1680), rev. Jean Baptiste de Santeul (1689); tr. Edward Caswall (1849)
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