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Thaxted Village
Arr. for strings and winds
Thaxted Village Church

Descant to the hymn tune THAXTED. Free score with harmonized descant and separate choir part. Audio: 1. verse (Gustav Holst) | 2. study: choir semichorus adapt. from instrumental version | bridge ad lib | 3. descant with harmonization and two endings. The above is the D(5) ending. There is an alternate ending - and optional cue notes which would allow a choir with sufficient soprano forces to build up to the final triad. Remastered. See the Arrangements menu item to hear instrumental versions.   Free score. 

Originally a figure in the symphonic suite The Planets, by English-born Gustav Holst, the tune is located in the middle of Jupiter: the Bringer of Jollity. It was later arranged by the composer for use as a hymn tune, who gave it the name Thaxted, the English village where he lived for many years, composed The Planets, and where he was founder of an annual music festival. (As Pluto had not yet been discovered, the symphony is an eight-movement composition. And given Pluto's subsequent 'undiscovery,' The Planets remains very much an accurate record of the planetary order of things.) The organ at the Thaxted church was recently restored.

Michael Perry (1942-1996) was canon at Rochester Cathedral, and editor of Jubilate Hymns. Usually associated with an English patriotic text, Perry wrote this hymn to provide a text  "more appropriate for Christian worship." A second verse was added later at the request of Richard Proulx in reference to the Pauline discourse connecting the passing of earthly splendor now results in a greater future glory, a verse appropriate to some occasions such as a requiem or memorial. But Perry's own preference was that the additional verse should usually be omitted. The hymn was written in 1982 sepcifically for this tune, and is used here by permission of the copyright holder, Hope Publishing Company; full copyright and license notification is in the score.

Updated: May 2023

Links (will open in a new page or tab)


Wikipedia entry about the tune

Thaxted Parish Church official Thaxted wesbsite

UMC Discipleship Ministries History of Hymns: "O God beyond all praising."

Includes separate descant part for choir

‘O God Beyond All Praising’ Michael Perry © 1982 The Jubilate Group (admin. Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188). For licensing, contact Hope Publishing Company, 800-323-1049, 

Because the text, written specifically for this tune, is under copyright, it cannot be reproduced here. You can review it online at Hope Publsihing.

Instrumental versions available

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