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Thesis (M.M.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1959. Department of Music.


Copyright 1959, the author. Used by permission.


The spirit of performance, and the selection of the hymns for the congregation and the anthems for the choir, are of extreme importance in creating a devotional and worshipful atmosphere in the worship service.With that in mind, the author has made the following study of church music, considering the need in the various fields, and ways in which church music can be improved.

This study has been made of the music in thirty Mennonite churches, ranging in attendance from one hundred to four hundred members.At present, all pastors are trained and salaried.However, as this study will indicate, only one of the choir directors is salaried, and many have had very little or no special training in this field.A questionnaire was sent to the choir directors of these various churches, which appears on the following pages.All choir are voluntary—no members are paid.

There are three general areas in which a need exists in most of the churches represented in the answers to the questionnaire.They are: (1) In the area of appreciation, (2) In the field of trained leadership, and (3) In the music itself as it pertains to the anthems and the hymns which are used in the worship services.

The anthems included in this thesis were composed with the average volunteer choir in mind.They are in the contemporary idiom, employing both the homophonic and polyphonic styles.

The texts are all scriptural, all of them taken from the Old Testament.Three are from the book of Psalms, and one is from the book of Isaiah.The scriptural text has been followed throughout the anthems, with the exception of several word omissions where it served the best interests of both text and music to do so.

The scriptural texts of the anthems follow.

Advisor: Robert Beadell