AN INTRODUCTION TO THE HYMN TUNES OF RALPH MANUEL

Abstract

Claudiane Florencio Soares de Barros, M.A.
Campbellsville University

Chairperson: Dr. M. Wesley Roberts

The purpose of this study has been to create a reference source of information regarding the hymn tunes of Ralph Manuel (b. 1951) for practical and scholarly use. Manuel served as a music missionary in northeastern Brazil for twenty-four years and wrote numerous works for church choirs and instrumentalists. Among his works were twenty-five hymn tunes for congregational singing published between 1989 and 2010 in the hymnals Hinário Para o Culto Cristão and Celebrating Grace, the Brazilian journal Louvor, and the pamphlet Proclamar Cantando.

Manuel’s hymn tunes are considered individually by their musical characteristics, including melody, rhythm, and harmony, their suitability for the assigned hymn texts, and their effectiveness for congregational use. The thesis is organized into chapters with a biography and summary of the composer’s works, methods for analyzing hymn tunes, Manuel’s hymn tunes, and a conclusion. Personal comments by the author describe the use and effectiveness of the tunes.

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