Sacred Music

The 1000 Songs Project

This project is an attempt to create a taxonomy of songs intended for congregational singing in a Christian church. It will be built and maintained by students, and then used as a resource and guide by more students. It is a hymnal with 1000 songs, designed to represent a balance of historical traditions as well as contemporary culture. It is also a hymn companion, with background information regarding the source, context and material for each song. It is also an anthology of music and texts, providing written scores for study and arrangement, as well as a creative outlet for composition and arranging students. It is also a resource for worship leaders, who might find a new text or tune for a song, or perhaps some background information that will help. Let's get started!

THE LIST OF 1000 Songs

200 Bible songs

   150 psalms
   6 canticles, 
   12 hymn fragments
   32 prophetic songs

Use a minimum of three sources for every assertion you make (our text and Wikipedia are two options), and LINK TO YOUR SOURCE every detail that is not just common knowledge! No need for you to write something that someone else has already written—link to the thing that says what you would say. Use Wikipedia as one of your sources, and EDIT the article if you have something to add to it. (Extra credit for improving a Wikipedia article!)

What to include:

Why might this passage be included as an example of biblical songs? Was it intended to be sung by a congregation? If so, how might that work in your church today?

Find out some information about the writer, about the historical and cultural setting. (Beware of higher criticism!)

Explain the content of the material itself.

Pick or create your own “Editor’s Choice” version of this text, suitable for singing. Choose your translation or possibly metricized version, or make your own. Include other versions, such as Tate& Brady or Sternhold&Hopkins, other metricized versions, various translations that might work for singing, etc. Find musical settings out there—someone’s been singing this passage for thousands of years, including today. What’s that text and music look and sound like?

Extra credit for each if you include music, a chart, and/or a recording.

100 Pre-Reformation

   50 Early Christian hymns (AD 100-400)
       20 Greek hymns
       10 Odes of Solomon
       20 Syrian hymns
   15 Byzantine hymns (AD 400-1000)
   15 Latin hymns (AD 400-1000)
   10 Late Middle Ages (AD 1000-1500)    
   10 Pre-Reformation hymns (AD 1200-1500)

100 Early Reformation (AD 1500-1600)

   40 Lutheran chorales (Luther’s psalm settings included above in “psalms”)
   10 Reformed (metricized psalter included above in “psalms”)
   30 Anglican
   20 Catholic Counter-Reformation

200 Second-Generation Reformation (AD 1600-1700)

   50 Lutheran pietist
   50 Anabaptist (Radical Reformed)
   50 Reformed (new generation metricized psalms, included above in “psalms”)
   50 Anglican chorales and Moravian hymns

200 British hymns (AD 1700-1800)

   50 Isaac Watts (150 psalms included above in “psalms”)
   50 Charles Wesley hymns
   50 Evangelical hymns
   50 Olney hymns

200 American/English songs (AD 1800-1900)

   50 singing school, spirituals and campmeeting songs
   50 transitional, Oxford, Victorian hymns
   (50 early American psalmody and shaped-note tunes)
   (50 Lowell Mason tunes)
   50 Sunday School songs
   50 Gospel Songs (Sankey and Bliss)

200 American/English songs (AD 1900-2000)

   20 hymns
   20 Black gospel
   20 Southern gospel
   20 Sentimental (1900-1950)
   20 Youth-oriented (1950-1970)
   20 Evangelism-oriented (1960-1980)
   20 Praise songs (1960-1990)
   20 presentational-to-congregational (1990-2010)
   20 postmodern self-orientation (2000-present)