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on 14 December 2013
Since I bought this book we've adopted it at our church. On the whole I like it, but sadly, in a number of cases, they've adopted modernised texts which seem to trivialise the versions we have come to know and love, eg No.70, "It came upon the midnight clear".
There are some surprising omissions of traditional hymns at the expense of modern material of doubtful quality. There are also some inaccuracies of attribution eg S. Wesley for S. S. Wesley, the latter being the son of the former, and for the tune "Saffron Walden" which appears in books published before the attributed composer was even born, and dates (eg W. W. How). My purely personal view is that a slightly less radical approach would have been preferable, leaving "Sing Praise" as a stand alone supplement. And what's wrong with the A&MR version of "Morning Hymn"?
This new A&M is a definite an improvement on Mayhew's offerings and, thankfully, avoids the worst of their banalities and textual "improvements" but I don't feel able to endorse it whole-heartedly.
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on 3 August 2013
Before we bought this we were using an old version of Hymns Ancient and Modern and a supplementary collection of hymns from Mission Praise. What a good idea to buy this new hymn book, with which we could use to replace both.

From a congregation perspective, its not so bad. About two thirds of the old Hymns Ancient and Modern are in it.

From a choir perspective its not so good. It weighs half as much again as Hymns Ancient and modern music edition. A weighty volume in its own right. The pages are thin and much more densely packed with music and words. So its more difficult to sing from.

It doesn't prop up on the organ music stand, or any other music stand for that matter. Its even more difficult to photocopy from than the full music edition of Mission Praise

Though the old favorites are in it, the arrangement has often been subtly changed. So you can't rely on memory alone.
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on 14 June 2015
On no account would I recommend buying the Organ Edition. This has to be ordered separately and comes in two volumes for the price of £120. They say that it sits flat when open. What they don't tell you however, is the books are very poorly constructed. We bought them and after 5 months they were falling to pieces. The organ edition is obviously bigger than this full music edition but its size and number of pages are clearly to much for the spine of the book. Complete rubbish are the words that spring to mind.
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on 31 October 2013
This is a great collection of hymns and Christian songs - it's just impossible to get it to stop falling off the music stand on my piano / clavinova. I guess organists will have a problem, too. It is far too thick and doesn't stay open - you need a supply of paperclips, pegs and bulldog clips for that. It's a shame this wasn't considered by the publisher. Although I am a musician my main reason for buying this was as a devotional aid. I wish I had bought the words only edition now!
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on 19 March 2017
My church is adopting this book in 2017. Sadly it seem to have lacked external customer's input in its development and compilation. (All the reviews on their own website are unsurprisingly overtly positive.). It's a slight smaller slightly thick weighty format red book than the green predecessor we used (New Anglican Hymns: Old and New ). This makes it slight less stable and less practical for a choir. The book feels a bit like a dictionary! The music score is smaller and harder to read. Hymns are sorted in proper order according to church calendar which is good for picking hymns but not necessarily for finding them. The book use only the number and they don't have the hymn first line titles. So hunting a hymns is a two stage process via the index. After only a brief look though there are apparent inconsistencies and/or errors. On most hymns the first verse word are not on the music score, some they are. Some hymns are labelled as Unison others they just haven't bothered. On the plus side it does not have the changes Kevin Mayhew made to words and harmonies.
I hope a 2nd Edition will be better?
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on 20 July 2013
It's ok, but why print 3 lines of music when there are 4 lines of words? This makes it difficult for musicians to, say, change stops at the end of line 2 ie half-way through the verse. There was PLENTY OF SPACE to have 4 lines of music. 8 line verses have 4 lines of music, which is fine. Editors should have submitted drafts to potential buyers, to make the corrections, and make the book MORE USER FRIENDLY. Good quality printing, Useful changes to (lower) keys.Good combination of traditional hymns, new material, new songs etc. Should last for several years, even up to 20 or 30 years. Every church should have one music copy at least.
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on 4 May 2016
Among the multitude of hymnals and song books this one stands out for several reasons. Firstly, and mercifully, it is far less inclined than are most modern publications of this kind to alter the poetry by changing old-style language (Such alteration is done by the editors to make it, I presume, "more accessible" for modern audiences.) Secondly, the standard of music printing and editing is far higher than most. The music editors understand harmony and counterpoint; and therefore, for modern hymns or songs that are not designed for SATB choral setting, their keyboard accompaniments are much better than in most recent publications. Thirdly their choice of ancient and modern poetry is excellent, with the latter being among the theologically and poetically stronger works of modern times. The book reflects the fact that the modern worshipping community is a continuation of faith that has endured across generations and generations. A worthy successor to its long-lasting predecessors -- the editions of Hymns Ancient and Modern.
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on 9 September 2013
Good selection of new material as well as traditional items. Music generally in suitable keys - not too low! Nice to have items arranged seasonally which makes it easier when selecting hymns and finding less familiar things to try.
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on 5 September 2013
Purchased this for my sister who plays a keyboard and she was delighted to find in it old hymns along with many new ones which up till now she had only heard on Songs of Praise
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on 30 September 2013
This is a terrific mix of 'ancient' ie well-known since childhood - and modern - ie not heard or seen before, with the latter in particular being well constructed hymns. Well done and not a moment too soon: our church hymn books are on their last legs.
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