What are meters?
Groups of numbers, known as meters,
indicate the number of syllables in each phrase of text. This index lists each
hymn under its metrical heading so that hymn texts of like meter can be matched
with a variety of hymn tunes. For example, the text "Rejoice, the Lord is King"
(hymn no. 66) is often sung to the tune DARWALL (the musical setting for "Arise,
O God, and Shine," hymn no. 265). When matching texts and tunes, be sure to
consider mood and word accents, as well as meter.
Common Meter Names
Some frequently used hymn meters have
traditional names: Short Meter (SM) is 6686; Common Meter (CM) is 8686; and Long
Meter (LM) is 8888. The letter D after the meter indicates that the meter is
doubled–used twice in each verse.
Adjusting Hymn Text
Some hymn texts have a repeated last
line or two that may be deleted in order to fit a different tune. For example,
"Jehovah, Lord of Heaven and Earth" (hymn no. 269) may be paired with tunes of
868686 meter and also with most tunes of 8686 meter. Such hymns may appear in
the index in two places-in this case as "868686 (8686)" or "8686
Matching Nearly Like Meter
Some texts of nearly like
meter can be matched. For example, the text of "Joseph Smith's First Prayer"
(8787D, hymn no. 26), can be used with the tune REFUGE ("Jesus, Lover of My
Soul," 7777D, hymn no. 102).