Elements of the Hymnbook
“Elements of the Hymnbook,” Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 379–80
The table of contents groups the hymns into eleven general categories. Hymns of similar subject and mood are generally found in the same section. However, being listed in a certain category should not limit the use of any hymn. For example, some hymns in the sacrament section, such as “How Great the Wisdom and the Love” and “I Stand All Amazed,” may be used for other purposes, and selected verses of several of the hymns in this section may be used for Easter. The index of topics will help you find hymns on specific subjects.
Mood and Tempo Markings
The mood markings, such as Prayerfully or Resolutely, suggest the general feeling or spirit of a hymn, although the mood of some hymns may vary according to the occasion or local preferences. Metronomic markings indicate a tempo range (such as
Introduction Brackets for Pianists and Organists
You may also wish to shorten or lengthen the suggested introduction. If the hymn is unfamiliar, playing it completely through as an introduction can help the congregation feel more comfortable with it. If the hymn is well known, the last line or phrase may be a sufficient introduction. When using a short introduction, you may want to slow the tempo at the end to express a sense of completion.
In early Christian tradition, most hymns were musical settings of adapted scriptural texts. Most of our current hymns relate to a number of scriptures; some of the many possibilities are listed at the end of each hymn. Using the Topical Guide and Index found in the Latter-day Saint edition of the scriptures, you will find many more verses of scripture that enrich the messages of our hymns.