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Without Charles Wesley, we would not have great hymns such as 'And can it be' , 'Hark the herald angels sing'" ,'Rejoice! the Lord is king and many others. Without Fanny Crosby we would not have 'Blessed assurance. Without John Newton we would not have 'Amazing Grace, or Glorious things of thee are spoken. But what we do not always recognise is that although these marvellous hymn writers have given us great hymns, they have only actually given us the words but had to rely on others for the tunes we sing them to.

All to often we give all the credit to the wordsmiths and no credit to the many tune composers who often go unrecognised and unnoticed. How dull 'And can it be' would be without tune 'Sagina', composed by Thomas Campbell, a native of Sheffield, and that is in fact all we know about him. The tune of 'Amazing grace is an old  American folk tune. We know nothing of the composer. 'Glrorious things of thee are spoken is sung to the Austrian National Anthem, written by composer Haydn. 

Marrying up a tune to hymn words needs expert hands to be able to bring out the true mood of the words and many tunesmith have had the gift of making hymn words catch the mood of the hymn. A tune in a minor key for a hymn of suffering and the cross. A triumphant tune for Easter morning, the second coming, Easter Day. 

The tune to the hymn 'I heard the voice of Jesus say for example starts in a minor key with the voice of Jesus calling to 'come unto me and rest. Then the tune transfers to a most  triumphant section when we respond and come to Jesus and find in him a resting place. (Tune: Vox Dilecti) 

A hymn by say, Charles Wesley is not just a hymn by. Charles Wesley, but a partnership between him and the often unnoticed tunesmith. 

Les Rees-Partridge