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The task committed to the compilers of the Edition with Tunes was to provide suitable musical expression for each hymn in the Wesleyan Hymn-Book, and its New Supplement. In attempting this they have kept in view the variety of congregations who have the Hymn-Book in use, - a variety which arises, not only form great diversity of musical knowledge and culture, but from well-marked peculiarities of local taste and custom, with which the compilers had the advantage of being extensively familiar. The Collection does not, of course, profess to comply with the canons of any one school of Psalmody; the resources of most schools have been brought under contribution. Some of the tunes selected have been long unheard in many of our congregations; but, while these would have been refused by a severe taste, their exclusion would in certain localities have been deemed almost an affront to sacred associations. In the case of tunes wedded by general custom to particular hymns, the union has not been disturbed, although, in some instances, there was little plea but that of usage for their admission.

Tunes of long-established reputation have been carefully gathered, while no pains or cost has been spared to secure, when possible, compositions of more recent date which have worthily risen into general favour. In addition to these, there will be found tunes now published for the first time, which will, doubtless, be regarded as a valuable contribution to our congregational and domestic psalmody.

It has not been considered expedient to encumber this Collection with marks of time or expression, since these are affected by the varying sentiment of the hymn and the character of the congregation, and must be regulated, from time to time, by good sense and religious feeling.

As the Hymn-Book contains some hymns intended solely for purposes of private devotion, and others which are used only on rare and special occasions; tunes suitable to these have been indicated by reference; while for certain other hymns more than one tune has been provided.

The form of the book has been decided after long and most careful consultation and enquiry. It has the great advantage of presenting at once both the hymn and its tune.

To ensure as high a degree of excellence as possible, the best editorial supervision has been obtained. In the first instance, the Committee secured the services of the late DR. GAUNTLETT. But while the first pages were yet in the press, his sudden death deprived the book of the advantage of his rare knowledge and experience. The editorship was then placed in the skilful hands of MR. GEORGE COOPER, of Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal, who conducted it with his well-known ability up the time of his lamented decease.

Happily the compilers were then able to secure the invaluable services of MR. E.J. HOPKINS, of the Temple Church, under whose careful and learned superintendence the Book has been brought to completion.

In acknowledging the very important influence exercised on the work by MR. HOPKINS, it is due to him to state that he is not responsible for the selection of the tunes or their appropriation to the hymns.

The Harmony of all but copyright tunes has been carefully revised, but certain arrangements have been retained on the ground of their general use.

In conclusion, it is hoped that this Collection will realize the earnest purpose with which it has been complied – to improve the "Service of Song in the House of the Lord," and to promote the devotional use of our hymns in the home and in the social circle.

The complilers take this opportunity of expressing their obligations to Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen; as also to the late Rev. Sir Henry W. Baker, Bart., and the Proprietors of "Hymns Ancient and Modern;" to the Rev. R. R. Chope, B.A., Proprietor of "The Congregational Hymn and Tune Book;" to the Proprietors of the "Bristol Tune Book," the "Wesley Tune Book," the "St. Alban’s Tune Book," and the "London Tune Book;" to John Dobson, Esq., Proprietor of "Tunes New and Old;" to the Rev. Dr. Allon, and to Messrs. J. Nisbet & Co., for their generous permission to use valuable copyright tunes and arrangements from their several Collections.

The grateful thanks of the compilers are also due to the Rev. Olinthus R. Barnicott, Mr. H. Bemrose, Mr. W. Bell Bently, the Rev. R. Brown-Borthwick, Vicar of All Saints, Scarborough, the Rev. E.W. Bullinger, Mr. Clogh, Bradford, the late Mr. Geroge Cooper, the Rev. T. Darling, M.A., Mr. J.W. David, Guernsey, the Rev. Sideny J.P. Dunman, Sir Geroge Elvey, the Rev. H.J. Foster, Mr. H.H. Fowler, of Wolverhampton *(to whom they are indebted for four original tunes by Mr. A. H. Mann, Mus. Bac.), Mr. Clarkson Garbutt, Mrs. Havergal, Dr. Henry Hiles, Mr. H. Lahee, Sir Herbert S. Oakeley, Francis Orr & Sons, Mr. Alfred Pooley, Mr. Edmund Rogers, Mr. J. Hallett Sheppard, Mr. W.A. Smith, Mr. T. Worsley Staniforth, Mr. Turle, Mr. T. Wallhead, Mr. J. Wilson, the Rev. W. Windle, M.A., Rector of St. Stephen’s, Wallbrook, Mr. W.W. Woodworad, Mr. J. Walch, and Mr. Clement H. Perrot, for free permission to use their orignal tunes, or tunes of which they hold the copyright.

The compilers have further to acknowledge their obligations to the Rev. W. J. Blew, M.A., Mr. A.H. Brown, Messrs. Burns and Oates, Lady Victoria Evans-Freke, Mrs. Gauntlett, Mr. E.J. Hoopkins, Mr. A.H. Mann, Mus. Bac., Messrs. Masters, Messrs. Metzler and Co., Messrs. Novello, Mr. C.H. Purday, Messrs. Richardson and Sons, Dr. Arthur Sullivan, Mr. W.F. Trimmell, Dr. Waite, and the Family of the late Dr. S.S. Wesley, for permission to insert copyright tunes in their possession.

No labour has been spared in the endeavour to discover the authors and owners of tunes, and to obtain their permission to make use of them in this Collection. If the Compilers have failed in any instance to ask permission where is should have been sought, they beg to apologize for the inadvertency.