Mathematics professor publishes music history article

Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Clark Kimberling, professor of mathematics, has an article on "Two Early American Women and Their Hymns: Elizabeth Ann Seton and Matilda Durham Hoy," in the current issue of The Hymn (journal of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada).

The article establishes that a hymn tune named Jerusalem, published anonymously in Baltimore before 1820, was composed by Seton. This new earliest known hymn tune by an American-born woman has been overlooked in previous writings about Mother Seton, who in 1974 became the first native-born citizen of the United States to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. It was in 1812 that she composed Jerusalem and added three original verses of words to a pre-existing first verse.

Kimberling's article also discusses Promised Land, which is presently sung in many churches. Evidence is presented that Durham composed the tune, rather than merely arranging a pre-existing folk melody.

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