'Melodian' to mesmerise many

Be it the first printing press at Balmatta in 1841, a weaving factory at Balmatta in 1844, tile factories at Jeppu in 1865, at Kudroli in 1882 and at Malpe in 1886, first hospital at Udupi in 1923, the German missionaries could claim significant conquests in areas such as education, agriculture, printing, promotion of vernacular literature, industrial growth and philanthropic activities, which gave them acceptance in the district.

The missionaries, undoubtedly came for the propagation of the Gospel way back in 1834 but on arrival what they noticed was that the local population was completely ignorant and illiterate, which called for an immediate need to set up schools. Since then, it engaged in myriad activities, both evangelical as well as secular.

To commemorate the 175th year celebrations of Basel Mission in India (1834-2009), Christian Friends’ Network has come out with a CD/DVD of all the 665 hymns with 312 tunes.

Speaking to City Herald, Benet G Amanna, coordinator and one of the members of Christian Friends’ Network, said the hymns were first published at Mumbai in 1841 using stone etching.

Titled ‘Geethagalu,’ it comprised only 51 hymns.

However, many hymns were added in later years that include 24 hymns composed by Rev Rice of London Mission. By 1913, the Mission had produced 410 Kannada hymns and by 1914, there were 251 Tulu hymns. Interestingly, except Hymn No 369, not even one hymn has seen any change all these years and are being re-printed from time to time.

Another interesting aspect is that if anybody wants to learn tunes, they have to know to read music notes published in Mangalore Tune.

The other option is to grasp when others’ sing, a practice which has been followed by many over the last 175 years.

As a matter of fact, many hymns are not sung as many are not aware of the tunes.
“There are very few people who know how to read musical notes and on the other hand, there are still few people who remember all the tunes.”

To fill the gap, the Network has come out with a CD/DVD titled ‘Melodian’ that includes all 665 hymns with 312 tunes and for those hardcore music lovers, there is a provision to study all four types of music voice (Tenor, Bass, Alto and Soprano) with the help of computer.

Along with DVD, there is another CD through which the music software can be installed, informed Amanna and added that the revenue generated from the sale of CD/DVD will be used for the construction of St Peter Church in Vamanjoor.

It was released recently by Beatrice Wilson and on the occasion Vilma Angella (computerisation), Roshan Jathanna (technical support), Ashley Aiman (recording), Gladis Silver (organist) were feted by Retired Bishop Rt Rev C L Furtado.

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