God of Mercy, God of Grace
- The following article is from the Psalter Hymnal Handbook.
An early form of the tune DIX was composed by Conrad Kocher (b. Ditzingen, Wurttemberg, Germany, 1786; d. Stuttgart, Germany, 1872). Trained as a teacher, Kocher moved to St. Petersburg, Russia, to work as a tutor at the age of seventeen. But his love for the music of Haydn and Mozart impelled him to a career in music. He moved back to Germany in 1811, settled in Stuttgart, and remained there for most of his life. The prestigious Cotta music firm published some of his early compositions and sent him to study music in Italy, where he came under the influence of Palestrina's music. In 1821 Kocher founded the School for Sacred Song in Stuttgart, which popularized four-part singing in the churches of that region. He was organist and choir director at the Striftsckirche in Stuttgart from 1827 to 1865. Kocher wrote a treatise on church music, Die Tonkunst in der Kirche (1823), collected a large number of chorales in Zions Harfe (1855), and composed an oratorio, two operas, and some sonatas. William H. Monk created the current form of DIX by revising and shortening Conrad Kocher's chorale melody for “Treuer Heiland, wir sind hir,” found in Kocher's Stimmen aus den Reiche Gottes (1838). Monk's tune was published with Dix's text in the 1861 edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern, of which Monk was music editor. Dix regretted the use of this tune for his text, but the combination has proven a good match–"As with Gladness" is the most popular Epiphany hymn today.
DIX is a simple bar form tune (AAB) with a wavelike contour in each of its three lines. Sing in three long lines rather than six short ones in order to reflect the longer phrases of the text. Sing stanzas 14 in unison or in harmony. In stanza 5 add the descant from Sydney H. Nicholson's Royal School of Church Music collection Music for Boys’ Voices (1944).
Sydney H. Nicholson (b. St. Marylebone, London, England, 1875; d. Ashford, Kent, England, 1947) was an organist and church music educator who greatly influenced English hymnody. Educated at Oxford's New College, the Royal College of Music in London, and in Frankfurt, Germany, he became organist at several famous cathedrals, including Westminster Abbey (1919-1928). Nicholson founded and administered the School of English Church Music at Chislehurst in 1927; this important institution, with branches throughout the English-speaking world, was renamed the Royal School of Church Music in 1945. Located in Canterbury after World War II, its headquarters were moved to Addington Palace, Croydon, in 1954. Nicholson was music adviser for the 1916 Supplement of Hymns Ancient and Modern and prepared the way for its 1950 edition. He wrote Church Music: a Practical Handbook (1920) and Quires and Places Where They Sing (1932) and composed operettas, anthems, and hymn tunes. In 1938 he was knighted for his contributions to church music.
- Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.
- The following are alternative accompaniments for this tune, DIX.
Alternative Harmonization for Organ and Descant Resources:
- Archer, Malcolm. After the Last Verse. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0 86209 502 6 
- Burkhardt, Michael. As Though the Whole Creation Cried. Morningstar MSM-10-555  (√+)
- Burkhardt, Michael. Easy Hymn Settings General. Set 2 Morningstar MSM-10-715 
- Busarow, Donald. All Praise to You, Eternal God. Augsburg 11-9076 
- Cassler, G. Winston. Organ Descants for Selected Hymns. Augsburg 11-9304 
- Fedak, Alfred V. Hymn Intonations Preludes and Free Harmonizations. Vol III. Selah 160-723 
- Hancock, Gerre. Organ Improvisations for Hymn Singing. Hinshaw HMO-100 
- Mawby, Colin. Hymns for Occasions. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0-86209-568-9 
- Noble, T. Tertius. Free Organ Accompaniments to One Hundred Well-Known Hymn Tunes. J. Fischer 8175 
- Pooler, Marie. Festival Hymns with descants. Augsburg 11-9181 
- Proulx, Richard. Hymn Intonations Preludes & Free Harmonizations. Vol. VI Selah 160-726 
- Rawsthorne, Noel. 200 Last Verses. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0 86209 189 6 
- Shaw, Geoffrey. The Descant Hymn Book bk 2. Novello
- Thiman, Eric. Varied Accompaniments to Thirty-Four Well-Known Hymn Tunes. Oxford ISBN 0 19 323210 3
- Winn, Cyril. 41 Descants to Familiar Hymn Tunes. Oxford 
Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
- Hopson, Hal H. The Creative Use of the Piano in Worship. Hope 8392 
- Organ, Anne Krentz. Let It Rip! At the Piano. vol. 2 Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7580-0 
- Words and Music: The Words and Music are in the Public Domain; you do not need permission to project or reprint the Words and Music.