- The following article is taken from the Psalter Hymnal Handbook.
REDHEAD 76 is named for its composer, who published it as number 76 in his influential Church Hymn Tunes, Ancient and Modern (1853) as a setting for the hymn text "Rock of Ages." It has been associated with Psalm 51 since the 1912 Psalter, where the tune was named AJALON. The tune is also known as PETRA from its association with "Rock of Ages," and GETHSEMANE, which derives from the text "Go to Dark Gethsemane" (381).
Of the three long lines constituting REDHEAD 76, the last is almost identical to the first, and the middle line has an internal repeat. Well-suited to singing in parts, this music is also appropriate for unaccompanied singing.
Richard Redhead (b. Harrow, Middlesex, England, 1820; d. Hellingley, Sussex, England, 1901) was a chorister at Magdalen College, Oxford. At age nineteen he was invited to become organist at Margaret Chapel (later All Saints Church), London. Greatly influencing the musical tradition of the church, he remained in that position for twenty-five years as organist and an excellent trainer of the boys' choirs. Redhead and the church's rector, Frederick Oakeley, were strongly committed to the Oxford Movement, which favored the introduction of Roman elements into Anglican worship. Together they produced the first Anglican plainsong psalter, Laudes Diurnae (1843). Redhead spent the latter part of his career as organist at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Paddington (1864-1894).
- Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.
- The following are alternative accompaniments for this tune, GETHSEMANE/PETRA/REDHEAD76/AJALON.
Alternative Harmonization for Organ and Descant Resources:
- Archer, Malcolm. After the Last Verse. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0 86209 502 6 
- Burkhardt, Michael. Easy Hymn Settings Lent. Morningstar MSM-10-315 
- Busarow, Donald. Thirty More Accompaniments for Hymns in Canon. Augsburg11-10163 
- Fedak, Alfred V. 25 More Harmonizations. Selah 160-729 
- Noble, T. Tertius. Fifty Free Organ Accompaniments to Well-Known Hymn Tunes. J. Fischer 8430 
- Rawsthorne, Noel. 200 Last Verses. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0 86209 189 6 
- Rawsthorne, Noel. More Last Verses. Kevin Mayhew 
Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
- Maynard, Lynette. Let It Rip! At the Piano. vol. 2 Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7580-0