Click to enlargeDay by Day (brass quartet)

Same selection for SATB.

When Swedes arrived in the new world in relatively large numbers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, they brought a musical tradition that added several standards to American evangelical Christian tradition. Among them is this hymn by Lina Sandell, translated to English by A. L. Skoog, set to music by Oscar Ahnfelt. It is hard to say exactly what makes a Swedish hymn tune distinctive, but whatever it is you can learn to hear it.

This arrangement sets the first stanza in a low key with the traditional harmony. The second stanza begins in the same key with the melody transferred to the first trombone in the same octave the first trumpet has just played it, and with a modified harmony. An abrupt key change puts the melody back with the first trumpet in a higher key just as the hymn reaches the musical climax of the second stanza. The second half of the second stanza then repeats with a new harmony that further emphasizes the "top of the rollercoaster" moment.

The third stanza moves to a still higher key with a couple of waterfall phrases, then passes up and over the top of the stanza with still another harmonization and ultimately achieves its peace and rest with a calm coda.

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Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day the Lord Himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counsellor and Pow'r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.

The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then, in every tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till with Christ the Lord I stand.

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MP3 Sound sample: Village Brass, 2008.



DAY BY DAY, music by Oscar Ahnfelt, arranged by Tom Kirkland for a quartet of two trumpets, a tenor trombone, and a bass trombone, comes in a pdf file of 384K, with an eight-page score, four two-page parts, and a license page, seventeen pages in all. Performance time should be slightly less than three minutes.


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Last update: 5 June 2017