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Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty (TTBB, a cappella)

This 17th century German hymn is well known in a few denominations in recent years, but may be unfamiliar to many.

It combines a very singable, if rangy, melody with a lyric of personal devotion.

The first stanza is done quite simply, followed by the second with a traditional-style harmonization. The third stanza is reminiscent of plainsong chant. The fourth stanza returns to traditional-style harmonization, as does the fifth.

It may seem that five stanzas would either make this piece unusually long or unusually repetitive, but it successfully avoids both traps.

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Open now thy gates of beauty,
Zion, let me enter there,
Where my soul in joyful duty
Waits on Him who answers prayer;
O how blessed is this place,
Filled with solace, light, and grace.

Here, O God, I come before Thee,
Come Thou also down to me;
Where we find Thee and adore Thee,
There a heaven on earth must be;
To my heart, O enter Thou,
Let it be Thy temple now.

Here Thy praise is gladly chanted,
Here Thy seed is duly sown;
Let my soul, where it is planted,
Bring forth precious sheaves alone;
So that all I hear may be
Fruitful unto life in me.

Thou my faith increase and quicken,
Let me keep Thy gift divine;
Howsoe'er temptations thicken,
May Thy word still o'er me shine,
As my guiding star through life,
As my comfort in my strife.

Speak, O God, and I will hear Thee,
Let Thy will be done indeed;
May I undisturbed draw near Thee
While Thou dost Thy people feed;
Here of life the fountain flows,
Here is balm for all our woes.

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MP3 sound sample: Complete piece (synthesizer/midi).

OPEN NOW THY GATES OF BEAUTY by Joachim Neander, lyrics by Benjamin Schmolck translated by Catherine Winkworth, arranged by Tom Kirkland for Male Chorus TTBB, comes in a pdf file of 192K, with a nine-page score and a license page, ten pages in all. Performance time should be about 3:20.

The majority of our sheet music pieces use electronically-produced demos on the item pages. We would much prefer to use actual recordings, so if you email us a digital recording or link to an online video and we end up using it as a demo on our site (fully credited), we will send you a coupon code good for US$25 toward your next purchase from our site.

Many of our sheet music licenses state that the purchaser does not have the right to record the work. We have modified our policy on this, and unless the license page states that you must obtain permission from a party other than to record the work, we will allow a small number (less than 50) of copies of an audio or video recording of a live performance to be made and distributed and/or posted to a free web site for viewing/listening, so long as, the composer, arranger, and lyricist are credited.


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Last update: 24 APR 2023