Descant to the hymn tune THAXTED. Free score with harmonized descant and separate choir part. Audio: 1. verse (Gustav Holst) | 2. study: choir a capella adapt. from instrumental version | bridge ad lib | 3. descant with harmonization Free score. 

Originally a figure in the symphonic suite The Planets, by Gustav Holst, the tune is located in the middle of Jupiter: the Bringer of Jollity. It was later arranged by the composer for use as a hymn tune, who gave it the name Thaxted, the English village where he lived for many years and where he was founder of an annual music festival. (As Pluto had not yet been discovered, the symphony is an eight-movement composition. And given Pluto's subsequent 'undiscovery,' The Planets remains very much an accurate record of the planetary order of things.)

Michael Perry (1942-1996) was canon at Rochester Cathedral, and editor of Jubilate Hymns. Usually associated with an English patriotic text, Perry wrote this hymn to provide a text  "more appropriate for Christian worship." A second verse was added later at the request of Richard Proulx in reference to the Pauline discourse connecting the passing of earthly splendor now results in a greater future glory, a verse appropriate to some occasions such as a requiem or memorial. But Perry's own preference was that the additional verse should usually be omitted. The hymn was written in 1982 sepcifically for this tune, and is used here by permission of the copyright holder, Hope Publishing Company; full copyright and license notification is in the score.

[Instrumental version available for strings, horn, oboe, , timpani, and organ - audio demo.]

Updated: May 2017

Links (will open in a new page or tab)


Wikipedia entry about the tune

Thaxted Parish Church official Thaxted wesbsite

UMC Discipleship Ministries History of Hymns: "O God beyond all praising."

‘O God Beyond All Praising’ Michael Perry © 1982 The Jubilate Group (admin. Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188). For licensing, contact Hope Publishing Company, 800-323-1049, 

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