390 OHIO

May 28, 2012 by

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We’re including several state songs in the book, including two PENNSYLVANIAs (by Ingalls and Shumway) and this song, Samuel Holyoke’s OHIO (ShH 390), published in 1791–a time when Ohio was the western frontier.  In the introduction to Holyoke’s Harmonia Americana, he writes,

Perhaps some may be disappointed, that fugueing pieces are in general omitted.  But the principal reason why few were inserted was the trifling effect produced by that sort of music; for the parts, falling in, one after another, each conveying a different idea, confound the sense, and render the performance a mere jargon of words.

Nevertheless, he thinks highly enough of OHIO to include it in the collection, and we’re including it in ours!  It features a triple fugue, each with a different pattern of entries.  My mother, Debbie Hall, introduced the song to the Ohio singers.  Here’s a recording of her leading the song from the 2012 Ohio convention, courtesy of Robert Stoddard’s web site bostonsing.org. And here we are singing it at the NSV All-Day:

[mp3-jplayer tracks=”ShH-Ohio.mp3″ captions=”NSV All-Day 2012″ dload=”y” list=”n”]

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  1. David

    Neat tune! Is L.M. the correct metrical designation for this? It has six-line stanzas instead of four. The Sacred Harp call this L.P.M., although it doesn’t distinguish between verses of three couplets (AABBCC), e.g. “Vernon” or “Protection”, and two “triplets” (AABCCB) as in this tune.

    • Sharp eye, David! You’re right, it should be L.P.M. I just updated it in the master file for the book. BTW, we sung this at the NSV All-Day this weekend and it was a blast (maybe you were there?). I’ll see if I can get a recording up soon.