Amazing Grace (Variations on an Old American
Hymn Tune) uses a mirror form. Verse four serves as the center.
It distinguishes itself from the rest of the music because of the triple meter
and the homophonic texture. The other verse settings use counterpoint within a
duple or quadruple meter. After the repetition of verses three and two,
verse five is meant to surprise the listener. The expectation here is a
repetition of verse one. The music does repeat but it is renewed by the
imagery of the new text.
verse i :Amazing grace - how sweet the
sound - that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost but now am found,
was blind but now I see.
verse ii: Twas grace that taught my
heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved; how precious did that grace
appear the hour I first believed!
verse iii. :Thru many dangers, toils and snares i
have already come; 'til grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace
will lead me home.
verse iv.: The Lord has promised good to me; His
word my hope secures; He will my shield and portion be as long as life
verse v.: When we've been there ten thousand
years, bright shining as the sun, we've no less days to sing God's
praise than when we'd first begun.
University, Conservatory of Music, Appleton, Wisconsin, 2003, Lawrence University Women's Choir (Cantala), Philip Swan