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Searching for the tune for a Hymn

Categories: Hymnody Music

A common problem is that of finding how the original tune goes for a hymn. Here are some tips for finding tunes.

As an example, we will employ The Church Has Waited Long, which is #217 in the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal (1985).

The common approach for most persons would be to enter into the YouTube search bar:

With this search you will get a mixed bag of results: songs from other hymnals, sermon titles, songs with that title (but different in every other way), and quite possible songs with the same lyrics, but a different tune.


Let’s make the search term more specific, for starters – we can add quotes to the search term, like this:

Quotes indicate that YouTube should search for that exact phrase. This increases the specificity of the search, and thus narrows the result. However, we still have songs with different tunes. So how can we get videos with the tune we seek?

Add the Tune Name

Adding the tune name will filter out the search term even more. In the case, the tune’s name is Garden City, so let’s add that to our search term, using quotes:

This indicates that YouTube should look for these two exact phrases, thus further allowing the search to be more specific.

With that, we have some good results! Here’s a rendition that I enjoyed:

#217. The Church Has Waited Long

Search for the tune alone

Sometimes YouTube may not have the hymn title that you’re looking for, so instead you can search for the tune name only.
Here’s a search that you can try:

This indicates that YouTube should search for the exact word tune, and the exact phrase garden city. This should yield videos with titles with those terms. In this case, you may not find the hymn lyrics that you want… but you can get an idea of how the tune goes, and find hymns that feature that tune.

Hope that your searching will be productive going forward.

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