Writing a trope on an existing melisma seems similar to the Chinese poetic activity of composing verse for prewritten music (填辭). In Chinese literary culture, this is a major poetic genre, the ci, which was most popular after the fall of the Tang dynasty. Perhaps this part of the Chinese tradition can enrich Christian hymnology, if only we try (we meaning not me, because I don’t have anything near that skill level in Chinese).
A D.C. editor writes about piety and society, with one eye on the past and the other on the future, and both eyes on the sovereign purposes of God.
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