Amazing Grace by William Walker (1809-1875)
Arranged by Ervin Monroe for 3 C Flutes, Alto Flute and Bass Flute (or 4 C Flutes and Alto Flute)
Includes score and parts
Amazing Grace is one of the most familiar hymns in the English speaking world. The words to this hymn were written by John Newton in 1772. Hymns in those days were published as religious poems, and were either read or set to improvised melodies. There were at least twenty settings of this hymn to music by the 1830s, but it became widely known in 1835 when William Walker set the words to a melody called New Britain. New Britain was itself an amalgamation of two melodies, Gallagher and Saint Mary, the origins of which are unknown. It is generally believed that they were Scottish folk tunes.
When William Walker published his new version of Amazing Grace, the words with music rendition, it worked like magic! His new hymn book, Southern Harmony, became very popular, largely because of this hymn. Amazing Grace has been described as the most famous of folk hymns and crosses all religious boundaries. It has also become an emblematic African American spiritual. The melody lends itself to expression in all musical styles, and most performers agree that the words and music are equally powerful.