When Music Wakes My Sleeping Heart

A Hymn Concertato on an Original Tune Appleton

Date Completed

March 24, 1997


Festival Hymn Setting (more like this)


Congregation and SATB Choir


Brass Quintet (2 Trumpets, Horn, Trombone, Tuba), Timpani, and Organ (may also be performed with one Trumpet and Organ)



Difficulty Level


Liturgical Use

General, Music, Praise, Thanksgiving




Delores Dufner, OSB (b. 1939)


When Music Wakes My Sleeping Heart



Date Written

1991, 1995


When music wakes my sleeping heart
and plays my spirit strong,
then all I love is gracious gift
and every breath, a song.

From all that lives, in symphony,
let music echo mightily.
From east to west, and ceaselessly,
let music ring eternally!

When music gathers us in prayer
and summons us to praise,
then beauty spills her shining light
across our darkened days.


When music calms the fearful heart
and lifts the downcast soul,
may all our song be healing balm
to make the wounded whole.


When music fills the universe
and all is melody,
then Christ the Lord will lead a hymn*
of soaring majesty.


"All honor to the Holy One,
all praise and glory be!"
Our alleluias without end
will ring in harmony.


*Optional text: "then every voice will raise a hymn"

Copyright © 1991, 1995, the Sisters of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN 56374-0220. Reprinted by permission.




Publication Data

Publisher Name

Oxford University Press

Date Published


Catalog Number

Choral Score and Organ, ISBN 0-19-386101-1

Full Score and Parts, ISBN 0-19-386096-1






This tune and setting were commissioned for a hymn festival I presented as part of the 1997 Region VI Convention of the American Guild of Organists held in Appleton, Wisconsin. I played the organ for the premiere — an old Austin at First Methodist Church in downtown Appleton. The choir was a combined effort of various churches in the area, and the Lawrence Brass played and Kevin Meidl conducted. This work concluded the festival.

Joel's Comments

I believe this was my second collaboration with Sr. Delores Dufner, having previously worked with her on my song collection Cycle of Light.

The worship committee for the convention wanted an inclusive text which would be appropriate for the guild membership — Christians and Jews — so Delores suggested the optional text for stanza 4, "Then ev'ry voice will raise a hymn" in place of her original and preferred, "Then Christ the Lord will lead a hymn." I also prefer the original.

Composing the tune for this work was begun on February 14, 1997 and the composition of the setting was begun on February 19, 1997.

This hymn and setting make a great alternative to Pratt Green's When In Our Music God Is Glorified (Engleberg). Though the tune looks tricky, it's actually very easy to sing!



User Comments



"Martinson's new hymn, When Music Wakes My Sleeping Heart, commissioned for the convention, was a particular highlight — full of majestic sweep and innovative harmonies."

— Scott R. Riedel · The American Organist, October 1997

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