Groups of numbers, known as meters, indicate the number of syllables in each phrase of text. This index lists each hymn under its metrical heading so that hymn texts of like meter can be matched with a variety of hymn tunes. For example, the text “Rejoice, the Lord Is King” (hymn no. 66) is often sung to the tune DARWALL (the musical setting for “Arise, O God, and Shine,” hymn no. 265). When matching texts and tunes, be sure to consider mood and word accents, as well as meter.
Some frequently used hymn meters have traditional names: Short Meter (SM) is 6686; Common Meter (CM) is 8686; and Long Meter (LM) is 8888. The letter D after the meter indicates that the meter is doubled—used twice in each verse.
Some hymn texts have a repeated last line or two that may be deleted in order to fit a different tune. For example,“Jehovah, Lord of Heaven and Earth” (hymn no. 269) may be paired with tunes of 868686 meter and also with most tunes of 8686 meter. Such hymns may appear in the index in two places—in this case as “868686 (8686)” or “8686 (expanded).”
Some texts of nearly like meter can be matched. For example, the text of “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer” (8787D, hymn no. 26), can be used with the tune REFUGE (“Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” 7777D, hymn no. 102).