Category Archives: general information

Template for Taking Minutes at Singings of The Trumpet

Use  “The Trumpet Minutes Template” (an Excel spreadsheet) to easily take minutes at singings of The Trumpet. Page numbers are given for The Complete Collection of Tunes.

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Kyrkjebøbakken

I asked James Solheim, composer of Kyrkjebøbakken in the most recent issue of The Trumpet, to tell us a bit about where the name “Kyrkjebøbakken” comes from. This is what he wrote:

About “Kyrkjebøbakken” by James Solheim

The tune’s name (approximately pronounced CHURCH-uh-bu-BOCK-en, with a Norwegian lilt) refers to the farm where my grandfather was born, on a hill overlooking Svatsum Church in Vestre Gausdal, a valley in central Norway.

Svatsum Chruch is a tiny, octagonal, all-wood country church with incredible acoustics about forty-five minutes northwest of Lillehammer. Shape-note music would sound great in this church, the building where my grandfather was baptised—but I doubt if the pews can be moved into a square.

“Kyrkje” means “church, and “bø” means the meadows where a farm’s buildings are located. Historically, rural churches in Norway had their own prosperous farms—so “kyrkjebø” would be the land where a church stands. Since “bakken” means “the hill,” “kyrkjebøbakken” would be the the hill over the church’s lands. A decent English translation of “Kyrkjebøbakken” would be “The Churchyard Hill.”

My ancestors had a beautiful view of Svatsum Church, and my relatives still live on the hills there. You can go to  Flickr.com and see views of the church and surrounding hills.
Norwegian is a complicated language, with two official written forms and hundreds of dialects, and “kyrkje” is perhaps more often spelled as “kirke” in the valley where Svatsum Church sits—but I chose “kyrkje” because it’s the more historically Norwegian spelling and because that crazy mix of letters is so fun to read!

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