The Strife is O’er, the Battle Won is an Easter hymn that has wonderful, majestic music attributed to Palestrina. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594) was an important and influential musician in the history of music. The lyrics, to the best of my knowledge, were from an old Latin hymnbook and were translated into English in the 19th century. The first line containing the “alleluias” was evidently added at that time and was not part of the original music by Palestrina.
This powerful hymn is an Easter resurrection hymn, but it is also used in funerals. It was used at the funeral of one of my favorite students and I always tear up when I hear it.
While this hymn might not be as well-known as the last Easter hymn I posted, I think it makes a good Easter hymn for teachers who have students who want to play hymns. It is particularly suited for older beginners or students who are interested in playing for church in the future.
I have heard the hymn with organ, piano, orchestra, and even a praise band, and for a 500 year old hymn, it has passed the time test! Musically, my arrangement also has some teaching skills, including pedal point and playing 3-note chords together to get a clean sound. They need to practice lifting their wrists/hands when they move from the chord in measure 6 and play measure 7. Beginners tend to keep their finger on the repeated note.
Like a lot of older hymns, it is usually written in 3/2 time, so don’t be horrified that I changed it to 3/4! I actually originally arranged it in 3/2 but it looked confusing for students at this level.