Humbly I Adore Thee

“Humbly I Adore Thee” is a eucharistic, or communion, hymn with text by St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274).

The origin of the melody, “Adoro te Devote,” is unclear. In some places it is simply described as a Gregorian chant; in others as a 13th-century Benedictine plainsong; in others as a French church melody published in the Paris Processionale (hymnal or liturgical manual) of 1697. Regardless, it is a lovely, flowing tune well-suited for the legato “singing” capabilities of the trombone, euphonium, or cello.

In this arrangement of “Humbly I Adore Thee,” the soloist plays the tune through on the first verse in D major, adds a descant over the melody played by keyboard in the second verse and, following a short modulation, recapitulates the tune in the concluding key of G major.

Note the 2+3+3 grouping of eighth-notes in measures 1, 9, 19, and 31 — the groups of three are not triplets, but even eighth-notes that create a chant-like inflection of the melody. The accompaniment works equally well on piano or organ. If performed on organ, consider tying together repeated notes to maintain the sostenuto quality of that instrument, and consider changing registrations on each verse to build from soft to moderate to full, then softly concluding the final four measures.

Keyboard score, bass clef and Bb treble clef solo parts — $5.99