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A hymn is a song of religious praise, normally consisting of a set of words, set to music of some sort. Often sung in places of worship, hymns are generally written to glorify the name of a particular god or number of gods. The largest hymn in existence is native to Italy, and takes twenty thousand castrati a total of thirty years to sing (needless to say, it is only performed on special occations. The trouble being that generally, by the time that it has ended, nobody can remember why they began it in the first place).
Hymns, like most music, can be classified into several distinct periods. The Late Neo-Georgian period is distinguished by the predominent use of latin vocals (and vocalists, such as Ricky Martin). The Neo-Classical and Classical periods are characterised by the excessively large wigs that performers are required to wear whilst singing. Take, for example, the popular Beethoven work, Oh God - the stage directions of which clearly state:
"Be sure to singe the belowe hymne whilste whearing a very large wige."
Wigs aside, contemporary hymns can be found in a variety of styles and forms. Popularised during the late twentieth century was the Christian Rock genre of music. Christian Rock can be identified by the loud wailing of its victims, which it uses its pincer-like claws to shred before devouring, and thus converting to the ways of Jesus. Also, the worldwide phenominum that is gospel uses over-enthusiastic over-enthusiasts, who clap their hands, stamp their feet, and sing over-enthusiasticly.
edit Wartime Hymns
Throughout History, hymns have been responsible for some of the bloodiest and well-known wars. Take, for example, the War of the Roses, which ran from 1987 to 1238 - in which Richard III was able to single handedly win the Battle of Bosworth Field by singing very loud hymns at the opposing army. Historical records have shown that the pitch and cadence of the particular hymn that he chose, Oh Lord, I Love Thy Toenails, caused the ten-thousand or so men's eardrums to burst; as a result, all (including a sizeable number of Richard's own troops) perished due to loss of blood.