I'm improving a web site that has indexes of hymnals, and one of the things I'd like to do is add an index of hymns' meters. I've learned a little bit about meters but I'm confused about a few points.
I have a "hymns" table, a "texts" table, and a "tunes" table. Each hymn – instance of a song in a hymnbook – is cross-referenced to a text and a tune. Some hymnbooks have a text with one tune, and others have the same text with a different tune, and this allows me to avoid duplication of data like the author's name, etc.
Is a meter something that should be tied to a specific text-tune combination, or can it be tied to a specific text?
Should I assume that if a hymn in one hymnbook is marked as common meter (8686), that all other hymns with the same text, no matter the tune, will always be in common meter? Does the meter ever change when a song is translated, or when a person makes a different arrangement (keeping the same basic melody)?