Archive for the ‘transposing hymns’ Category

Timeless Truths: Free Online Library of Hymns

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

small manuscript thumbnail pic

Timeless Truths, an online resource, containing public domain hymns has a feature that church pianists will love!   Simply go to their site and search a hymn by title.  The page for the hymn will show the words on the right column.  Scroll down and look for the choice in left column that says “View Scorch sheet music” and click on it.

The sheet music for the hymn will appear (if you have downloaded scorch player). If not…it can be done for free.  The nice thing about viewing the music with scorch player is you’re given the chance to transpose the hymn to any key you desire before printing it for free!  Just look for the (2 flats symbol) at the top of the music  and click it.  A small box will appear allowing you to choose how far down or up you want to  transpose.

Click here to go to Timeless Truths: Free Online Library of Hymns

 

Upcoming Article: Key Changes for Prelude on the “Blood of Jesus”

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Treble clef on red staff

Just wanted you all to know I’m still alive and working on the next article as well as future articles that I’m excited about!

Tomorrow, I plan to share a free sheet containing key changes for a thematic prelude on the “Blood of Jesus”.  I love creating transitions and key changes between hymns during prelude or the Lord’s Supper.  I will share some EASY key changes soon…stay tuned!  :)

Free Arrangement for Church Pianists! Amazing Grace

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Amazing-Grace

Introducing…a free piano arrangement of Amazing Grace for unison choir or congregation.  It’s nice to be able to sing parts but most congregations of small churches seem to sing unison.

Church pianists can enliven hymns such as Amazing Grace by playing with mucho enthusiasm!  I understand not every church pianist knows how to improvise from the hymnal.  It took a lot of practice for me to feel comfortable adding unseen notes while playing from the hymnal.

Improvising tip:  Grab an improvising idea from someone else’s arrangement and try applying to a similar congregational hymn with same time signature.

Stick with that one idea for a while until it becomes natural to use…then on to the next improvising idea!

Hope you enjoy this arrangement.  Since most people are very familiar with this hymn, I took more liberty with the piano accompaniment.

Warning:  This arrangement does not support the four-part style in the hymnal.

Question from a reader:

I love these ideas but at my church both piano and organ play. I find it hard to take any liberties since I am not playing alone. Any suggestions for those of us who would love to add flare to hymns but still have to keep the organist in mind?

Answer: (at least for this arrangement)  I will soon provide a free organ arrangement of this particular version of Amazing Grace.

Free PDF for Piano: Amazing Grace

Free PDF for Organ: Amazing Grace

Audio:

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Extra tip:  This arrangement could also be used as an offertory using the following suggestion:  Allow a flute or violin to play the vocal score since the piano accompaniment doesn’t contain enough melody.

 

 

 

How to Enrich Your Congregational Singing

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

I love to sing “Amazing Grace”! It reminds me of when I accepted Christ as my Saviour at the age of 29.

A quick tip for church pianists on how to enrich congregational singing…

1. Start in a lower key. The congregation sings out better in lower keys…especially if you have a congregation like ours that mainly sings melody.

2.  Modulate up a half or whole step higher on the final verse.

In the following video…we started in E flat major and ended in F Major.

The church pianist CAN add zest to congregational singing! Learn to play a hymn in different keys for added enrichment.

I will attempt to write out Amazing Grace  in a user-friendly version for congregational piano accompaniment within the next two weeks and share for FREE! (transposed verse will be included)

Click here for this FREE arrangement of Amazing Grace :)

O Holy Night in B Flat Major

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

The wide note range of O Holy Night makes for a challenging vocal solo!

B Flat Major seems to be a comfortable; reasonable key when singing “O Holy Night”.  Therefore, I will provide a FREE copy of O Holy Night in this key.

Keep in mind…I’ve already shared this arrangement on my free Christmas music page in the key of A flat major.  I simply transposed the same arrangement to B flat major.  The key of B flat major works great  for a male solo or duet.   Sopranos like this key too because the high notes are easier to reach.

See video below of a male vocal duet I recently played for…using the key of B flat major for O Holy Night.  Special note:  I used a different arrangement :)

**Click on link below video to get your FREE copy of O Holy Night in the key of B Flat Major.

 

 

Click here to download FREE copy of O Holy Night in the key of B Flat Major

Free Piano Arrangement: All Hail the Power (page one)

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

I enjoy playing and singing “All Hail the Power”.  The church pianist must add lots of fullness to this majestic hymn to portray the mood of the text.

Just picture it…God is on His throne and scores of angels are bowed down before Him. A huge choir is singing “All hail the power of Jesus’ name! Let angels prostrate fall…”

I think the words as I play this wonderful hymn.  The melody and text are a great match!

Ingredients for  Majestic Hymns

Lots of left hand octaves for fullness and energy

Full chords in right hand

Occasional dotted rhythm…adding extra zest!

Click here to download “All Hail the Power” congregational accompaniment

 

The Church Pianist: Free Piano Arrangement (Wonderful Grace of Jesus) Part Two

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

I just finished the free arrangement of  “Wonderful Grace of Jesus”.   It was a challenge having to write this piece at an early advanced level.  I had to leave sooo much out but knew this level would benefit a larger group of church pianists. 

Editor notes for Part Two of “Wonderful Grace of Jesus”

Measures 17 & 18:  Left hand begins with melody which is very busy; therefore…the RH remains simple.

Measure 19 & beyond:  RH borrows the rhythm of the LH melody and becomes the leader for variety.

*Overall tip:  This arrangement wasn’t written for too fast of a speed.  I recorded it at the highest suggested tempo. If your church sings it faster than the recording…you’ll need to play less detail (fewer notes) to keep up.

Part One of “Wonderful Grace of Jesus” (free arrangement)

The Church Pianist:”Wonderful Grace of Jesus” Part One (Transposed)

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Yes….it’s part one of a free piano arrangement entitled: “Wonderful Grace of Jesus”.  This particular hymn can be challenging for a couple of reasons.  The melody has such a wide range..making it a challenge to sing! (I transposed it to B flat Major).  The chorus can also be tricky for the church pianist.

I’ve gleaned ideas from different piano arrangements for “Wonderful Grace of Jesus” and applied them during congregational singing.  It’s a great time to try new ideas while you have the singers for coverup. (ha ha)
The chorus use to be the most awkward part of the song but now has become my favorite over the past few years…once I learned to play in a more user friendly style.  Can’t wait to share the rest of “Wonderful Grace of Jesus” in the next article or two.

One of my favorite arrangements of“Wonderful Grace of Jesus” is arranged by Mary Lynn Van Gelderen. I also gleaned alot of ideas for congregational style from Marilynn Ham’s “Wonderful Grace of Jesus” arrangement.  I could not locate a pdf sample of this particular arrangement but it’s found in her book entitled “Timeless Tribute”.

Wonderful Grace of Jesus (Part Two)

The Church Pianist: Transposing Hymns: The Easy Method

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Transposing can be easy when moving a half step
higher or lower from the original key.

(This may be common knowledge to most of
you all but here’s to those who’ve never heard.)

First…you’ll need the music in front of you: preferrably the hymnal.

All you have to do is play the same notes, but in a different key.

For example:

A hymn in D major (two sharps) can be changed
to D flat major (five flats).

You’re reading the same notes but having to flat
certain ones instead of sharping them.

A hymn in A major (three sharps) can be changed
to A flat major (four flats).

Notice a numeric pattern? The sum of each key
change equals seven.

Also take note that each key maintains the same
letter name but moves from sharps to flats or vice
versa…depending on which direction you want to
transpose.

This is one of the easiest ways to transpose!

The Church Pianist: How I Learned to Transpose

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Transposing can be learned by the
church pianist but requires frequent
application to acquire confidence.

I do play by ear but my parents had me start
lessons at a young age so I would know how to
read music. Thank the Lord for that!

As a teenager I began to play for my dad to sing.
Prior to this, I had learned all the major scales
and played comfortably from the hymnal.

My dad is a bass so therefore I had to transpose
everything he sang!

Transposing a melody was easier if I already knew
how to play the song. The notes of the melody would
be the same distance apart but I would have to re-
member what was black.

Here was my thinking process:

Say, for example, the song was in G Major and
my dad wanted it in E flat Major.

E (flat) is three notes lower than G. I would just
think three notes lower for each melody note and
remember to flat the notes: E, A and B.

I always thought by chord numbers to transpose
for the left hand.

For example, the D chord in the key of G is the V (five)
chord because D is the fifth note in the key of G.
So, in the key of E flat….B flat is the fifth note….so
I would use the B flat chord in the new key.

Learning to transpose was a slow process at first but
I steadily grew more comfortable with constant practice.

See, I had no choice…I was my dad’s only pianist at
the time and had to learn.

Being forced into a situation does wonders for the learn-
ing process!

Challenge to the church pianist: Try transposing
a simple melody to several different keys.
Gradually add the left hand once you have a feel
for the melody in the new keys.

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