The Church Pianist: Congregational Singing

Some hymns can be tricky for the church pianist when accompanying congregational singing. One such hymn is “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”.  This hymn has a busy rhythm!  Trying to play every note or word will cause a sluggish tempo or overworked tone.  

The remedy…don’t play every note/word.  The church pianist’s main concern is to play/outline the main beats of whatever time signature is represented. “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” is written in 4/4 time.  Therefore…play on beats one, two, three and four (no in between beats are necessary).  Adding a few in between beats here and there does add spice to the music though.

Since hymns sung during congregational singing are usually familar…I will stray from the melody here and there to add spice; encouraging the audience to sing with even more fervency!  Simply lose yourself in the meaning of the words to bring out creativity you didn’t think existed!  I’m always exhausted after playing for congregational singing…feels like I’ve run a marathon:)

To help   your creativity…I’ll provide an excerpt from the congregational arrangement of “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”.

Editor notes for today’s excerpt: I transferred alot of the  action to my left hand; where it was easier to add eighth note stepping octaves for spice. Occasionally I added sixteenth or grace notes to the right hand to keep it alive.(The full arrangement contains these  right hand additions.)

The complete congregational arrangement of “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” is available in the music store. 

Special Discount offer on this arrangement through the end of March.

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