Posts Tagged ‘ladies’ duet’

Using the Hymnal for Ladies’ Specials

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Using the hymnal for specials can be done but does take some planning.  Why?  The songs in the hymnal were written for four different voice parts that rely on each other to create a complete harmonic sound.  Omitting any of the parts can result in unbalanced harmony, with the exception of the melody which can stand alone.  Most hymnals do contain some ready-made duets or trios but are usually mentioned in the topical index if available.

Say I was wanting to use “Day by Day” for a female vocal duet.  The alto would lack a close harmony part  because the tenor contains the closer harmony for the first two lines…then the bass takes on the closer harmony for a bit before returning it to the tenor for the last line of the song. (see hymnal excerpt below). Notice how the alto basically sings a B flat for the majority of the first line.  Not a problem…IF the other voice parts are singing; creating a more shapely harmonic structure.


Now, for the fun part!  In order to create a more pleasing harmony the following alterations would work nicely:  I simply kept the parts in 3rds as much as possible for a closer harmony.  You’ll notice the soprano (top note) began with harmony and flowed back to melody near the middle and then back to harmony toward the end.  This type of part swapping created an easier note transition for sopranos and altos.

*See clickable link at bottom of this article


Click here to download “Day by Day”









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