Posts Tagged ‘runs’

The Church Pianist: Runs in Hymns (example three)

Thursday, September 9th, 2010


*(You may want to print the “Runs in Hymns example three” page below to have on hand as you read the following information)

I enjoy using what I call “cluster runs” in hymnplaying. It’s just a cluster of notes (close together) played in a rapid broken-chord pattern. I just repeat the same four notes up the piano.  Runs can be added almost anywhere as long as they fit the flow of the hymn.  The run needs to sound like it belongs in the arrangement…not just thrown in as an afterthought.

The following example illustrates  the use of the “cluster run” in the hymn “Throw Out the Lifeline”.  The cluster run begins on the word “someone”.  Just use your right thumb to start each set of four notes.  For each group of 4 notes…I use the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th finger.

Emphasize (stress) the first note of each 4 notes to create a more shapely tone…making the run blend into the piece. 

Runs- in- Hymns- example -three

Audio of Runs in Hymns (example three)

One of my latest arrangements uses this cluster run in most of the chorus of The Light of the World is Jesus”.  The sample audio on this link contains the chorus with the cluster runs.

The Church Pianist: Adding Runs to Hymns (example #2)

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

I hope the first example of adding runs to hymns was helpful for some of you.

The second example of adding runs to hymns is fairly simple. I chose a hymn in G Major and 4/4 time.  The run is nothing more than a one note ascending scale used as a fill-in.  This particular run makes a nice transition from the verse to chorus.

These articles discussing runs will be broken down into even smaller segments due to my limited time this semester. I will share more explanation on this example along with an audio in the next article.

At least you can view the example and print it in advance of hearing the audio and seeing more details soon.

Runs_ in _Hymn_ example_ 2

The Church Pianist: Piano Interpretation (Runs and Fill-ins)

Friday, October 30th, 2009

(View of run from the video of “Father’s World” excerpt)

It’s so easy to rush through a busy fill-in passage during a hymn arrangement.

If you’re like me, you think…”That’s alot of notes! I’d better play fast to make them fit in!”  So….you rip through the pretty stuff as though it were thrown in all of a sudden and listeners think…”Woah!  What was that?” 

 Fill-ins and runs either enhance the melody (hopefully)…or are used to add movement during a held word.

Runs that intertwine with the melody are meant to move along at a fair pace so as not to break the flow of thought.

Slowing down for a run during a held word is appropriate. Such is the case in today’s excerpt from my arrangement entitled: “This is My Father’s World” published by Soundforth Publications under BJU Press.

The following link from Soundforth may give you a view of the actual music.

Editor notes for video:

Wrong way: I play one speed with little emotion.

Right way:  Taking more time to feel the music in a more conversational style.


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