The Church Pianist: Improvising Idea (Contrary Octaves)

*Click the following sentence to access the music examples:

Improvising_Idea_Contrary_Octaves *pdf example

Here’s a simple improvising idea to dress up

hymns with few chord changes.

Use contrary octaves between both hands to produce

a more interesting sound.

In today’s examples, the contrary octaves will occur

when the V chord leads to a I chord.  The contary octaves can

occur in other chord progressions but  I’ll address those at

another time.

After playing these examples, try the contrary octave idea

in the following hymns:

“Showers of Blessing” ( 1st sentence on words: “…showers of….” )

“Redeemed” ( 1st sentence on words: “…love to pro-…” )

Editor notes on today’s examples:

Description of left hand octave pattern:

1st octave is same note as right hand

2nd octave steps down

3rd octave skips down

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2 Responses to “The Church Pianist: Improvising Idea (Contrary Octaves)”

  1. Let me say again, I love your website and check it often. I’m looking forward to seeing actual examples of contrary octaves. I’m still not sure I know what that is . . . all your ideas are so accessible and usable. Thank you for making a difference in our church’s music ministry!

  2. Jenifer Cook says:

    Thanks. Did you click on the underlined statement at the top of the article?
    It’s right above my first sentence that states: “Here’s a simple improvising…”

    The underlined sentence will take you to another little page, showing the same underlined sentence. Simply click on that underlined sentence to display the music image showing examples of contrary octaves.

    Sorry….should have made that more clear…still new to posting images in pdf format on this website.

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