Writings on Choral Topics
- How to Create a "New Arrangement" Using Mainly the Hymnbook
- The Inadequate Music Budget: One Way to Increase It
- Instruments: Their Role and Use in Worship, Historically and Today
- New Year, New Choir: How to Transform Your Choir Into a Group Everyone Wants to be a Part Of →
- A Peculiar People: LDS Use of the Term "Chorister" and LDS Part-singing
- A Piece's Journey: Understanding and Appreciating What Went Into the Music You Now Hold in Your Hands →
- Powerful Programming: Tips For Easter and Beyond →
- Should LDS Composers Give Their Work Away For Free?
How to Create a "New Arrangement" Using Mainly the Hymnbook
- Use an alternate accompaniment that fits with the hymn's original harmonization (such as those in the Hymnal Plus series, written by former Mormon Tabernacle Choir organists Robert Cundick and John Longhurst, published by Jackman Music Corporation).
- Feature a descant on one of the verses.
- Create the descant from the hymn itself (i.e. have the sopranos sing the tenor line up an octave).
- Use a pre-written descant, such as those featured in a resource like Hymnal Helper (Jackman Music Corporation, #00413).
- Write your own.
- Feature an instrumental obbligato on one of the verses.
- Create the obbligato from one of the vocal lines or melodic elements in the accompaniment, if there are any.
- Use a pre-written obbligato, such as those featured in a resource like Hymns for Instruments – High C /Obbligato (Jackman Music Corporation, #01168).
- Write your own.
- Have the congregation join in on one of the verses. They enjoy and appreciate being involved, and it also cuts down your work as far as having to make the choir sound polished on every single verse.
- Vary the voicing: have a soloist, women only, men only, a duet, a quartet, a child soloist, etc., do one of the verses. Featuring a child as a soloist is not commonly done and always seems to touch people.
- Even if you do not use an entirely different accompaniment (as suggested in #1), give the organ/piano something to do, such as an interlude between verses, or a coda at the end so the piece does not endabruptly. You can use existing phrases right from the hymn to do this if you don't want to write new material.
- Combine several of the above into one piece. For example, use an alternate accompaniment, feature a soloist, and then have thecongregation join in on the last verse while the choir sopranos sing a descant. The result is thatpeople are "wowed" and it appears you have done a lot more work than you actually have!
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