Conversation and information about music and liturgy from a confessional Lutheran perspective.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Different parishes at different times need different "solutions" to the musical challenges and opportunities provided by the liturgy. We try to offer a wide variety of options on the site, knowing that there is no one-size-fits-all "solution" for any given text. That said, even a parish with a high level of artistic activity needs easy options. And so we do try to lean more toward providing "music for common use" rather than "high art" on the site.

One of the things that we are doing more often is simply putting up something that works well with the hymnal accompaniment. The handbell accompaniments for DS III we put up last year are an example of that, as are the brass parts for the DS IV Gloria I put up recently. Sometimes we aren't looking for a concertato setting of a hymn, or some new text-painting harmonization. With one rehearsal and many irons in the fire, it is often helpful just to have a trumpet part that "goes with the book".

The latest of such offerings went up today: a simple descant for LSB #819, "Sing Praise to God the Highest Good". A very parish-friendly descant, it only goes to a high F. And yet it still cuts through thanks to the tessatura of the melody. Most importantly, the organist can "play from the book", making this an easy adornment to add to the service. Similarly, we'll be putting up several instrumental descants & countermelodies by Terry Herald this spring that also "work with the book".

We're putting these things up because they work for us. We hope they work for you!

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