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Worship Specials
Every Sunday HymnSongs

These versatile arrangements allow for the use of well-known, traditional hymns in any worship setting (contemporary, blended, or traditional).  While they are playable by inexperienced musicians, accomplished performers will find rewarding musical challenges.

The simplest performance option is to use the piano part to provide a fresh accompaniment for congregational singing.  The piano part can also be used to back vocal or instrumental soloists.  Utilization of the full score will yield a powerful presentation employing complete choral and orchestral resources.  An unlimited number of options for vocal and instrumental combinations exist between these extremes.

The SCORE contains all of the musical parts for the arrangement.  It is in concert pitch (not transposed).

The INSTRUMENT (treble and bass clef) parts are for wind and string players.  The three different musical lines can be played by any combination of instruments.  The following listing gives options for assigning parts:

Treble Clef C Instruments: Flue, Oboe, Violin
Treble Clef B flat Instruments: Trumpet, Clarinet, Soprano or Tenor Sax
Treble Clef E flat Instruments: Alto Sax
Bass Clef C Instruments: Trombone, Cello, Bassoon
Bass Clef B flat Instruments: Tenor Sax, Bass Clarinet
Bass Clef E flat Instruments: Baritone Sax
Please note that, in some cases, the part may not be practical for some instruments in the octave where it is written.  Players should experiment to find the most comfortable and best sounding octave for each phrase.

The optional SYNTHESIZER part provides the instrument parts in a combined treble/bass clef version playable on a synthesizer or electronic keyboard.  This can be used as a substitute for shortages in your ensemble or to reinforce instrumental lines.

The VOCAL part can be used by soloists or full choir in any combination of male and female voices.  You are provided with 2-part and 3-part versions.  Use the version that best fits your group as either gives a satisfying sound.

The PIANO part can be played by any keyboard instrument.  Since it contains chord symbols, this is also the part that GUITAR players will use.

The VOCAL/PIANO part is simply a combined score of the vocal and piano parts.  It may be especially useful in rehearsals.

The BASS part is for acoustic or electric bass. It also can be played on a keyboard instrument.  It contains chord symbols to help the experienced player add variety to the bass line.

The DRUM part is intended only as a guide.  It suggests beat patterns and provides a "road map" indicating fill points and rhythm patterns to emphasize.  The drummer should improvise a part appropriate to the style rather than attempt to perform exactly what is written.  Additional percussion parts can be added at the discretion of the conductor and players.

All rhythm section parts (Piano, Bass, Drums) can be modified by the players and should be viewed as a "point of departure".  As written, the parts provide a practical and satisfying musical foundation for the arrangements.  Experienced players, however, should be encouraged to experiment by varying and embellishing what is written.

The MELODY parts are provided for instrumentalists (see listing of part assignments above).  These parts include the melody and chord symbols.  They can be used by instrumentalists to play the arrangement as a solo feature, to solo on specific phrases, or to improvise melodic fills.

Use the music to serve the needs of your group and situation.  There is no "right" way to perform these arrangements.  Keep an open mind and experiment!

Parts can be added in any order; use the instruments and voices you have available.  The piano part is the foundation and any of the other parts will serve to enhance it. The instrument parts will sound best if the top line of the treble clef part is added first, but even that is not an absolute necessity.

Use your imagination to "build" an arrangement.  It is not necessary to use all of the parts, even when you have players available; in some cases it may be desirable to omit parts.  Here, for example, is a possible "structure":
  • Introduction:  all parts as written
  • Stanza 1: solo voice with piano and bass accompaniment
  • Stanza 2: full choir with rhythm section (guitar, piano, bass, drums)
  • Stanza 3: as written (rhythm section, choir, all instrument parts)
  • Stanza 4: improvised instrumental solo (sax or guitar) with rhythm section
  • Stanza 5: as written 
Some sounds do seem to fit certain musical styles better than others.  Ballads can be effective with electric piano and instrumental backgrounds played by strings.  Jazz styles often work well with acoustic rhythm section and backgrounds played by some combination of brass and saxophones.  However, these are not "rules" - unorthodox combinations often achieve stunning musical results.  Try different groupings of sounds, alter the tempo, and build a structure that highlights the strengths of your performers.