Moving Past the Accompaniment Book: Hymn Playing from the Melody Line Alone
July 6 @ 10:00 am - 10:45 am
Church organists, particularly in the United States, are often in the habit of playing exclusively from 4-voice hymn scores. However, there are many benefits to taking an extra step in personal practice and study, and learning to play from the melody line alone. With practice, it is possible for organists of any skill level to not only harmonize the tunes themselves, but to harmonize with proper SATB voice-leading. This workshop will explore some of the many possibilities that open up for the organist who commits to this hymn-playing approach, from voicing the melody as a soprano, tenor, or bass solo, to playing descants, to transposing hymns, to re-harmonization, to simplifying service music folders, to improvising simple contrapuntal introductions and interludes. In addition to looking down the road at eventual opportunities, this workshop will give practical, step-by-step instructions on how to begin practicing this type of hymn-playing.