Sacred and Church Music

Discussion in 'Orchestra / Solo / Chamber Music' started by pwillini, Oct 27, 2004.

  1. pwillini

    pwillini Pianissimo User

    Mar 4, 2004
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Let's start something here.

    I love to play in church. I currently play during the offering at least once a month, sometimes more. I find it relaxing and enriching. My music pastor, a former touring vocalist and piano artist, accompanies me. Our specials usually involve me telling what song I want to play, what key. He then comes up with a styling that might work and we then practice 3-4 times to polish the product. I play mostly traditional hymns and my variations are not difficult, mostly intermediate level runs, etc. His piano stylings compliment my ideas well, nothing is written down, just played.

    We've talked about arranging what we've already done and making an intermediate book for gospel trumpet stylings. This would be new to me, I can play it but I have to really think about writing it down later.

    Just a few thoughts to see what we get going. Let's hear from you comebackers that use your talents in the Lord's service!
  2. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    hey Pwillini,
    I also have a steady church gig that I do every sunday. We have a more comtemporary service with a full horn line. Kinda like a Chicago/TOP/EWF setup. We also do some gigs around town for Children's home/Jacob's ladder, Salvation Army, homeless shelters, etc. It is so wonderful just comin' to the Lord, relaxing and playing some great American traditional hymns or playing the Word for others to hear. Good luck on the book project. If your dictation skills are not up to par there are several computer programs that can transcribe stuff out for you. God Bless.

  3. JoJoMak

    JoJoMak New Friend

    Jan 4, 2007
    this Easter will be my first time playing in the church, for the church relating to the trumpet...this is scarey a bit... I've only played in the privacy of my home and when I heard the music leader ask ME...if I could play something for Easter? Well I need to get back to practicing..."Jesus, Name above all Names" is one I'm better at.

    Tell me more about transscribing from one instrument to the trumpet...I can't stand there with the piano and play what they are playing...How can I take their music and transscribe it to trumpet talk? We kinda found it with the hit and miss on the song above...I had to take the notes and go one step above the piano notes and play THAT note with the trumpet and we sounded more in tune with each other. :-( Piano was playing their E...I played the f# and that sounded better...Am I in the right ballpark on this? Other songs...have I been playing wrong cause its NOT in trumpet talk?
    music for piano can't be played on the HAS to be written for trumpet? Oh Dear...back to the drawing board...;-)
  4. Khora

    Khora Piano User

    Sep 17, 2006
    New York
    THe basic trumpet is a Bb instrument - when you play a C on a trumpet it sounds like a Bb on the piano. So if you want to play music written for piano or voice with a pianist/organist, either you play every note a whole step higher than written, or the pianist plays a whole step lower. Usually the trumpet does the transposing.

    So when you see a Bb, play a C. Written C becomes D. D becomes E. E becomes F#. etc....

    Check out some of the posts on transposing - that is what they are talking about. And for Easter, don't hesitate to write out the transposed part, so you dont' have to worry about it while playing.

    Have fun and best of luck,

  5. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

    Jul 18, 2006
    Casper, WY
    Last Easter played for the 1st time in 25 years publicly. Baroque repertoire and got to fudge the keys a bit.

    Went very well. Had lots of help.

    It was a joy and honor.

    Good Thread,

  6. rdt1959

    rdt1959 Pianissimo User

    Oct 31, 2003
    Our praise band plays once a month. Our church purchased the companion arrangements for hymnal for all the instruments we had at the time, and we tend to stick to the hymnal for various reasons. However, since people continually sit out or just plain don't show up, I find I have to "arrange" the parts for the instruments we KNOW will be on hand.

    The "arrangements" basically consist of making sure that all the parts are covered. For instance, our tenor sax player is sitting out right now (kind of hard to use proper breathing techniques when you are pregnant!) So I will transpose the tenor sax part to another instrument. Or if the alto sax (our Pastor) is going to unavailble, I will transpose his part to another instrument.

    I use the Finale "Print Music" software, and find it very useful. I could transcibe the parts by hand. But my music notation skills lack something important.

    Like...readability! LOL

    The book is a great idea, even if it is just for your own use. I keep a notebook of the arrangements for future use, which I find to be very helpful. Since we tend to stick with the hymnal, sooner or later we will get to the same hymn again.
  7. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Yeah definately put your book together; you never know when you might need it!

    As for playing I play every Sunday in my "little" church down here in Georgia. I just played my last mass with them yesterday; our dedication mass for the new church. It will be sad to leave them but I'm going home to Michigan where Easter in the Archdiocise of Detroit awaits me.

    I figure that the bible has many references to "Sound the Trumpet" so since it said that and not sound the guitar, flute, bango or whatever I use my talents in service to the lord as often as I can as I feel that God gave me the talent to play; so I shall.
  8. crash

    crash New Friend

    Dec 6, 2006
    I would be very interested in your arrangements. I am constantly looking for arrangements of traditional hymns for solo and small group performances. I've been sticking with Phil Smith's Great Hymns/Carols line of books for most of my material for solos. They are very well written, but can be difficult for those of us plagued with range problems. I would think something like GarageBand would help you get your songs on paper. I have often thought of dabbling into creating my own arrangements but there is always the problem of accompaniment.

    We (a small group of instramentalists) play every week in church with the piano and organ to hopefully add a little to the singing. people seem to enjoy it and we also play for the offertory, but it is usually just along with piano and organ out of the hymnal. Usually Christmas and Easter I will get a solo together for the offering. I can't get anyone else to play a solo although the trombone and I are working on a duet.

    My next venture is a flugel. I am currently saving for a decent flugel to use for some of the more lyrical solos that I have. I want to create an arrangement for "Jesus is All the World To Me" and what I hear in my head would probably sound best on the flugel.

    In the past 3 years I have found a couple of good online sources for traditional Christian music. It's a bit of a gamble though because some of the arrangements can end up sounding a little 'clunky' for lack of a better term. I guess they don't seem to flow very well. Then there are some that are beatifully written, like the Phil Smith stuff.

    Thanks for starting this thread...

    My advice to you would be to find out which hymnal you're using and try to find the Bb version. I found ours at David E. Smith Publications. Sacred Instrumental Music Sacred Music Instrumental Music Sacred Hymn Music Christian Instrumental Music from David E Smith Publications
    Why transpose if you don't have to?? I'm a pro network consultant not a pro trumpet player. What little practice time that i have goes into intonation, articulation and the sound that I make. Get a Bb hymnal, it's about $40 but much cheaper than a C trumpet!! :-)
    (Of course if your ambitions are to be a pro (or if you are young and have the time) then that changes everything and you probably should learn transposition.)
    If you have to transpose, the formula for transposing from C to Bb:
    Add two Sharps if it is in Sharps or
    take away two Flats if it is in Flats and
    play the notes one step up from what is written.

    I think this is right someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
  9. Dennis K.

    Dennis K. New Friend

    Jun 18, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Hi All,
    I know this is an aging thread, but I'll describe how & where I use my talents for Church.
    My wife is the instrumental music director at a fairly large church. I started out playing there simply to support her in her new job. As I got to know some of the other players, I began looking for music that was a little more challenging than most of the standard published arrangements. So, I wrote a duet for horn and trombone, and also did the same piece for trumpet and trombone (on the hymn tune Ellacombe).
    I also played an Easter job with a guy in town who had a tremendous quintet book, of all original arrangements of church music - mostly quintet, organ, and congregation music. I showed him some of the arrangments I had done. We co-miserated on the joys of working for the 'big' publishers, then we put our books together and created our own publishing company:
    Now, I mostly do instrumental arrangements, custom orchestrations, and music for brass, organ, choir and congregation (or any combination thereof...)
    I also recently did some fairly easy orchestrations for a church in Monterrey - great music by a local pastor - I did it because my church is sending about 35 musicians there as a fundraiser for the seminary and to promote the local church through concerts, music camps, a budding music school.
    So, I use my talents wherever God leads, and occaisionally get paid (or occaisionally not...) Every now and then, I get something big - I wrote a hymn setting (Aurelia, for 5-tet, organ, congregation) for the installation of the Arch-Bishop of Washington, but I'm just as happy writing for little churches in Mexico.
    Ehhhh.... Wherever He leads, I'll go!
  10. Ray Vega

    Ray Vega Pianissimo User

    When I'm not on the road, I play at the 11am worship service at Manhattan Grace Tabernacle in NYC. It's the musical high point of my week. Music is a powerful gift.

    BTW-have you checked out Dan Oaxley from Nashville. He's a killer trumpeter.......His Praise Band CD is awesome!!!

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