What are Hymnbellishments?

I thought you'd never ask!

"Hymnbellishments" are just as the word implies: embellished hymns. Most of the ones you find on this site were transcribed from my penciled-in notes in my personal hymnal. Others I have arranged especially for this project.

 

Hymnbellishments are designed to give hymn singing a lift! When used in congregational singing, they heighten worship, edify the soul, and inspire understanding. They may also be used as hymn introductions, interludes, preludes, postludes, and offertories.

 

Most of these hymbellishments are conservative in style---meaning that in most cases the accompaniments contain the tune in the soprano line to help the singers find the melody with ease and comfort. Also, for the most part, the settings have not been drastically reharmonized to the point that the singers are unable to sing the four-part harmonies printed in the hymnal.

Some of the entries are written on two staves, and some are written on three. The ones on two staves can be played on the great manual with the bass coupler or even on the piano when an organ is not available. The ones on three staves have a separate line for the pedals to facilitate ease and clarity in distinguishing the pedal part from the left hand part.

 

A number of these hymnbellishments were written for special occasions, like a stake conference ("Count Your Blessings" and "I Need Thee Every Hour"), a funeral ("Each Life That Touches Ours for Good"), or for a student to play in a sacrament meeting ("Come, O Thou King of Kings" and "In Humility, Our Savior"). Often, I hear the harmonies and rhythms in my mind or as I'm playing, and then, that day or very soon thereafter, the pencil hits the paper to complete the process.

I hope you enjoy performing these pieces and using them in your service playing. 

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