Hymns in Minor Keys
  • Any suggestions for traditional hymns for Ordinary Time or Assumption written in a minor key? After doing Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence at Mass, our pastor has requested more hymns in minor keys.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,495
    Leoni (vigorous hymn in a minor key), Windsor, Kingsfold, Fairest Lord Jesus (NOT St. Elizabeth, but the tune at 346 in the 1940 Episcopal hymnal), King's Weston
  • Morning Song
    Ebenezer!
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    Hymn Tune Iste Confessor is a D minor hymn. A common text for this is "Father of Mercy, Lord of all creation"
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,001
    To my ear, both Morning Song and Kingsfold spend as much time in the relative major as in the minor key.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    One has to ponder the pastor's acumen and request: wow, huh, whoa.
    Regarding the OP's request-just alternate COVENTRY CAROL and PASSION CHORALE.
    Oh, I forgot to add the ironic PARCE DOMINE.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,107
    spend as much time in the relative major as in the minor key.
    Yes, these, and even a few others ... but that is not a bad thing at all.

    I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned the very sturdy C.M.D. tune LLANGOFFAN (642 in W III, 68 & 607 in the Hymnal 1982) which, in fact, has a (less often encountered) major key cognate, LLANFYLLIN.

    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • rogue63
    Posts: 405
    The tune ARLINGTON is quite lovely. Likewise, DETROIT and RESTORATION. Rousing foot-stompers. WONDROUS LOVE, too.
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    To ERHALT UNS, HERR: "The Glory of theae Forty Days" - a very good lenten hymn.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,303
    Try some modal stuff (chant hymns).

    When someone isn't a musician, you should never take their use of musical terms at face value. He doesn't want minor key music. He wants music that sounds like it belongs in church.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,960
    I can't recall a specific title at the moment, but I remember that many of the old shape note hymns are in minor keys. A Google search would probably turn up a listing.
  • Any suggestions for traditional hymns for Ordinary Time or Assumption written in a minor key? After doing Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence at Mass, our pastor has requested more hymns in minor keys.


    You know, if your pastor wants something that most people will regard as dreary-sounding, isn't this your perfect opportunity to suggest Gregorian chant?

    Only kidding! ... Well, sort of....
  • It would be helpful to create list of hymns that gradually dip more into the minor/modal scales that could lead to singing chant melodies transformed by harmonizing them as SATB and over a period of time, with a pastor like this, could easily transform the congregations expectations without saying a word. Then begin accompanying the SATB hymns that are actually chant with modal accompaniments and sing the chant in unison.

    After awhile, then sing them one by one in Latin.

    It's a wonderful way to go.
    Thanked by 3Kathy CHGiffen Claire H
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,592
    Just sing ALL OF THE TEXTS to PICARDY!!!

    Purple bold.
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    I'm with Adam on this: your pastor, unless he is a musician, likely doesn't completely understand what he's asking for. Someone likely came up to him after Mass and told him how much they like "minor keys" and how you as the musician "should do that more," probably also citing "increased participation" as a result of doing so.

    As much as what we hear from our Pastors, we must also consider what we don't hear, and realize that many specific musical requests (such as this, or requesting a specific instrument be used, etc) does not usually come from him, but some PIP who said something to him about it, which then turned into a mandate.
  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    Sort of like when my husband (who is an organist,) had his pastor come up to him and tell him to "add more sharps" to a song, so it would be more "energetic."
    Hmmm...
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Sharp, natural and flat are merely attitudes.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,592
    PLAY ALL OF THE NOTES SHARP
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,960
    There is the idea out there, and I don't know where it came from, that something written in a key with sharps always sounds brighter. It can, but other factors, such as temperature and humidity affecting the pipes can also play a part in whether or not music sounds bright or rather thick. I am amazed at how the same piece sounds different on dry and sunny as opposed to rainy days. Perhaps that is what the pastor was getting at.
  • Some of that might have to do with the tuning of your organ. Pipe organs are rarely equal-tempered, and the farther you get from C, the wonkier it can get.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,960
    True. As I near the time for tuning, I find I have a flute celeste on the organ. There are no celestes on this instrument.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Salieri
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,402
    Chopin's Waltz in D-flat sounds a lot brighter when transposed to C-sharp.

    (I'll let the reader decide whether or not this is purple.)
    Thanked by 2Adam Wood CharlesW
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,107
    Most of you are too young to remember the famous jingle:
    Look sharp, feel sharp, B-sharp
    And listen mister!
    How are you fixed for blades? (do you have many?)
    How are you fixed for blades? (you’d better check!)
    Please make sure you have enough –
    ‘cos a worn-out blade makes shaving mighty tough!
    How are you fixed for blades? (you’d better look!)
    Gillette Blue blades are neat!

    Beethoven's "Mass in C major, Op. 86" might have shed its reputation as a "long underrated masterpiece" if it had been written in B-sharp major.
  • AndrewK
    Posts: 40
    Since when does Stephen Colbert frequent this forum?
    Thanked by 1marajoy
  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    There is the idea out there, and I don't know where it came from, that something written in a key with sharps always sounds brighter. It can, but other factors, such as temperature and humidity affecting the pipes can also play a part in whether or not music sounds bright or rather thick. I am amazed at how the same piece sounds different on dry and sunny as opposed to rainy days. Perhaps that is what the pastor was getting at.

    Lol, nope. (Pastor just thinks he knows more about music than he actually does!)