First Try at Reharmonizing
  • PhilipPowellPhilipPowell
    Posts: 20
    Hello there! I went out on a limb and decided to try my hand at reharmonizing. I chose the hymn "Rejoice, The Lord Is King" to the tune Darwall's 148th as we will be singing it this Sunday. Curious to hear your opinions or suggested edits to it.
    - Philip

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1B7SyplCMW6x996lUHzn7zn-cDFOV79Ep/view?usp=sharing
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/12TmERunzTVBSwB-HYyiZaoI0zFbg3aEi/view?usp=drive_web
  • Definitely more convincing on the organ than on the piano.

    With the pedal point accompanying the scale, I recommend something more striking towards the end of it. Chromatic work there might help. Thank you for submitting this.
    Thanked by 1PhilipPowell
  • PhilipPowellPhilipPowell
    Posts: 20
    I recommend something more striking towards the end of it

    I agree. I made a little edit at the end that I think helps a lot. This is the re-reharmonization!
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QVFZ8YSz57LRd1Agtaeu9Hyyl_qdOiHr/view?usp=sharing
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Nk5DMdQ585G4YPR6KVK5ipC6A_6XdDWv/view
  • When the melody holds the c at the end of the first phrase, the pedal should be more active, and should (appear to be/sound as if) it could be sung as a line itself.
    Thanked by 1PhilipPowell
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,681
    Is there a reason why the pickup has been moved to the downbeat - making it quite awkward to read and interpret? In m.6 the two soprano B's should be tied. In m.3 the parallel octaves between soprano and bass are a bit disturbing, also on beats 2&3 of m.5, not to mention parallel fifths between tenor and bass at the beginning of m.9.
    Thanked by 1PhilipPowell
  • NOT that every reharmonization should sound like a Bach chorale, or like the last verse of Once in Royal David's City from King's Cambridge, these are often good places to start to learn the craft.
    Thanked by 1PhilipPowell
  • PhilipPowellPhilipPowell
    Posts: 20
    Is there a reason why the pickup has been moved to the downbeat - making it quite awkward to read and interpret?

    Simply because the program I was using wouldn't allow me to use a downbeat and keep the score looking normal. And, IMHO, it actually separates phrases of the hymn nicely so there's almost a better understanding. I am using this for myself so I don't need any help interrupting it... I wrote it!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • PhilipPowellPhilipPowell
    Posts: 20
    NOT that every reharmonization should sound like ... the last verse of Once in Royal David's City from King's Cambridge...

    Ahhh, if only I had that skill!
  • Don't sell yourself short. Learn from those who do this well.

    With our generous moderator's permission, I would like to ask those who have done this successfully to post examples so Philip can see how it's done.
    Thanked by 1PhilipPowell
  • TCJ
    Posts: 774
    This title made me think it would be fun to see a whole assortment of first attempts at harmonizing a hymn tune.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,681
    Lots of first attempts on the same hymn tune? ... or first attempts on any hymn tune?

    And do they have to be first attempts? If so, why?
  • Charles,

    I don't think, to be helpful, the recordings would have to be just first-drafts of these things, since even the study of improvisation at the instrument doesn't begin completely fresh each time, as if nothing had existed previously.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,681
    A new harmonization does not have to be an improvisation; in fact, it usually is not, even as a first attempt. At least, that's the case with my harmonizing.
  • TCJ
    Posts: 774
    Lots of first attempts on the same hymn tune? ... or first attempts on any hymn tune?

    And do they have to be first attempts? If so, why?


    I was just thinking it would be interesting to see people's first attempts at harmonizing a tune just to see progression. It would also be interesting to have a bunch of people write a harmony for a single hymn just to see all the variations.
  • PhilipPowellPhilipPowell
    Posts: 20
    I was just thinking it would be interesting to see people's first attempts at harmonizing a tune just to see progression. It would also be interesting to have a bunch of people write a harmony for a single hymn just to see all the variations.

    That would be cool! Or even just the final copies to see other ideas. Maybe it could be a competition...
  • TCJ
    Posts: 774
    Okay. Let's have a go at it then. Here's the thread I started:

    HARMONIZE A HYMN
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,361
    During a Counterpoint class at U.C.L.A, Schoenberg sent everybody to the blackboard. We were to solve a particular problem he had given and to turn around when finished so that he could check on the correctness of the solution. I did as directed. He said, "That's good. Now find another solution." I did. He said, "Another." Again I found one. Again he said, "Another." And so on. Finally, I said, "There are no more solutions." He said, "What is the principle underlying all of the solutions?"
    (John Cage: Silence, MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 1966)
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