“Beautiful and bold!” - Chorale-reharmonization at the organ reflected in a singing congregation

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Högskolan för scen och musik

Author: Hugo Von Horn; [2020-06-01]

Keywords: Harmony; Chorale; Playing; Composition; enhancement; depletion;

Abstract: The purpose of this investigation is to find out where I as a church-musician can positively impact thecongregation through harmonies when playing the organ. The questions are as following: Whatcharacterizes the changes of organ-notations I spontaneously do with the intention of supporting thecongregational singing? How do my transcriptions impact the singing? Do I facilitate the singing ornot? To begin with, I analyze in what manner I subconsciously harmonize hymns. The way I proceedto submit to the following questions is through an inquiry-sheet, survey, where the partakers willsubmit their results on a grading-system; I also expect them to comment on their level of perception ofthe harmonization. After looking through the obtained results, I subsequently calculated the resultswhere one can fathom the information. The conclusion of this study tells me that the way oneharmonizes hymns can in fact help the congregation as well as making it stumble. One must be veryaware of what one is doing. Hymn-harmonizations on very famous hymns such as hymn 231(AmazingGrace) will not severely affect the congregation in its ability to sing to. However, harmonizing a lesserknown hymn such as hymn 386 can result in the congregation stumbling since it is less familiar withthe melody itself. It is therefore the duty of every musician to thoroughly consider how much they canchange the harmonies when playing.

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