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I’ve been living in a “4 Part-Writing” nightmare but hey if you want to hear some brass, woodwinds, and organ playing a chorale hit here also

For the past 2 weeks I’ve been working and stressing over a hymn based on Psalms 91:9-11 for a Moravian and Methodist hymnal and songbook. After I would compose the counter-point I would check and recheck to make sure I didn’t break any traditional part writing rules. After I checked for parallel 5ths and 8vas I kept getting hidden 5ths, but thank the Lord for Tchaikovsky who said they only matter when it concerns the soprano and bass. Also, I had a couple of times where I doubled the bass of the chord 3 times but it’s ok on tonic. Then to get out of a few tough spots I did the Bach way and used some suspensions. Then it’s ok to have a 5th going to a augmented 4th, and to avoid the parallel 5th, although I know that they are allowed, in the German Augmented 6th chord I used a French Augmented 6th chord and a i6/4 chord. I did use a tritone in the tenor part, but I symbolically used it showing a percentage of fallen angels from Heaven. In measure 12-13 there is a parallel 8va in the soprano and bass, but I did allow that placing a solid single bar line to show 2 separate sections where in a live performance the congregation could probably even do a slight pause before that final section. I will need to experiment with a live group. In some hymns a single dark solid line separates a verse and a chorus. I doubt this is a verse/ chorus piece but I definitely wanted 2 sections, and allowed the parallel to stand out to give tribute to the past before all the rules and to create a different mystical feel because we are about to talk about angels.

Here’s the hymn. It’s called “If You Make the Lord Your Refuge” from Psalms 91:9-11 inspired by the pandemic and unexpected transformation of 2020. Click on the file to see the sheet music, and the rendering uses brass, woodwinds, and organ.

Here's the sheet music: If You Make the Lord Your Refuge sheet music

and the sound: https://soundcloud.com/rodney-money-1/if-you-make-the-lord-your-refuge

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Very nice.  I can't say much about all the technical things you mention (kinda new), but it has a feeling of power and being very old.  I would guess it's perfect for what you're writing for.  I was also intrigued by some of the chords and progressions you used.  I will take a look at the sheet music.  

I also hope you post the final performance when you have it all worked out!  

Thanks for posting! 

Doug

Rodney,  This is your usual excellent work. Interestingly Methodist on one hand and....not on the other. As for the "rules"? There are so many that it is possible to sit at a desk and write acceptable music just following them. Without needing to hear the music. But we are not after "acceptable." As usual, you bring your own wonderful creativity to this. If the fifth fits, do it. By the way, that was a very fun, subtle major feel just before the end.  

Good to meet you Doug! Thank you so much for taking a look at my little hymn. I like how you said it has a feeling of power and being very old. A lot of churches that I play in are quite old fitting that description  (at least for “America’s age,”) and that is probably why it does have the feeling it does. If you have any questions about the score, chords, or progressions feel free to ask, and I will be more than happy to talk about them.  

Douglas Locke said:

Very nice.  I can't say much about all the technical things you mention (kinda new), but it has a feeling of power and being very old.  I would guess it's perfect for what you're writing for.  I was also intrigued by some of the chords and progressions you used.  I will take a look at the sheet music.  

I also hope you post the final performance when you have it all worked out!  

Thanks for posting! 

Doug

Thank you so much for your response Bob, it means the world to me, and you are exactly right even if there are rules I am gonna put my own self in it still. Oh yes, we finally hit the V7 chord that could’ve easily went to the Picardy 3rd ending in C Major. The thought did cross my mind! 

Bob Porter said:

Rodney,  This is your usual excellent work. Interestingly Methodist on one hand and....not on the other. As for the "rules"? There are so many that it is possible to sit at a desk and write acceptable music just following them. Without needing to hear the music. But we are not after "acceptable." As usual, you bring your own wonderful creativity to this. If the fifth fits, do it. By the way, that was a very fun, subtle major feel just before the end.  

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