29. July 2009 08:02
"Will The Circle be Unbroken?" was done on request of someone on everything dulcimer.com. I appreciate those who commented about my site and gave me requests for dulcimer arrangements for the weeks to come. Some have been a lot of fun for me to arrange and I can't wait to post them in the future. Thank you again to everyone that has helped out. Please keep making requests!
The first time I heard this hymn was in a Johnny Cash song called "Daddy sang bass." Mr. Cash references the song by singing "Will the circle be unbroken, by and by Lord, by and by?" After that I found out that it was a hymn and a beautiful one indeed. The lyrics hold nothing back, and get right down to the point about remembering the good times with loved ones that have passed away. No the circle will never be broken when we are found in Christ Jesus. Because he took our sinfulness and by grace we were given his righteousness we can praise God's name together with family forever. I hope you enjoy this hymn as much as I have.
P.S. A recording or video of this hymn will be posted shortly.
"Will the Circle be Unbroken''
20. July 2009 06:54
You may remember this song from Sunday school; along with other songs like "Jesus loves me" and " I love to tell the story." This hymn classified as a "gospel hymn." No, this doesn't mean that you'll only hear this hymn in Arfican-American gospel choirs, but the name refers to the harmonic progressions and when did the hymn originate. Most gospel hymns came from the mid to late 1800's. Why? Because Sunday schools became very popular around this period. Those children sang along to songs like "Nothing but the blood" and "Blessed Assurance." What do you think they will want to sing when they get older...They want to sing songs they grew up with! That's why we still sing them today.
Gospel Hymns can be easily identified by their "harmonic progressions". Harmonic what? A the harmonic progression is essensally the harmonic rhythm. Let me explain, Some hymns have chord changes every beat, every two, every four, some even every eight beats. Gospel hymns Harmonies usually change every 4-8 beats. Remember, they were Sunday school songs. So you can easily say that "A Mighty Fortress" or "O Worship the king" are not Gospel Hymns. See/hear the difference? Try looking for other gospel hymns and check the dates to see if you are right. Also, almost every Fanny Crosby hymn is a Gospel hymn. I hope you enjoy this arrangement.
''O How I Love Jesus''
19. July 2009 05:49
First, before I begin to talk about music theory, I always like to ask myself why we even have theories about music. Where did they come from and who really wrote them? Throughout time did composers and arrangers write hand books about what are good and bad practices in music? Unfortunately, not as many composers as we’d like wrote books on music theory. If composers didn’t write the rules, then rules who did? In my opinion, composers didn’t write the rules in books, but they the rules in their music.
Have you ever heard a song and said to your self, “Wow that sounded great! How they played that?” or “I play like that too. It just works for me.” What if someone wrote down what worked and what just didn’t sound that great in a book? Surprisingly, many people have been doing that for centuries, and this is essentially what music theory is all about. Music theory instructs us how we should organize and understand music, but they are also guide lines to help us in our own musical journeys and to understand what composers of the past were trying to communicate through their music. As dulcimer players, we should strive to understand not only our instruments but music in general.
Every week I will post a small blog on a music theory topic. I will cover topics such as intervals, tersian harmony, modes and modern scales, how to modulate into other keys and other subjects. I hope it stimulates conversation within the dulcimer community. Visit soon and leave a reply!
13. July 2009 06:23
This week’s dulcimer hymn arrangement is “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” I sang this at a funeral for my friend Jack’s mother earlier this year. She was very dear to me. When I first began arranging hymns for the dulcimer, this was one of the first arrangements I made. I dedicate this arrangement to Jack and Alice Thompson. This hymn’s lyrics are all about keeping your goals in life aligned with the will of God and even when we are down from what ever troubles come up in life, we can always find hope and strength in our Lord, Christ Jesus.
I tried my best to retain as many 7th chords as I could within this arrangement. Many hymn books only have the chorus, but I really wanted to have the whole hymn with the verse. I hope you enjoy this hymn as much as I have through the years.
''Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus''
12. July 2009 09:18
Not only does thedulcimerhymnal.com sell hymnals, offer free hymns and sheetmusic, but now has a blog that will be updated weekly. Every Monday, new sheet music of a song or hymn will be posted with a streaming video or downloadable Mp3 file to help you play along. Some songs will be duets, pop songs, hymns, etc. It really doesn't matter. If you have any requests concerning the sheetmusic that is picked and arranged, please send me a reply to one of my posts with your suggestions. I'd love to hear them. Thanks for checking out the site, and come please stop by again and visit the site in the future!
6. July 2009 05:58
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This week’s dulcimer hymn arrangement is “Take My Life and Let It Be Consecrated.” Though this hymn was written in the 1874, it is seen as one of the most popular hymns ever written. I even sang and lead this hymn at my college graduation. The words are beautiful and convicting while the music is memorable and melodic. I hope you enjoy this arrangement and play it with your friends.