Nearly 300 classic, time-honored hymns your choir and congregation will love singing—scored by organists for organists, in three parts!
Our selections are musical, singable, truly sacred, theologically solid, and–for the most part–familiar, although you will also find some that are new to you. All 295 hymns use traditional hymn texts, not modern adaptations. Our hymnal has been granted a nihil obstat and imprimatur, which mean the book is free from doctrinal error.
A Catholic Book of Hymns includes all you need for reverent, beautiful celebrations from Advent through Easter and the whole of ordinary time.
For just a few dollars you can take the book to your local office-supply store and have it spiral-bound to lie flat on your music stand.
For new organists, playing hymns can be a challenge. But there’s no reason to panic. This book of simple organ hymns is here to assist you.
This book will assist you as you develop your hymn-playing skills—and teach you the techniques involved in playing. How?
An SATB hymn has four components:
- soprano melody
- bass melody
- alto and tenor lines.
The most important musical line of any true SATB hymn is the melody, or soprano part. Second in importance is the bass line, the foundation of the hymn’s structure.
You could play just the soprano and bass to accompany a hymn, and that’s always an option, especially if you get confused while playing. There’s no reason to be shy about doing that. It’s rare for people to notice that the two inner parts aren’t being played.
That’s the key to playing the hymns in this Simple Organ Edition. They all have the original soprano and bass lines with one middle part, not two. The addition of one simple middle part tells the ear whether the chord of sound produced as every syllable of the hymn is sung is major or minor. The part we’re leaving out is less important, which is why you can play hymns quite competently with only three parts.
Hymns have one additional challenge: repeated notes of the same pitch that are part and parcel of the singer’s repertoire. With their voices, choristers are able to create a smooth sound from repeated notes because the consonants they’re singing don’t interrupt the flow of the melody.
The organist has no such ability, and repeated notes are treated in one of two ways: the finger lifts and replays the note (as in the singer’s version of the hymn) or the finger holds and ties the repeated notes (as the music in organ scores is written).
Coping with this challenge—looking at a vocalist’s score yet not playing all the repeated notes—is a learned ability. The best way to overcome it is to work from scores created for an organist, which display the notes as an organist should play them. This Simple Organ Edition does just that for all 295 hymns.