Blessed Assurance Trumpet Hymn Duet #19

posted in: Trumpet Hymns | 6

Frances J. Crosby, Phoebe P. Knapp
by Eddie Lewis

Sheet music for Blessed Assurance trumpet hymn duet is available at:

19 Trumpet Hymn Duets

Blessed Assurance Trumpet Hymn Duet is number nineteen in our series. I am writing one per week for now, until I finish the first 21 for the book. I’ll probably never stop writing these Trumpet Hymn Duets, but after I finish enough of them for the book, I will probably take a short break from writing them.

Here is a button to take you to the Trumpet Hymn Duets page on this website:

Blessed Assurance Trumpet Hymn Duet

Blessed Assurance Trumpet Hymn Duet Sheet Music PDF Cover Art Shop Image
Cover art design by Dr Pearl Lewis

Blessed Assurance is another one of those hymns that everyone knows. Fanny Crosby wrote a lot of those, more than her share.

The lyrics on this hymn are short and simple. They read like an affirmation of faith. My favorite part is the first few words of the refrain.

This is my story, this is my song…

When I look at my life up to this day, I can say that this IS my story and it IS my song. I’m not saying I don’t make mistakes. I’m not always perfectly submissive. I do make mistakes now and again. The wonderful thing about that is that I walk in God’s grace and mercy, through Christ Jesus.

The Arrangement

I did two unusual things in this Blessed Assurance Trumpet Hymn Duet arrangement. The two are related. Both of them involve moving up a half step. First, in the intro and interlude material, I moved to a chord a half step up from the tonic. This is not a Neapolitan chord because I’m not using it that way. But yes, it’s the same notes.

Blessed Assurance Trumpet Hymn Duet Sheet Music Sample Score
First page of the duet.

The second weird thing is even further “out there”. In the fifth bar of the second verse, the tune modulates up a half step.

Blessed Assurance Trumpet Hymn Duet is the second in a row to break from the conventions I’ve been following for most of the series. The idea for this series was to force myself to be less creative, compositionally, and more traditional. A half-step modulation in the middle of a verse is not very traditional. He he he… But now that I’ve recorded it and have made the video, listening to it, it’s not like we’re talking about Shoenberg or anything like that.

What makes this modulation work is the chord in the introduction. That chromaticism in the introduction creates an environment for the hymn that softens the modulation in the second verse.

That said, it still breaks the rules. I’m supposed to be sticking to the original harmonies of the hymn, even in my transitional content. This is not a duet that will work well with the congregation. Most of the others will.

We have a Play Along video of this Trumpet Hymn Duet that you can access here:

Perfect Time

I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about this in a blog yet, but I have a curiosity about nine-eight time signature because of its history. Hundreds of years ago, nine-eight was called “perfect time”.

I’m not historian, so this is not a music history lesson. And some of what I’m writing here may be a little inaccurate in the details. But the way I remember it, they called this “perfect time” because it is three beats per measure and each beat is divided by three.

Now, I’m not into numerology. I believe all forms of numerology are either witchcraft or divination (depending on how it’s used). And when I say, “all forms”, I am including what is commonly referred to as “biblical numerology”. So my curiosity in “perfect time” is not an interest in numerology.

My interest in perfect time is more about the musical effects of three groups of three notes in the meter. Nine-eight time is almost the opposite of four-four time, which is the most “common” meter in written music. Four-four time is perfectly perfectly symmetrical at both the measure level and the beat level. Two beats on one side of the measure, two beats on the other side. Those two beats can be divided again into two equal halves. Then the beats themselves can be divided this way, and so on, all the way to the smallest rhythmic value. In this sense, four-four time is binary. It’s a lot like computer machine language.

Our music notation system accommodates the binary nature of four-four perfectly.

Nine-eight is a different story. Nine eight doesn’t fit our music notation system very well. In fact, it’s quite awkward. I can tell you from experience that writing music in nine-eight takes more time and effort. But what you have in nine-eight music is a meter that has no built-in symmetry.

In ways, nine-eight reminds me of the instruction given in the old testament (pardon me for not providing and exact reference) about building an alter with “hewn stone”. The instruction was that the alter was to be built out of stone that was never cut by man. I see the four-four time signature as being like the stone cut by man. Nine-eight sounds to me like stone that is more natural.

I know that is an abstract concept, but that’s how I see it.

Blessed Assurance Lyrics

Here are the full lyrics for Blessed Assurance:

  1. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
    Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
    Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
    Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
    • Refrain:
      This is my story, this is my song,
      Praising my Savior all the day long;
      This is my story, this is my song,
      Praising my Savior all the day long.
  2. Perfect submission, perfect delight,
    Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
    Angels, descending, bring from above
    Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
  3. Perfect submission, all is at rest,
    I in my Savior am happy and blest,
    Watching and waiting, looking above,
    Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

I get most of my hymns from I have several hymnals here, so it’s not about the access. It’s about the convenience of copy and past and being able to print the music on a clean, 8.5X11 page.

The first thing I do when I write one of these Trumpet Hymn Duet arrangements is analyze the chord progressions. And yes, in case you are wondering, I use the same analysis style we learned in uni. I actually quite enjoy that. I am using what I learned at uni, decades ago.

Sheet music for Blessed Assurance trumpet hymn duet is available at:

6 Responses

  1. Mary

    The link is broken but I found it by going to sheetmusicplus and clicking on listen!

    I like this. You could play it in church as incidental music but you’re right it wouldn’t work with singers or in a reflective space. Perhaps as what one our local churches insists on calling the ‘outlude’ … in the space where organists would play a voluntary.

    I love compound time – 3/8 6/8 9/8 – but the one I particularly like is 7/8 because it’s irregular. Hehe perhaps that says something about me. I like my art to be balanced but asymmetrical too.

  2. Anonymous

    Would the link have been to Legends of Fractonia? Very spiky and crackly!! Love it. Piece for a day when I have the mental energy to listen. hehe … feels a bit like I do about going back to work … enlivened and daunted at the same time because I’m going to have to completely rethink everything I do and start again from scratch.

  3. Mary

    Would that link have been to Legends of Fractonia? Very crackly and spiky! Love it. It feels a bit how I do about going back to work next week … enlivened but also daunted … returning to a completely new situation. Not a piece to listen to on a weary day but one for a day when you have space in your brain 🙂

    • Eddie Lewis

      Yes, it would have been Legends of Fractonia. I missed that link, too.
      I need to rest. Ha ha ha… Mistakes piling up on each other.

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