THD 21: O Mighty God (How Great Thou Art)

posted in: Video | 0

Carl Boberg, Tra. E. Gustav Johnson
Eddie Lewis Trumpet

[The sound for this video might not match the visual exactly. I had my software open in the middle of working on this project when the power went out. It’s possible the sound in the video is from my original “scratch tracks”. I just haven’t had time to go back and redo the video all over again, so I left it the way it is.]

Trumpet duet sheet music for O Mighty God (How Great Thou Art) is available at:

  • Tiger Music (20% off with code “eltigredo20”)
  • PayHip
  • Sheet Music Plus (affiliate link) Coming Soon
  • JW Pepper Coming Soon

O Mighty God (How Great Thou Art) - When I behold the heavens in their vastness, Where golden ships in azure issue forth, Where sun and moon keep watch upon the fastness Of changing seasons and of time on earth,
Photo taken at Hopewell Farm, Eastern Cape, South Africa in 2016.

Why O Mighty God

There are two titles for this hymn (that I know of). One is more famous and popular than the other. I chose the less famous and popular title for this trumpet duet.

Why?

Because the more famous and popular title is still in copyright. And as I have done my entire adult life, instead of spending all the extra time, effort and money figuring out how to make that work, I just avoided all that mess and went with the public domain title for this Trumpet Hymn Duet.

According to a lot of sources, How Great Thou Art is the number one most popular hymn. I know a lot about the legal side of copyright issues, but I still don’t 100% understand how that works with a hymn that is based on an older public domain hymn.

I do, know that changing the title makes a huge difference. The title implies a different set of lyrics, and thus also a different song. Fortunately, trumpet duets don’t have any lyrics, which means this Trumpet Hymn Duet will work for both hymns.

So yes, instead of going with How Great Thou Art, I took the easy route and went with O Mighty God.

I will use the titles interchangeably throughout the rest of this blog post.

How Great Thou Art

How Great Thou Art, as I said, is the most popular hymn right now. Even more popular than Amazing Grace. The tune for the hymn comes from a traditional Sweedish folk song. My understanding is that the Swedish folk song has been lost to time and the melody, even in Sweden, is now widely recognized as “O STORE GUD”.

O STORE GUD is the Swedish origin of How Great Thou Art. It was written in the late nineteenth century, was popular in Europe and later translated to English. You can find it in the old hymnals as O Mighty God. In one of my favorite hymnals it’s number one!

Decades later, in 1949, Stuart K. Hine wrote a different set of lyrics over the ancient Swedish tune and How Great Thou Art was born.

Trumpet Duet Arrangement

O Mighty God - How Great Thou Art Trumpet Hymn Duet Sheet Music PDF Sample Score

I think this ended up being the easiest trumpet duet in the set. The range is limited to what I call the Trumpet Player skill level. That means the highest note is no higher than G above the staff. This was intentional. In fact, at one point I accidentally wrote some of the first trumpet part up to A and B flat. This was because I was working with untransposed parts in Finale. When I got that straightened out, I had to go back and rework that section to make it fit the Trumpet Player level.

I also set out to make this trumpet duet fit the style of the others. The last few Trumpet Hymn Duets had begun creeping away from that original style and I wanted to make a return back to the original concept. I don’t have a problem with some of them being different. Contrast is good. But I thought it was important to take it back to home base.

Trumpet Hymn Duets

We have a page on this blog that lists all of the Trumpet Hymn Duets for you to browse. You can get to that page by clicking the following button:

Trumpet Play Along Video

There will be a free trumpet play along video for this O Mighty God (How Great Thou Art) arrangement. That video will be available and accessible here about a week before it’s available on YouTube. We will add a button to take you to that video when it’s ready.

Trumpet Hymn Duets Book

As I mentioned earlier in this post, we are making a book of these Trumpet Hymn Duets. It’s in the early stages so far, so we might change the name, but for now it’s going to be called Trumpet Hymn Duets.

We are trying to release the project in mid to late November. The project includes the trump duet book and two album releases at the same time. I have to be careful about the way I word that. I am not suggesting that the albums are included with the CD. We are trying to release the albums at roughly the same time as the book.

One album is simply an album of the hymns. A lot of people have enjoyed the hymns, just listening to them, and we wanted to distribute them this way. The other album has play along tracks. There will be a first part play along track and a second part play along track.

This is a very exciting project but it’s going to take a lot of work to pull if off with all the releases happening simultaneously. This last Trumpet Hymn Duet was the one we were waiting for before we started working on the book. O Mighty God will be the first trumpet duet in the book.

O Mighty God Lyrics

Here are the full lyrics for this beautiful hymn:

O mighty God, when I behold the wonder
Of nature’s beauty, wrought by words of Thine,
And how Thou leadest all from realms up yonder,
Sustaining earthly life in love benign,

Refrain
With rapture filled, my soul Thy name would laud,
O mighty God! O mighty God!
With rapture filled, my soul Thy name would laud,
O mighty God! O mighty God!

When I behold the heavens in their vastness,
Where golden ships in azure issue forth,
Where sun and moon keep watch upon the fastness
Of changing seasons and of time on earth,

Refrain

When I behold His Son to earth descending,
To help and heal and teach distressed mankind;
When evil flees and death in fear is bending
Before the glory of the Lord divine,

Refrain

When, crushed by guilt of sin, before Him kneeling
I plead for mercy and for grace and peace,
I feel His balm and, all my bruises healing,
He saves my soul and sets my heart at ease.

Refrain

When finally the mists of time have vanished,
And I in truth my faith confirmed shall see,
Upon the shores where earthly ills are banished,
I enter, Lord, to dwell in peace with Thee.

With rapture filled, my soul Thy name would laud,
Thanks be to Thee, O mighty God!
With rapture filled, my soul Thy name would laud,
Thanks be to Thee, O mighty God!

I got these lyrics from the Hymntime website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.