I’ve been writing trumpet duets on some of the more popular hymns. At first it wasn’t going to be a full-fledged series, but when I reached half a dozen, I realized it was a good idea to keep going.
We’ve been publishing these Trumpet Hymn Duets one at a time. And people like that. We started with Amazing Grace and that quickly became our best selling product. Over time, the Trumpet Hymn Duets have pushed all of our other top products out of the running. Our top five products are now all Trumpet Hymn Duets.
Trumpet Hymn Duets Book?
After we publish enough of the Trumpet Hymn Duets, we may choose to compile them into a duet book. This won’t be happening any time soon, but it is something we are considering for the long term.
Hymn Duet Requests?
If you have a request for a future Trumpet Hymn Duet, please feel free to contact me about it. I cannot promise to do every request for a variety of reasons, but if it is something we can include in this series, I will put it at the front of the list.
If you are interested in purchasing any of these duets, please click on the image. This link will take you to the TigerMusicStore.com website where you can purchase the duets directly from me.
Amazing Grace was our first Trumpet Hymn Duet. It was something I wrote as a passing thought. I thought it was a good idea so I sat down to make it happen.
To this day, the duet arrangement of Amazing Grace is our best selling product at Tiger Music. Often times, people will be in the store to buy something else, but will add this arrangement to the cart, almost like they are impulse buying. Which I think it so very cool. Much better than grabbing a candy bar, impulse buying at the grocery store!
America the Beautiful
A lot of people think of America the Beautiful as a song. But technically, it’s a hymn. It has hymn structure, not song structure. Hymns are specifically in strophic form. Songs have a different from. A looser form.
America the Beautiful is a gorgeous hymn about God’s creation, this wonderful place we call home as Americans. It really is a beautiful place. Many places in the country continue to be just as beautiful as the lyrics suggest.
America the Beautiful is probably the most secular of the Trumpet Hymn Duets, but during this time that we live in, I thought this was a good choice to include in the series.
Be Thou My Vision
I tell people that this was the most difficult of the Trumpet Hymn Duets for me to write. Part of how I write these duets is to analyze the original hymn first, so that I can stay very close to the original intent. The problem with this hymn was the range and the harmony pushed me into a corner.
No problem! This is where the best musical ideas come from. Even though Be Thou My Vision was the most difficult to write, it is also one of the best of the Trumpet Hymn Duets. I’m very happy with the final results.
Blessed Assurance is a little different, as a trumpet hymn duet arrangement, in that it isn’t 100% church appropriate. As I said in the blog for this arrangement, it is more like 95% appropriate. This is mainly because of a half-step modulation five measures into the second verse.
Christ the Lord is Risen Today
Christ the Lord is Risen Today is a majestic, fanfare-ridden Trumpet Hymn Duet arrangement that works perfectly for worship on Easter Sunday.
I try to stay in line with the mood and spirit of the hymn and its lyrics. There is nothing more worthy of celebration, to us as Christians, then the rising of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, from the grave where He purchased our salvation! I tried to communicate that joy in this duet.
Sometimes people don’t think to program a trumpet duet in their worship services. There is a mistake people make in assuming that all duets are educational and therefore not worthy of being used as worship music. But these duets were written to be used to worship and praise in a church setting.
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
A the moment, this is our second best selling Trumpet Hymn Duet. After a brief introduction, it begins with a tag team relay of the melody, breaks into harmony, and then back to another short tag team relay.
The second verse has the first part playing counterpoint against the original hymn melody. This verse almost sounds like something Gustav Holst would have written.
The third verse modulates up a step and becomes more fanfare like. It does sound very trumpety at this stage, almost like something out of the Arban duet book.
Great is Thy Faithfulness
This duet begins with an introduction in octaves. Which is an interesting contrast to some of the others which begin in harmony in the introduction, but break into unison in the first verse. By starting in octaves, the simple harmonies in the first verse really sing out.
Great is Thy Faithfulness sings of God’s faithfulness to us. What a beautiful message! This is another very joyous duet that tries to express that joy without losing sight of the original message. It is at times fanfaric, with bits of counterpoint strewn around. But we never lose our focus.
Another advantage to this type of writing is that you can use it with your choir or other instruments because I have tried to stay very close to the original harmonies for all of these hymns.
He Keeps Me Singing
He Keeps Me Singing breaks from the rest of the series ever so slightly in that the second verse changes to a swing feel. Not a jazz swing. There is a swing feel that some of the old hymns used to have. In He Keeps Me Singing, I try to give this Trumpet Hymn Duet that old fashioned swing that many of you know from your church upbringing.
He Leadeth Me
I think this is one of my favorites so far, in this series. Sometimes I print the hymns, read through them, and think, “that’s not how that goes”.
I grew up with these hymns. A lot of churches don’t sing hymns anymore, and that hymn culture seems to be disappearing. In a lot of ways, it’s like the jazz students who learn jazz tunes from the fake books. There is an entire culture behind the music and you cannot possibly play it correctly if you are not plugged into that culture. There’s more to the music, the hymns in this case, than what’s written on the paper.
In my arrangement of He Leadeth Me, I try to capture the feel and sounds that I grew up with. It’s difficult because I’m calling on memories that are forty years old.
Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy, Holy, Holy always sounded “stately” to me. It was originally composed in 1826. This is at the end of the industrial revolution and “technology” probably seemed to be moving just as fast to people of that time as our time feels to us. It was a different time, but we share a lot with that time, two hundred years ago.
In that sense, Holy, Holy, Holy is just as relevant to use as it was to the people of its time.
It is Well with My Soul
This arrangement was the second one I did, after Amazing Grace. When I wrote it, I didn’t know I would be doing a series yet, so I was a little more creative with this one than I’ve been with the others.
What I mean is that I introduced thematic material that I use in the introduction and the interlude towards the end, that does not originate from the hymn itself. There’s nothing wrong with doing this, but it does break away from what has become the focus of these hymns…ever so slightly.
Jesus Paid it All
This is one of our more popular duets from the Trumpet Hymn Duets series. When we consider what it means that Jesus paid, on the cross, the price for all of our needs, it is a powerful thought. As great as that price was that He paid, we cannot help but to be overfilled with joy when we know what this means to us.
In this Trumpet Hymn Duet arrangement of Jesus Paid it All, I try to capture that joy!
Just as I Am
Two of these Trumpet Hymn Duets were written in response to requests. I have to stop taking requests for now because we are getting closer to our goal for the Trumpet Hymn Duets album and book release. If I continue writing Trumpet Hymn Duets after the release of the album and book, then we may begin taking requests again for a second project.
Just as I am has become very popular as a alter call hymn ever since Billy Graham used it in his famous Crusades. It is a favorite of a great many Christians.
O Jesus I Have Promised
This is also one of the Trumpet Hymn Duets I wrote before I decided to do a series. Most of the other hymns in this series are more popular. That has been intentional. However, since I hadn’t begun the series yet, I chose to write this one because I like this hymn.
I think, because it is a less well known hymn, we sell far less of these. That’s a shame because it’s one of the better ones.
Softly and Tenderly, Jesus Is Calling
This was a fun Trumpet Hymn Duet to write. It’s different from the others because I am trying to honor the mood and harmonies of the original hymn. So a lot of the “treatments” that I’ve been doing in the other Trumpet Hymn Duet arrangements won’t work with Softly and Tenderly.
Of all the Trumpet Hymn Duets, this one is the most peaceful so far, in my opinion.
On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand
The theme of The Solid Rock comes from a part of the Sermon on the Mountain when Jesus says that, if you hear what he says and do it, you are like a man who built a house on a rock. The lyricist writes “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”
I start this arrangement in Eb concert, which is a whole-step down from the original key. But I modulate in the last verse to F concert which is the original key.
O Sacred Head Now Wounded
I believe this is the oldest hymn in our series. Composed in 1153, I Sacred Head Now Wounded sounds more chant like than the rest of the Trumpet Hymn Duets. In that regard, it works as a nice contrast to the other duets.
I use light dissonances to communicate the depth and seriousness of the text. My harmonies are derived from Bach’s treatment of the hymn (Bach was born hundreds of years after it was written). So it doesn’t sound nearly as chant-like as it might have.
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
When I wrote this arrangement, I wanted it to capture the sound of trumpeters praising God with their metallic voices!
The arrangement begins in unison, breaks into harmony, then adds some counterpoint in the second verse. The third verse praises God with more fanfare-like figures based on the hymn’s original harmonies.
What a Friend We Have in Jesus
In a sense, What a Friend We Have in Jesus could be viewed as the hymn that started it all for me. It was the very first hymn I pulled out that ultimately resulted in the creation of this series. It’s a beautiful hymn, both the words and the melody.
Read the blog post to learn more about how this duet eventually lead to the Trumpet Hymn Duet series.