We haven’t been practising the limbo in the KM office this week!…but thinking generally about hymns in lower keys and a resource (Hymn Tunes in Lower Keys) that we published back in 2011 for which we’ve always received postive feedback: “I simply had to write to tell you what a phenomenal difference the book has made! The response of church and crematorium congregations has been wonderful. Once they realise they can actually manage ALL the notes of the melody without bursting blood vessels…my word, they have been singing with some oomph!- Without wishing to be blasphemous, this book has become my BIBLE- it never leaves my side during the working day!” (Dr David N. Evans)
Do you find that most hymns in today’s hymnals are written in keys too high for the average churchgoer to sing? This (apparently) despite many hymns being in lower keys today than they were in hymnals fifty years ago. Musicians have various theories as to why hymns now seem too high: “Hymns were always too high, but in the past, vocal styles were different. Singers of whatever genre didn’t belt out a song the way American Idol contestants do today. Voices were thinner and more fluid, allowing for a larger range….” Says one Blogger here: http://freelancelibrarian.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/hymn-keys.html
…I suspect it was and still is a struggle though- for those who are simply more comfortable in the low part of their vocal range, or that have a voice that suits the lower range of notes.
Maybe you are someone who can transpose notes ‘at sight’? Perhaps Kevin Mayhew resources are ideal for you or maybe they are too low or not low enough?! Do you use lower key resources but switch to higher keys once your voice has warmed up? Whatever your experience we’d love to hear from you! Get in touch below or by email, Facebook or Twitter!
Both resources are available from all good Music Shops and Christian Bookshops. You can also purchase them direct from the KM website www.kevinmayhew.com/hymn-tunes-in-lower-keys.html (Book) and (CD) www.kevinmayhew.com/top-50-hymns-in-lower-keys-cd.html
Posted by Sarah