“Beautiful and bold!” - Chorale-reharmonization at the organ reflected in a singing congregation
The purpose of this investigation is to find out where I as a church-musician can positively impact the congregation through harmonies when playing the organ. The questions are as following: What characterizes the changes of organ-notations I spontaneously do with the intention of supporting the congregational singing? How do my transcriptions impact the singing? Do I facilitate the singing or not? To begin with, I analyze in what manner I subconsciously harmonize hymns. The way I proceed to submit to the following questions is through an inquiry-sheet, survey, where the partakers will submit their results on a grading-system; I also expect them to comment on their level of perception of the harmonization. After looking through the obtained results, I subsequently calculated the results where one can fathom the information. The conclusion of this study tells me that the way one harmonizes hymns can in fact help the congregation as well as making it stumble. One must be very aware of what one is doing. Hymn-harmonizations on very famous hymns such as hymn 231(Amazing Grace) will not severely affect the congregation in its ability to sing to. However, harmonizing a lesser known hymn such as hymn 386 can result in the congregation stumbling since it is less familiar with the melody itself. It is therefore the duty of every musician to thoroughly consider how much they can change the harmonies when playing.
von Horn, Hugo